The Health Benefits of Tea
Over the past 25 years or so, a coordinated programme of research around the world into the health benefits of tea has shown again and again how useful tea is in protecting our health and in fighting the effects of a number of age-related diseases.
By drinking several cups of tea every day, we ensure that we take in a regular supply of essential fluid. We should all drink at least 2.5 pints (1.5 litres) of water per day and tea can help top up our bodies with at least some of that necessary quantity of fluid.
As well as offering us a beverage that tastes good and quenches our thirst, tea is full of antioxidants, which are beneficial to our bodies in several ways. Antioxidants help repair the damage done to our bodies by all the stressful aspects of modern life – pollution, UV rays from the sun, the effects of eating badly and drinking too much alcohol, lack of sleep, worry, etc. By taking antioxidants into our bodies, we can help protect ourselves against the effects of those negative aspects of everyday life. By drinking a mixture of all types of tea – black, white, green, oolong and dark teas – it is thought that we may be helping to protect ourselves against heart disease, stoke, thrombosis, high blood pressure, and certain forms of cancer, particularly cancer of the mouth, throat, and colon.
The caffeine in tea is also helpful as a stimulant that keeps our bodies working properly. And there is another magic ingredient in tea – L-theanine – which is an amino acid that does not exist in any other plant except one edible mushroom and which works in tandem with caffeine to keep us calm and distressed. The caffeine lifts our senses to help us focus and concentrate, while the L-theanine prevents any of the agitation that is sometimes associated with the consumption of caffeine.
The fluoride in tea helps to protect our teeth against the build up of plaque and the development of cavities, and protects our gums against disease. And studies carried out recently in the US also suggest that tea drinking (particularly of oxidized teas such as black and oolong teas) may be linked to a reduction in cognitive decline in the older generation.