10 Science Based Benefits of Black Tea
We all know that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. And among all the tea variants, black tea is the most popular kind. Like all teas, this popular variant also comes from a plant called Camellia sinensis. It is a perfect choice if you are looking for a low-calorie beverage with lesser caffeine content than coffee. It is simple to make, and you can easily purchase it from any offline or online tea store.
Over the years, black tea has been extensively studied. These studies have proven that they have an immense array of health benefits. These include; improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, better gut health and many more.
Here are top 10 health benefits of drinking black tea supported by science
Packed with Antioxidants
Our body produces molecules called free radicals and oxidants because of different environmental pressure (pollution, cigarette smoke, radiation, medication) and unhealthy lifestyle choices. Low or moderate concentrations of these molecules play an important role in defending our bodies against diseases.
Oxidative stress is a process that is formed when free radicles and oxidants accumulate in our bodies. It plays an important role in the growth of chronic and progressive illnesses such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cataract, autoimmune disorders, ageing, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, it is imperative; that our body maintains a certain balance of free radicals and antioxidants.
Black tea is packed with valuable antioxidants like catechins, theaflavins and thearubigins, which can fight free radicals and lessen oxidative stress. Consumption of antioxidants rich food and beverage helps in preventing, repairing and slowing down the damages caused to the human cells by oxidative stress.
May Help Fight or Prevent Cancer
Prolonged oxidative stress can damage our DNA and other vital molecules in our bodies. Sometimes it may also lead to cell death. Oxidative DNA damage can contribute to the growth of lung, breast, ovary, rectum cancers, tumours and leukaemia diseases.
Our body needs plenty and a variety of antioxidants to defend against different free radicals. Antioxidants in black tea protect our DNA and cells by giving free radicals what they want- electrons.
Improved Heart Health
Studies have proven that oxidative stress causes several cardiovascular diseases such as cardiac hypertrophy, cardiomyopathy, hypertension, ischemia, atherosclerosis and other congestive heart failures.
An antioxidant found in the teas called polyphenol prevents oxidation of fat by controlling internal inflammation (a key driver in heart diseases).
Boosts Immune System
Maintaining a strong immune system has never been more imperative in these uncertain times. A healthy immune system helps our body prevent and fight off different infections. Nutrition and immunity go hand in hand. Recent clinical trials have found that we can significantly improve certain immune responses by consuming an antioxidant-rich diet.
Antioxidants are the main components of a nutritious diet that is particularly significant to a healthy immune system. Again, our body needs a variety of antioxidants to improve different immune functions. Most of the antioxidants come from fruits, vegetables and teas. Drinking black tea is the easiest way to revive traditional cells, improve body functions and boost immunity.
Helps in Lowering Bad Cholesterol (LDL)
Human bodies have two types of lipoproteins: high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL is a good lipoprotein because it transports cholesterol away from the cells to the liver. Then liver excretes the cholesterol. LDL (bad lipoprotein) transports cholesterol to the cells throughout the body.
Two vital compounds in black tea- catechins and quercetin improve blood vessel functions and prevent cholesterol synthesis, absorption and blood clots. Studies have shown that drinking tea often helps in reducing LDL and maintaining a healthy cholesterol level.
Helps Maintain Blood Pressure Levels
Scientists have hypothesized that oxidative stress is the core cause of hypertension. Research conducted on people with high blood pressure shows that those who took supplements called pycnogenol; helped them maintain normal blood pressure levels. It also reduced their daily dose of blood pressure-lowering medication by 30%. Researchers concluded that the supplement had a high concentration of antioxidants called polyphenols and flavonoids usually found in grapes and different types of teas.
Preceding studies have shown that instead of drugs, antioxidants present in black teas and vitamin C have a blood pressure-lowering effect
Helps Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
Elevated sugar levels can result in different health complications like type 2 diabetes, obesity, kidney failure and other cardiovascular diseases. Diabetes is the leading cause of death globally. Six people die every one minute due to complications from diabetes.
Recent studies have shown that an antioxidant-rich diet will help in lowering blood sugar levels. These antioxidants are found in chocolate, teas, coffee, etc. Researchers concluded that drinking tea on a regular basis can enhance the insulin activity in our body by 15-fold. Several compounds in black tea and green tea like epigallocatechin gallate helps in improving insulin levels and how our body metabolizes sugar.
Improves Brain Health
Over the last decade, there has been a considerable increase in mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, cognitive and sleep disorders). One study on older women found that those who ate food rich in flavonoids delayed their memory decline by two years compared to those who did not.
Food rich in flavonoids are berries, leafy greens, avocados, dark chocolates, coffee and tea. Another antioxidant that protects the cell damage in your brain is vitamin E, also found in teas. An amino acid called L-theanine and the caffeine content in teas helps increase the alpha activity in the brain, hence; improving alertness, focus and a relaxed mind.
Like other medical conditions, oxidative stress causes hyperpigmentation, skin infections, premature ageing of the skin and skin cancers. We cannot avoid this process due to our lifestyle, stress levels and pollution. However, we can add antioxidant-rich food to our daily diet to fight the free radicals.
Drinking black tea often can help your body fight blemishes and skin infections. Not only that, but it also protects your skin from UV rays, prevents premature ageing, rejuvenates your skin cells and reduces puffiness. The antioxidants found also has an anti-ageing effect. You can maintain healthy skin by adding tea to your diet chart.
Improves Gut Health
There are millions and millions of bacteria (good and bad) in our gut and they play an important role in our health. Polyphenols- a type of antioxidant in black teas, help the growth of good probiotic bacteria like Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus in the gut.
The good bacteria break down the fibre in our diet and transmute it into good stuff our body needs like vitamins and short-chain fatty acids. The properties of polyphenols can also help in treating inflammatory gut diseases.
So if you are looking for a non-sweetened, low-calorie, and less caffeinated healthy beverage, black tea is a perfect choice. It can provide you host of health benefits- from a healthy immune system, improved cholesterol, decreased blood pressure, healthy skin, good mental health, better gut health, weight loss, and many more.
Besides, it is simple to make, has a unique flavour, and you can easily purchase it from any online tea store and get it delivered to your doorstep. You don’t even have to step outside, given our current situation right now.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is of utmost importance during this pandemic. Apart from getting plenty of sleep, exercising, following a well-balanced, colourful and antioxidant-rich diet, don’t forget to add black tea to your healthy lifestyle choices.
P.S. Make sure to drink freshly brewed black tea to maximize the health benefits.