Based on last week’s blog on coffee I decided to discuss another great beverage. I get a lot of questions about what people should drink and the only options I ever recommend are the choices I adhere to myself in coffee, tea, water, unsweetened almond milk, and yes occasionally alcohol. So lets talk about tea and all the great benefits that come along with it’s consumption.
Pounds of tea imported to the U.S. each year
519 million pounds
Total amount of tea consumed in the U.S. every day
1.42 million pounds
Number of men and women who drink tea every morning
Total projected sales of tea for U.S. in 2012
Although not as popular as coffee in the US, tea is still widely consumed and is a staple for many americans. Lets look at some of the benefits.
1. Tea Is Loaded With Antioxidants
Tea is loaded with phytonutrients such as antioxidants. Antioxidants in black and green tea, called flavonoids, may help to maintain healthy cells and tissues as well as contribute to healthy cardiovascular function. Antioxidants are natural plant based biochemicals that prevent oxidation or “rusting” of living tissues.
Tea can also help strengthen your immune system because its attack on bacteria, free radicals, viruses, and fungi.
A study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School found that people who drank five cups of a tea were able to beat a cold five times faster than coffee drinkers were.
2. Tea Is Calorie-free And Helps Promote Fat Loss
So many people “watch what they eat” but ruin there otherwise healthy diets with sodas, loaded coffees, juices, shakes, smoothies, and energy drinks.
Tea is naturally calorie free and gives you your flavor fix while not costing empty calories found in most other beverages
Research indicates that substances found in green tea known as catechins and EGCG may trigger weight loss by stimulating the body to burn calories and decreasing body fat.
Recent research in animals show that catechins and EGCG found in green tea may also affect body fat accumulation and cholesterol levels.
3. Tea Increases Your Metabolism.
Drinking green tea or oolong tea offers the combined benefits of caffeine and catechins, substances shown to rev up the metabolism for a couple hours.
Research suggests that drinking two to four cups of either tea may push the body to burn 17% more calories than normal during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.
4. Tea Reduces Risk of Stroke, Cancer, and Heart Disease
One study shows that Eight hundred elderly Dutch men consuming 3.4 cups of tea per day decreased their risk of death from coronary heart disease by 58 percent compared to those who consumed lesser amounts of flavonoid rich foods.
Flavonoids in tea may also decrease the tendency of platelets to stick together that cause heart disease and stroke.
Studies suggest that both black and green tea may help prevent or delay the formation of tumors-specifically in the skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, and colon.
Green tea, according to Harvard Health Publications, has cancer inhibiting components called catechins. Specifically, studies have shown it to reduce the risk of skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal and bladder cancer.
5. Each Variety Contains a Unique Blend Of Health/Nutritional Benefits.
Green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia.
Black tea a potential heart tonic,cancer blocker, fat buster, immune stimulant, arthritis soother, virus fighterand cholesterol detoxifier.
White tea is the least processed tea and has the highest antioxidant levels, protects against cancer, heart disease, and stroke, strengthens the circulatory and immune systems as well as bones and teeth, and builds healthy skin.
Red tea contains magnesium, which is necessary for a healthy nervous system, increases the absorption of iron in the body, contains potassium and copper minerals that are necessary for several metabolic functions, helps nervous tension and mild depression as it makes a relaxing sedative.
While I am a big proponent of caffeiene and specifically its impact on health and performance, tea offers a lower caffienated alternative to coffee with the typical cup containing about 10-60 mg of caffiene. Besides the obvious health benefits tea is versatile in that you can drink it both hot (winter) and cold (summer) and reap all its benefits. Like I stated earlier, anytime you can substitute a beverage that contains numerous health benefits for a sugar loaded juice, pop, or sports drink, is a no-brainer.
Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any comments or questions.