Health Benefits of Tea


Photo: Unsplash, Morgan Sessions

By Rachel Cavotta

As the days become shorter and evenings cooler, tea time rises to the top of the list as we begin looking for ways to stay warm and cozy.

Whether it is a cup of black, green, or herbal, the thought of holding a warm mug of it in your hands creates a sense of comfort and perhaps even nostalgia.

As one of the most popular beverages in the world, second only to water, tea is a part of many people’s diets not only for comfort but is surprisingly healthy.

Health Benefits

Tea is considered a healthy drink choice. It is a low calorie beverage without the addition of sugar or dairy. Green tea in particular is said to aid in weight loss. Tea is a good substitute to coffee because it contains less caffeine, about 35-90mg per cup, compared to 150-200mg found in coffee.

As you begin to ponder about the types of warm beverages you will be drinking this fall, consider some of the additional ways tea can be beneficial to your overall health.

Can Help with Cancer Prevention

One of the most important advantages of drinking tea is its potential to aid in cancer prevention. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) different chemicals in tea can be beneficial to different aspects of preventing cancer. Both green and black teas contain antioxidants which can help prevent DNA damage. Tea also possesses polyphenols which can help protect against ultraviolet (UV) B radiation which can cause skin cancer. These polyphenols found in tea can also help increase and support immune system function.

Green tea in particular can activate detoxification enzymes which help prevent tumor development. According to the NCI, though antioxidant activity of tea polyphenols are able to help with certain aspects of preventing cancer, there is no exact means of determining how tea relates directly to cancer until more studies can be conducted. In the mean time, we can continue to reap the benefits that the beverage provides.

Heart Healthy Beverage

There have been many studies conducted regarding whether or not tea can prevent heart disease. Though inconclusive, according to a study conducted by Apranta Deka, MD and Joseph A. Vita, MD of Evans Department of Medicine and the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute, drinking tea may help lower blood pressure as well as anti -inflammatory effects. Drinking a cup of either black or green tea a day, the study found, is a good dietary choice for preventing heart disease.

According to another study presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology/Lifestyle 2016 Scientific Sessions, drinking a cup of tea at least once a day can help prevent major cardiovascular events such as heart attacks, as well as decrease the progression of coronary artery disease.

Drinking tea is not only satisfying to your taste buds, but can also help your heart stay healthy.

Beneficial to Mental Health

When thinking about tea, we usually associate it with relaxation and peacefulness. It is a beverage that is quiet company along with a good book, or a warm hug at the end of a long day.

A team of doctors from Department of Social Medicine and Health Management of the Tongji Medical College in China found that tea can help reduce the risk of depression. According to the study, a greater amounts of tea consumption can help lower the risk of depression in adults.

Tea benefits both your mind and body. No wonder this wonderful beverage is one of the most popular for people around the world.

Make it Tea Time

With these health benefits in mind you can sit back and relax knowing that the steaming cup cradled in your hands is more than just a beverage. Tea benefits both your body and your mind, and can help keep you healthy in the future. As you enter the fall season, take some time for yourself, and remember to drink your tea!

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