Tea is an affordable drink that can be enjoyed year-round.
A cup of hot tea can start your day off right or warm you up on a cold wintery day, and iced tea is a refreshing way to rehydrate during the heat of summer.
Whenever, however, and whatever brew of tea you prefer, there will be health benefits.
Cooling down, warming up and hydrating are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to drinking tea for health benefits.
Let’s look a little deeper into the proverbial iceberg and discover some of the multiple health benefits tea offers and some of the many different types of tea we can enjoy.
4 Varieties of Teas and How They Work in the Body
Real tea comes from a plant named Camellia sinensis and includes only four varieties:
- Green Tea
- Black Tea
- White Tea
- Oolong Tea
All other types of tea are made from other plants and fall into the category of herbal tea.
Real tea and herbal teas provide health benefits and work in different ways in the body.
- The four varieties of real tea contain antioxidants that fight free radicals within the body to help prevent diseases, including cancer.
- Tea hydrates the body, even though it many types contain caffeine.
- Tea protects from the harmful UV rays of the sun and acts as a sunscreen that works from the inside of our body to the outside.
- Compounds found in tea help the body process sugar better, especially in diabetics.
- The polyphenols in green tea may help maintain the parts of the brain that regulate learning and memory. Tea drinking protects the brain from degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
- Tea helps the heart muscles stay strong and protects against cardiovascular disease.
- Drinking tea, especially green tea, boosts the body’s fat-burning ability and improves muscle endurance.
- Herbal tea varieties help the body relax and rid itself of toxins to help prevent diseases.
All tea types work in the body to promote better health and prevent diseases.
12 Health Benefits of Tea
Improved Heart Health
Studies have shown that drinking green tea regularly lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises the level of good cholesterol.
The antioxidant effect of black tea decreases the risk of a heart attack.
Improved Dental Health
Japanese researchers discovered in 2010 that people who drank green tea regularly had healthier gums and decreased tooth loss.
The green tea inhibits the development of periodontal bacteria on the surface of the teeth.
As a bonus that improves dental health, all varieties of tea do not erode tooth enamel like soft drinks and fruit juice can.
Boosts Immune System Health
Research conducted at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School has shown that the L-theanine found in black tea helps the immune system fend off many types of bacteria, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.
Weight Loss Aid
All types of tea are naturally calorie-free and can be beneficial in weight loss and maintenance.
Flavorful herbal teas or calorie-free natural flavors, like cinnamon or ginger, will help reduce sugar intake without a reduction in flavor.
Fights Free Radicals
Tea fights free radicals within the body and helps keep us healthy.
Damaged caused by free radicals has been linked to age-related neurological decline, cancer, and heart disease.
Green tea has been found to reduce the formation of beta-amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, by interfering with the function of beta-amyloid oligomers.
The beta-amyloid is referred to as “sticky” protein clumps together, forming plaques that disrupt communication between nerve cells.
A progressive loss of memory and thinking, along with a change in behavior, soon follows after the communication between nerve cells occurs.
Reduces Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
A recent study revealed that drinking tea reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. This only applies to those who drink at least one cup of black tea every day.
It’s the caffeine in the tea that seems to reduce the risk and green or herbal teas don’t contain caffeine.
Reduces Cancer Risk
The polyphenols have been shown to have an antioxidant effect and to inhibit the growth of malignant tumors.
Data reveals regularly drinking tea can reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, lung, oral, stomach, esophageal, and pancreatic.
Several clinical trials have been conducted to discover how tea prevents cancer and the results were positive.
Study participants with oral lesions that were precursor markers for potential oral cancer had those lesions reduced by drinking tea over the clinical trial period.
Pre-cancerous markers in urine, known as 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), were reduced with the consumption of tea during one of the clinical trials.
These markers are high in people who have the potential of developing lung, liver, kidney, breast, ovarian, stomach, and brain cancer.
Tea Hydrates the Body
Dehydration is a serious health concern, especially in those that have pre-existing conditions and in the elderly.
Tea is a low-caffeine drink, (green tea contains no caffeine) so the beverages have a minimal diuretic effect.
Tea gives your body much more water than it causes your body to lose, so it helps to keep your body hydrated.
Helps Prevent Sunburn
Many people are aware of home remedies for sunburn using tea bags.
The tannic acid in black tea eases the pain of sunburn and promotes healing when applied to sunburned skin.
Drinking tea, especially green tea, will help prevent the skin from burning when exposed to the sun.
The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and photoprotective properties found in green tea help make the skin more tolerant of direct sun.
While the skin will still burn when exposed to direct sun, those who consume green tea regularly can tolerate longer exposure before the skin begins to burn.
Tea Helps Prevent Diabetes
A recent study has found that black tea significantly reduces rises in blood glucose levels among both healthy and pre-diabetic adults.
That’s because of the polyphenols found in black tea lower glycemic response when food’s eaten. Polyphenols antioxidants that are found naturally in plants and tea is made from a plant.
The leaves of the tea plant are processed differently for black, green and white tea.
Black tea becomes more oxidized than other tea varieties and this allows the black tea to help the body process sugar more efficiently and play an active role in preventing diabetes.
Tea Helps Cancer Patients Recover Faster
A study by scientists from California and Germany discovered that the damage caused to the skin during radiation treatments for cancer healed much faster in patients who consumed it regularly.
Those who drank tea, either green or black, healed up to 10 days faster than patients undergoing radiation who did not drink it.
A separate study also found that tea helps protect against cellular degeneration when skin is exposed to radiation during cancer treatment.
Tea Strengthens Bones
A recent study conducted in England discovered that drinking tea helps to strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis in women.
Previous studies have indicated that the caffeine in teas increases the risk of bone fractures in women, especially hip fractures, but this recent study indicates that its consumption actually protects against hip fractures by strengthening the bone.
Older women who drink tea regularly have higher bone density measurements than those who don’t drink it.
It is thought that the minerals found in tea improve bone density and therefore help to strengthen bones.
12 Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits
Black tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world (water is number 1).
It contains the most caffeine of all tea varieties but less caffeine than coffee.
Black tea contains antioxidants and compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body which reduces the risk factor for a wide range of diseases.
Drinking 2-5 cups of black tea daily will provide you with a wealth of health benefits.
Black tea improves heart health, lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, promotes the growth of good bacteria in the digestive system, reduces blood pressure, reduces risk of stroke, lowers blood sugar level, reduces cancer risk, helps improve focus, and helps reduce body fat.
Chamomile tea is a potent antispasmodic and provides relief for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, Chron’s disease, and menstrual cramps.
The soothing herbal tea is made from dried chamomile flowers and the potency of the tea depends upon how strong the herbal tea is.
The downside to the potency factor is the more potent the chamomile tea, the more likely there will be side effects.
The side effects vary from person to person and it’s recommended to start with a low potency of the flavorful herb tea and increase the potency slowly to see how you will be affected by it.
Chamomile tea relieves menstrual cramps and also reduces the anxiety which often accompanies the monthly cycle.
Chamomile tea also reduces inflammation throughout the body which results in less painful periods, reductions in stomach pain associated with irritable bowel syndrome and Chron’s disease.
A wide range of health problems are associated with inflammation, including arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and drinking chamomile tea regularly can help reduce inflammation.
Chamomile herbal tea also helps to lower blood sugar and has shown promise as a viable natural medicine for diabetics.
Chamomile helps to prevent the onset of osteoporosis by increasing bone density.
Relaxation and improved sleep is the best-known health benefit chamomile tea provides. A cup before bedtime helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than usual.
Oolong tea is made from the same plant that black and green tea is made from, but the leaves are processed differently.
It’s a traditional Chinese tea that is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and health benefits. 2-6 cups per day are enough to derive the health benefits without changing the antioxidant effect into a pro-oxidant effect which is the opposite of antioxidants.
Oolong tea helps reduce blood sugar, improves heart health, improves brain function, aids in weight loss, protects against cancer, helps to build strong teeth and muscles, promotes oral health, and relieves eczema.
Green tea is refreshing and loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that are good for the body, and it can even make you smarter.
Green tea contains caffeine, not as much as coffee, but enough to improve brain function.
Green tea also contains amino acids, and when combined with the caffeine it will help you stay awake and focused so you can retain knowledge and ultimately become smarter.
Green tea enables your body to burn fat faster, improve physical performance, reduce risk of certain types of cancer like breast, prostate and colon cancers, prevent age-related brain disorders like Alzheimer’s, improve dental health by killing bacteria in the mouth, reduce risk of infection, reduce diabetes risk, and improve heart health.
Matcha tea is made from dried green tea leaves that have been ground into a fine powder.
It’s claimed to deliver a mega-dose of antioxidants because you are actually ingesting the leaves of the plant.
Matcha tea not only provides a mega-dose of antioxidants but drinking it also detoxifies the body naturally.
This tea is rich in fiber, chlorophyll, and vitamins, and help the body relax while keeping the mind alert.
Drinking this tea will help lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, boost metabolism so your body burns fats more efficiently, and helps protect against cancer.
This unpopular weed makes a tea that is rich in antioxidants and offers a wide array of health benefits to those who drink it.
Studies show dandelion tea improves appetite, improves digestion, detoxifies the liver, acts as a mild diuretic, prevents and treats urinary tract infection, lowers blood sugar, protects against cancer, and fights against free radicals.
Moringa tea is made from a plant that’s native to South Asia and is known for its medicinal properties.
With more calcium than milk, as well as iron, vitamin A and K, moringa tea is quickly becoming a superfood.
The tea contains antifungal, antiviral, antidepressant, and anti-inflammatory properties, plus several vitamins, minerals, and protein.
Moringa tea lowers blood sugar, lowers blood pressure, aids in weight loss, reduces the pain of arthritis, relieves constipation and stops diarrhea, eases stomach pain, helps the body eliminate kidney stones, and promotes healthy thyroid function.
This herbal tea also fights against cancer cells, relieves asthma symptoms and reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures.
The nettle plant, also known as stinging nettle, is a native plant that grows wild in wooded areas. The plant is a member of the mint family and well known for its mild diuretic effect.
Drink 1-3 cups daily of nettle tea to keep your body and mind clear.
Refreshing and soothing peppermint tea is made by steaming a few sprigs of fresh peppermint in hot water.
Just the aroma of this tea will begin to relax you and help reduce stress, and that will continue as you drink the tea.
The warm tea soothes a sore throat and opens up clogged sinus passages.
Peppermint tea also soothes an upset stomach, relaxes muscles, promotes better sleep, aids in weight loss, improves digestion, fights bad breath, boosts the immune system, fights against free radicals with its multitude of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. (4)(5)
Spearmint plants are a favorite to grow in home gardens and provides a well-recognized flavor that is found in toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, and candy.
The plant leaves also make a flavorful tea that benefits health.
Spearmint tea relieves gas, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps.
The herbal spearmint tea is high in antioxidants that fight against free radicals and promotes overall good health.
This tea balances females hormones, reduces facial hair on women, improves memory, fights infection, lowers blood sugar and blood pressure, reduces stress, eases the pain of arthritis, and helps to keep you hydrated.
The warm herbal tea also helps to soothe an irritated throat and opens up sinus passages.
Drink 1-3 cups of spearmint tea daily to derive all its health benefits.
Ginger is a well-known ingredient used to calm upset stomachs and reduce episodes of morning sickness experienced by pregnant mothers.
Ginger tea also has a warming effect on the body and makes an excellent beverage to enjoy during the cold winter months.
Other flavors, like honey, peppermint or lemon can be added to a cup of hot ginger tea to increase its health benefits.
In addition to relieving stomach issues such as nausea, ginger tea reduces inflammation, lowers blood sugar, fights respiratory problems, improves blood circulation, helps to keep arteries clear of plaque build-up, reduces the pain of menstrual cramps, relieves stress, and strengthens the immune system.
Start drinking a cup of ginger tea each day for a week before embarking on travel to prevent motion sickness.
Enjoying a cup daily during the winter can also reduce the instances of cold, flu and upper respiratory infections associated with cold weather.
Milk Thistle Tea
Milk thistle is a native plant that has been used in a wide range of home remedies for centuries.
When the stem of the plant is broken, white sap oozes out that looks like milk which is how the plant got its name.
The stem also is covered with thistles from top to bottom and it will produce a purple bloom on top of the stem.
This daisy relative also produces a wide array of health benefits when it’s made into a tea.
The most common health benefit of milk thistle tea is the detoxifying effect it has on the liver.
It can reverse liver damage in some instances and promote healthy liver function.
This herbal tea lowers cholesterol, aids in weight loss, helps manage blood sugar, reduces inflammation, improves asthma symptoms, inhibits the growth of certain types of cancer cells, prevents bone loss, improves brain function and prevents memory loss, and boosts the immune system.
Enjoy a cup of milk thistle day every day for its delicious flavor and health benefits.