The Benefits of Tea Drinking
The benefits of tea drinking can upgrade our health and at the same time provide one of life's simple pleasures.
A whistling teapot can be like Pavlov's bell - a signal that I am getting ready to do something nice for myself. The feeling of taking the time to reward yourself has benefits all by itself.
Science is now confirming some of the benefits of tea drinking that the Chinese began to experience about 4,000 years ago. They still consider it to be a healing drink.
Some tea characteristics that science has either confirmed or has found beneficial evidence of, particularly in green and black teas:
- Contains Flavanoids, the same stuff that is present in the pigments of fruits and vegetables and which are natural antioxidants
- Contains minerals and amino acids
- Contains anti-cancer properties
- Lowers LDL cholesterol
- Improves cognitive performance
- Boosts the immune system
- Reduces blood pressure
- Lowers Cortisol - the stress hormone
- Lowers inflamation in the body
- Boosts metabolism for weight loss
How Tea Is Produced
Tea growers pick tea leaves and buds from the Carnellia Sinensis plant, a warm weather evergreen plant. Tea processors then steam heat, dry, crush, and ferment the tea leaves. The degree to which they process the leaves determines whether its green, black, red, or Oolong.
Green tea receives the least amount of processing, and black and red teas receive the most. Oolong is somewhere in between green and black tea in terms of processing. White tea comes from the early spring leaves which contain little Chlorophyll and is lightly processed.
Herbal Teas are technically not teas, but an infusion of flowers or herbs in water called Tisanes. Herbal teas, like
Hibiscus, Mango, and others have unique flavors and benefits.
Getting The Most Enjoyment From Tea
Throughout the world, tea is the second most popular beverage, behind water.
After almost 300 years since it was introduced here, Americans have not been all that excited about the benefits of tea. Maybe it is because we like water, soft drinks, coffee, milk and beer, more - all of which outsell tea.
Maybe it is because it's not always convenient to drink tea - dealing with boiling water, tea bags, and the like. The new availability of ready to drink teas and a growing health consciousness are starting to change that and tea imports to the US are rising.
Whatever the reasons for its lower popularity here, it is clear from all of the benefits of tea drinking that we should add more cups of it to our routines.
The dual benefits of the relaxing pause to indulge for a few minutes in a cup of tea, and its bio-goodness, are strong reasons why we should add it to our natural health plan.
Tea Drinking Tips
- Avoid dumping refined sugars in your tea, try honey, or agave syrup
- Add citrus - it helps the body to absorb more tea nutrients
- Don't use milk - it blocks absorption of tea nutrients
- For Green Tea, heat the water just below boiling before steeping
- Tea contains caffeine - about half of what coffe has - so stay away from it if you have a problem with caffeine
- Some Decaffeination processes also remove some of the catechins - regular tea usually has more nutrient punch
- Where possible, buy loose teas. For some brands, tea bags contain a high proportion of tea dust, and material that is left
over after the processor has packaged its loose tea
You can't look inside the body to see benefits actually taking place, but over time, you'll notice the rejuvenation of mind and body that can come from the subtle flavors and great variety of tea.
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