The Healing Properties of Tea
J. A. Young
For many decades, tea was criticized for its role as a stimulant, albeit, a mild one. But in recent years, studies have shown that tea has many health-related benefits. From green tea to black, tea-lovers may have more to celebrate about their beverage of choice.
Although the nutritional values of tea are rather inconsequential, its role as a healer is far greater. Noted health benefits include a reduced risk of cancer, reduced risk of heart disease, prevention of tooth decay, and it may combat blood clots, raised blood pressure, and the flu. Some recent studies even say that tea helps fight common colds and common allergies like hay fever.
When it comes to fighting cancer, tea's antioxidant flavonoids may prevent cancer-causing substances from taking hold and reeking havoc in the body, particularly the stomach. In this instance, researchers say green tea has an edge of black tea because of its increased antioxidant strength. A Japanese study demonstrated that regular green tea drinkers had significantly lower rates of stomach cancer. Another recent study demonstrated that women who drank two cups of tea daily had a reduced occurrence of ovarian cancer by 46%.
Other studies suggest that drinking green tea may discourage blood clots - a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. The tea appears to reduce cholesterol and fat levels within the blood. Two additional studies show that heavy tea drinkers suffered fewer heart attacks.
When it comes to healthy varieties of tea, it appears that green tea has the most healthful properties. Green tea undergoes the least amount of processing. The darker the tea suggests the more processing it has undergone. Nevertheless, all teas still contain amounts of polyphenols, which help fight cancer. Tea drinkers should also note that this discussion does not pertain to herbal teas. Herbal teas, or tisanes, may have other healthful properties depending on their contents, but they are not derived from the same plant as black, green, or red teas.
Finally, drinking too much tea may result in bouts of insomnia due to the caffeine contained in tea. Although tea contains less caffeine than a cup of coffee, it is still a stimulant and should be considered as such. In any case, worldwide, tea is second only to water in terms of its popularity as a consumed beverage. Its many healthful properties make it worth incorporating into your diet.
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