You already know that tea can improve your skin and help keep you fit and trim, but did you know that it also does amazing things for your health?
Tea has been around for millenia. Through that time, the Chinese have
drunk it for everything from hangover prevention to weight control and
common cold reduction. Now, modern scientific research has given us a
much better insight into how tea improves health and to what benefit.
True tea, or that from the Camellia sinensis plant, includes white,
green, oolong, black and pu-erh. All of them contain antioxidants,
catechins, and polyphenols, which positively impact our bodies.
Let’s dive into what the research shows.
1. Lowered cholesterol
Media-favorite green tea was found to help lower cholesterol, both total serum cholesterol and LDL, according to a meta-study
published June 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Most
sources suggest five cups per day will provide results, but multiple
studies have shown that higher consumption leads to the biggest drop in
Tea is thought to work by inhibiting the absorption
of cholesterol from the large intestine. Among the Chinese, pu-erh tea
is the most renowned in its ability to lower cholesterol, though only
minimal clinical research has investigated this traditional belief.
2. Blindness prevention
Since tea contains high levels of antioxidants, it is not surprising that studies have found them in eye tissue. In fact, drinking tea can help to prevent the blindness caused by cataracts (the clouding of the lens inside the eye), said a 2001 study.
3. Reduced cortisol levels
Cortisol is the stress hormone that contributes to belly fat and makes
your skin age quicker. One recent study suggested four cups of tea per
day may make your cortisol levels spike less.
If you’re looking to have cortisol levels drop back down to normal faster after a stressful event, a 2006 study suggested daily consumption of tea for six weeks will do just that (as compared to placebo).
Both studies found that tea consumption may reduce the impact of
cortisol, thus slowing the aging process and preventing the widening of
Active compounds in tea can help to lower levels of inflammation and inflammatory reactions. According to Dr. Mark Hyman,
inflammation is connected to almost every modern ailment, including
arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and depression. Inflammation can also
cause you to retain water and look puffy, so a few cups of tea can help
you look and feel thinner.
Want a healthier heart? A 2007 study
indicated the lower inflammation levels resulting from green tea
consumption may help to protect against cardiovascular disease.
5. Increased memory, focus & concentration
Extensive research has shown that the combination of caffeine and L-Theanine,
a naturally-occurring amino acid found in tea, improves reaction time
and memory, while increasing focus and concentration (think of monks
Go for a cup of tea — perhaps white tea — before a
meeting when you need to be sharp, or drink it during a test for
increased concentration and focus.