With men’s health being prioritised this Movember – as scores of men grow moustaches and beards to raise greater awareness of men’s health issues – scientists are now touting tea-drinking as an important factor for longevity.
According to findings published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine”, tea drinkers having more than two cups a day are likely to live longer, healthier lives.
Meanwhile, researchers have also found that there’s a decreased risk of dying from all causes by up to 13% among regular tea drinkers.
Their risk of dying from coronary heart disease, stroke and cardiovascular diseases, in general, also decreased significantly, the study found.
Another study published in “Nutrition, Malnutrition and Heart Disease” showed similar results, with habitual tea drinkers having a 39% lower risk of heart disease and stroke, 56% decreased risk of fatal heart disease and stroke, and 29% lower risk of all-cause death compared to non-habitual tea drinkers and those who don’t drink tea at all.
The Rooibos Council’s spokesperson, Adele du Toit, added that men who are looking for natural ways to boost their health can turn to rooibos.
“This red-hot beverage is packed with goodness – offering a wide range of flavours and types to satisfy every palate,” she said.
“If you drink rooibos regularly, you’re going to reap the rewards of drinking a beverage with a multitude of health benefits, plus it’s caffeine-free.”
And while du Toit noted that longevity and a healthy lifestyle are the result of a combination of factors and that no single dietary element alone can guarantee a longer life, she provided a few ways in which drinking rooibos could benefit men in particular.
Keeps high blood pressure in check
Rooibos is known as a bronchodilator, which not only relieves respiratory conditions, but generally reduces high blood pressure.
Maintains prostate health
The tisane’s anti-inflammatory properties may be of interest to men who want to maintain prostate health as inflammation has been linked to prostate issues.
Boosts male fertility
The high antioxidant levels in rooibos could support healthy sperm and a higher sperm count.
Improves heart health
Quercetin, another powerful antioxidant found in rooibos, has been linked to the prevention of a wide variety of heart conditions. Du Toit explained that it promotes HDL, good cholesterol, and inhibits LDL, bad cholesterol, from adhering to the walls of arteries and blood vessels.
“This means added protection against various heart conditions, including arteriosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes,” she said.
Builds and repairs muscle tissue
Not only do rooibos’ free-radical fighting antioxidants help you look and feel younger by slowing down the ageing process, but they also assist with improved recovery after exercise.
Improves skin health
Rooibos’ antioxidants may help improve skin health, which can benefit men in terms of maintaining a youthful appearance.
Reduces risk of diabetes
Aspalathin is one of the rare antioxidants found in rooibos which helps to balance blood sugar, reduce insulin resistance and increase glucose absorption through the muscles. Du Toit noted that aspalathin also boosts insulin production in the pancreas.
“This acts as a defensive shield against the development of type 2 diabetes,” she said.
Enhances physical performance
Athletes will also benefit from the antioxidants in rooibos that help to fight inflammation, boost circulation and heal damaged muscle tissue.
Rooibos also helps the body to absorb iron, which enhances the delivery of oxygen to the muscles – critical for endurance racing, du Toit explained.
Lowers cancer risk
Research conducted at the SA Medical Research Council found that in combination with a healthy lifestyle, both green (unfermented) and traditional (fermented) rooibos significantly inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
Rooibos is known for its calming and stress-relieving properties, which can also be beneficial for mental well-being.
The tisane aids digestion and can alleviate abdominal discomfort, which is beneficial for overall gastrointestinal health.
Du Toit added that the protective effects of rooibos are most pronounced among those who drink it habitually.
“Studies have suggested that the main bioactive polyphenolic compounds in rooibos are not stored in the body long term; therefore, frequent intake over an extended period may be necessary for it to have the desired effect,” she said.