Medical Benefits of Drinking Tea
Some people drink tea as a less-caffeinated alternative to coffee while others drink herbal tea as a means of winding down. Regardless of one’s intention for drinking tea, he or she may benefit from a variety of the beverage’s health benefits.
- It is great for people trying to cut back on caffeine, as it typically has less caffeine than coffee. Most herbal teas are caffeine-free, while traditional teas have approximately 50 percent less caffeine than coffee.
- It contains antioxidants. Green and black teas contain antioxidants, which attack free radicals in the body that damage cells and cause diseases.
- It can help you lose weight. Some sweeter teas can be appealing to the taste buds. Therefore, dieters don’t need to feel as if they’re sacrificing their sweet tooth for weight loss, since tea (without added sugar) is calorie-free. Furthermore, green tea may accelerate the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea extract increases the metabolism by 4 percent over a 24-hour period.
- It may help boost your immune system. Drinking tea may help ward off the cold and flu. According to one laboratory study, a particular type of polyphenols called catechin was believed to kill influenza viruses. To maximize its effectiveness, use water that is just below boiling, and steep green tea for no more than a minute or two. You can add honey or lemon, but not milk. The proteins in milk bind to the polyphenols, making them ineffective.
- It may keep your heart healthy. A clinical trial that was published in the Preventive Medicine Journal indicated that people who drank three cups of black tea per day had triglyceride levels that were an average of 36 percent lower than the triglyceride levels of people who didn’t drink black tea. In addition, they saw a 17 percent improvement in their cholesterol profiles. However, since it does have caffeine, people with high blood pressure should avoid black tea.
Green tea can help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides as well. Plus, it has less caffeine than black tea, so it is a better option for those who have high blood pressure. The temperature of the tea you drink doesn’t affect its health benefits, so whether it is iced tea or hot tea that you prefer, enjoy it for both its taste and its health benefits.