Health Benefits of Tea
Health Benefits of Tea

Tea is a delicious and refreshing drink that has been enjoyed for centuries by many cultures. In fact, the ancient Chinese considered tea medicinal1. Tea contains special substances called polyphenols, including catechins, which are antioxidants.

The main antioxidant catechins in tea are epigallocatechin -3-gallate (EGCG), epigallocatechin (EGC) and epicatechin (EC). Cell, animal and human studies suggest that catechins in tea, especially EGCG, can inhibit tumor growth in the tissues of the skin, lung, mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, colon, pancreas, ovary and mammary glands2

On a population basis, people that drink tea regularly may have lower rates of some cancers than people that do not drink tea. Studies also suggest that tea consumption may lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. EGCG, the potent antioxidant in tea, may inhibit plaque formation in artery walls3.

 

How is Tea Made?

All tea is made from the leaves of the bush camellia sinsensis. Teas are classified as three major types, depending on the manufacturing process: green, oolong, and black.

Green tea is produced by drying and steaming the fresh tea leaves.

Oolong tea is produced by partially fermenting the tea leaves before drying them.

During the production of black tea, tea leaves are fermented, or oxidized, before drying and steaming. This process produces the darker color of black tea

The antioxidant content of green tea is higher than that of black or oolong tea. Drinking three to five cups of green tea a day provides about 250 milligrams of catechins, which is a desirable level.

Tea is a great choice for a beverage, because it has virtually no calories. Green tea has less caffeine than coffee and is therefore less likely to cause sleep disturbances.

Did You Know?

Green tea contains vitamins and minerals. Drinking 5 cups of green tea a day can provide 5-10 percent of the daily requirements for Vitamin B6, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin and magnesium, in addition to 25 percent of the daily requirement of potassium.

Enjoy Tea

Not only is green tea healthy for you and packed with antioxidants, it tastes good! Many people also enjoy tea for its soothing taste.

Iced tea is a refreshing summer treat. Simply place four to five tea bags in a large glass jar or pitcher, place pitcher outside in the sun or the sunniest place in your house, let steep for an hour or until water is darker in color, add ice and enjoy!

 

 

References:

1. Khan N, Mukhtar H. Tea and health: studies in humans. Curr Pharm Des. 2013;19(34):6141-7.

2. Hu G, Zhang L, Rong Y, Ni X, Sun Y. Downstream carcinogenesis signaling pathways by green tea polypheonols: a translational perspective of chemoprevention and treatment for cancers. Curr Drug Metab. 2014 Jan;15(1): 14-22. 

3. Vuong QV. Epidemiological evidence linking tea consumption to human health: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(4):523-36.