Nothing is more relaxing, rewarding and satisfying than snuggling up under a warm blanket with a hot cup of tea and a great novel. Sure, that tea fills you with a sense of peace and contentment, but what you might not realize is that it also has a profound effect on your body in other ways. For decades, scientists have been studying the positive effects of a variety of popular teas.
The next time you’re perusing the tea aisle of your local grocery store, keep these potential health benefits in mind. You may be surprised at how much that relaxing cup of tea can make you feel better long after the kettle is empty.
Unlike many varieties of “calming” tea, black tea has a high concentration of caffeine. Aside from a great pick-me-up, black tea also possesses several lesser-known and surprising health benefits.
The naturally occurring build-up of bacteria on the teeth leads to decay, breakage and tooth loss. Several studies indicate that the tannin and polyphenols found in black tea act as a natural antibiotic that eliminates this excess bacteria. Aside from improving the appearance of your teeth, killing this bacteria can also help prevent oral cancer.
Caffeine is a stimulant that not only puts a little pep in your step — it also gently speeds up your metabolism. A faster metabolism burns calories more efficiently, which in turn helps people lose weight.
Once again, black tea acts as a mild antibiotic. This property also helps prevent the formation of acne, which occurs when bacteria, dirt and oils clog the pores.
Unlike many other varieties of fermented or “processed” tea, white tea is usually found in its purest form on your grocery store shelf. It’s for this reason alone why many of the tea’s properties are so powerful.
Several studies have shown that regularly consuming white tea can improve your bone’s density and strength. This is especially critical for women and men over 50. As the human body ages, its ability to store and process calcium is minimized. Drinking white tea in addition to taking a calcium supplement can help bones remain stronger.
In an effort to reduce their “bad” cholesterol levels, many people turn to a restrictive diet and prescription medications. While lowering your intake of saturated fats is a great place to start, drinking white tea can also help keep your cholesterol in check. White tea’s cholesterol-lowering power is due to its copious amounts of catechins.
Chances are you’ve read a lot about the benefits of green tea. From helping prevent several types of cancer — including pancreatic, lung and breast — to reducing the risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease, green tea’s healing benefits are profound and well-studied. However, you might not realize there are several other lesser-known reasons to keep drinking your daily steaming cup of green tea.
Green tea is packed with a substance called theanine, which is an amino acid believed to contain several healing and relaxing properties. If consumed over a long period of time, it’s believed this can actually lessen some of the symptoms associated with depression. Of course, you can also just keep yourself relaxed by enjoying a cup now and then.
Protection Against Glaucoma
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry uncovered a surprising link between the regular consumption of green tea and fewer incidents of glaucoma. It’s believed the antioxidant properties found in green tea can actually be transported from the stomach and intestines to the eye’s tissue.
Boost Your Antibiotics
Another study found that patients who consumed green tea while on a course of antibiotics enjoyed something of an unusual benefit. The green tea actually helped boost the power of the prescription medication, helping patients heal that much faster.
Green, black and white teas are some of the most popular varieties on the market, but there is another powerful tea you might not know exists. Aside from a pleasant taste, valerian root tea also has several surprising benefits. If you unwind after a stressful day, there is nothing better than getting comfortable while you enjoy a steaming cup of valerian tea, which possesses several calming, relaxing properties.
About the Author: Maggie Hampton is a guest blogger and holistic healer.