Being one of the oldest drinks in the world, it is difficult to nail down exactly when drinking tea originated. The history of tea spans thousands of years, but likely began at least 1000 years BCE, during the Shang dynasty in China. The plant itself first emerged in Southeast Asia, then quickly spread throughout the Eastern half of the globe. While ancient folklore often guessed at healthy tea benefits, modern science has uncovered and confirmed some surprising advantages. Though perks are largely related to the type of tea consumed, these seven benefits will have you in love with this unique drink, all over again.
Caffeine Makes For Healthy Tea
An exciting correlation between tea and improved health relates to caffeine intake. In a study of 13,540 individuals, caffeine from all types of tea and coffee were found to decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes. Keep in mind that high levels of sugar and fat can increase your chance of diabetes. To benefit from this healthy tea advantage, make sure not to load too much cream or sugar into your mug with your tea bag.
Green Tea Improves Eye Health
In a 2010 study conducted in Hong Kong, green tea was found to positively affect eye tissue. Found concentrated mostly in the retina tissue, this study suggests that green tea may keep your eyes healthy, plus promote healthy tissue growth. The component of tea responsible is called catechin, a naturally occurring antioxidant. High quantities of this antioxidant in eye tissue is one healthy tea benefit worthy raising a cup to.
White Tea Is Healthy Tea Too
White tea is high in polyphenols, another healthy tea component with antioxidant effects. The polyphenols specific to white tea may help strengthen elastin and collagen growth. Great news for those of use who fear increasing wrinkles, white tea was found to fight signs of aging more effectively than any other plant tested. In this study, green tea was also found to aid in healthy elastin and collagen growth, though nearly half as effectively as white tea.
Black Tea For Your Heart
In several studies, black tea has been found to positively impact your heart health. In one study, the antioxidant flavonoids found in black tea had a direct effect on increasing flexibility in individuals arteries. This means that black tea helps to keep your arteries dilated – an important component in a healthy heart. Additionally, black tea flavonoids were found to decrease chemical levels that may contribute to heart disease. This is particularly good news for people more prone to heart problems than others.
White Tea Fights Cancer
Other studies have found white tea has powerful anti-carcinogen effects. White tea definitely helps inhibit cancer growth, an easy way to help yourself stay healthy. Though these studies find tea is effective against many types of cancer, tea is by no means a miracle cure. Instead, tea is a powerful supplement to keep your body functioning at maximum capacity.
Healthy Tea Helps Fight Parkinson’s
In a 2007 study of nearly 30 000 people, drinking three or more cups of tea daily was shown to decrease an individuals likelihood of developing Parkinson’s Disease. The study looked at both men and women, and adjusted for ulterior factors such as cholesterol, exercise, gender, and smoking habits. Another great excuse to reach for another cup of healthy tea.
Green Tea For Healthy Bones
Another green tea superpower is protecting your bone health. In one laboratory study, green tea was found to positively impact bone density in both high fat and low fat diets. Antioxidant polyphenols to the rescue once again, this study found that green tea consumption also helped fat free tissue growth in the high fat diet group. Whether you are a beginner at caring for your health, or a true health guru, tea has something to offer you.
Featured photo credit: Michael Camilleri via flickr.com