BLACK tea, green tea, fruit tea cups, tea assortment in boxes. Picture: Supplied
BLACK tea, green tea, fruit tea cups, tea assortment in boxes. Picture: Supplied

4 benefits of tea that can help with a healthier body and mind

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Aug 13, 2021

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If you love having a cup of tea, then you are in luck. There are many benefits to brewing a good cup of tea.

A small study published in June 2019 in the journal Aging found that, compared with those who didn’t drink tea, older adults who regularly drank tea (like green, black, or oolong) had better organised brain regions, which is associated with healthier cognitive function.

Another study, published in January last year in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found that drinking tea three times a week or more was associated with living a longer life, compared with not drinking tea. Most people in the study drank the green variety, which the researchers linked to a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and dying of any cause.

If you still need convincing, here are a few reasons from Herbalife team on why it’s good to incorporate tea into your daily diet:

Caffeine

The caffeine in tea may increase metabolism and make you feel energetic.

Tea consumption has shown that it can temporarily increase metabolism, the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy.

Most teas contain caffeine, and caffeine generally stimulates the thermogenesis in the body, which is the process of generating heat and, in turn, energy expenditure.

In addition to a modest amount of caffeine, green tea contains polyphenol compounds that take its heat-generating effect beyond what you would get from drinking a cup of coffee. The polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may help to slightly increase the metabolic rate, or the amount of energy your body expends to fuel basic body processes.

Teas can provide antioxidant support

Both green and black teas contain flavonoids, phytonutrients which help to fight oxidative stress in the body. These natural plant-based compounds help to support both brain and cardiovascular health.

Green tea delivers several polyphenols such as flavanols, flavandiols, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. Flavanols, including the catechins, may be responsible for many of the proposed benefits of green tea.

Black tea, including Orange Pekoe, also contains polyphenols, including catechins, thearubigins, and theaflavins, which are thought to be responsible for many of its observed benefits as an antioxidant.

Black tea can provide an increased feeling of energy because of its caffeine. Black tea may deliver up to two times more caffeine than green tea, depending on processing method and brew time. Theaflavins are a unique group of polyphenols that may support cardiovascular health.

Drinking tea may have cardiovascular and heart health benefits

When you consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, the heart health benefits you receive are in part due to flavanols. Along with berries, apples, and cocoa, tea contains flavanols that are linked to a healthy heart.

The caffeine in tea can help us feel refreshed and alert.

Caffeine is one source of the bitter flavour in tea and consuming it at levels found in many tea and coffee beverages has been found to improve alertness. Green, black, and white teas all contain L-Theanine, an amino acid that is said to improve cognitive performance and mood but does not have the stimulating effects of caffeine.

According to Alice Zhu, member of the Dietetic Advisory Board in China, moderate caffeine consumption may be good for health. Green tea has less caffeine than black (green tea generally has less than 50 mg per 236ml cup, while a cup of black tea may have up to 90 mg or so, although amounts can vary).

“A moderate consumption” means a few hundred milligrams per day,” Zhu says.

“So, you can rest assured: even for those who drink tea several times a day, their intake of caffeine remains in the ‘moderate’ range.”

Tea is a great addition to your hydration needs

People often wonder if drinking caffeinated beverages such as tea and coffee will just make them more dehydrated. In reality, moderate amounts of caffeine will not deplete the water in your body.

While water should be your primary source of fluids, tea can complement your hydration needs and give you some variety, given its unique flavour .

While plain tea has no fat, sugar, and kilojoules , do watch out for some commercial tea drinks – large amounts of added sugar and high-fat dairy can rack up kilojoules.

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