Tea is an ancient drink, dating back thousands of years. Leaves and roots steep in water creating tasty concoctions that also deliver many health benefits.
Much research goes into different types of tea for their physical benefits. Scientists know certain teas can help the heart, blood pressure, mood, sleep, pain, and just about every other physical ailment.
But, more and more, we're seeing the benefits coming from the act of drinking tea just as much as we get out of the chemical components found in the tea. The ritual of preparing the tea is nearly as important as the tea itself.
We're going to talk at the end of the article about how to prepare a good cup of tea to get the most out of it. First, let's talk about what tea is.
Tea refers explicitly to the Camellia sinensis plant. Black, green, oolong, and white tea all comes from this plant. It's technically the only leaves used to create tea. Herbal teas are technically tisanes, although that distinction really doesn't matter for a good cup.
No matter what kind of tea you enjoy they can bring you a lot of joy.
Helps Mental Awareness
Green tea especially has wonderful properties for your brain. It can help reduce anxiety, improve your memory, and support healthy brain function. A 2017 review showed that consuming at least 3.3 fluid ounces of green tea each day may be enough to help protect neurocognitive function.
A separate observational study showed that people might be less likely to develop depression if they drink green tea. It may be due to changing the gray matter in the brain, helping to prevent various psychiatric diseases.
The caffeine in black tea can help improve mental awareness and function. For people who enjoy coffee, switching to black tea can help give the same benefits.
Plus, the act of preparing tea can be meditative, and slowing down to properly prepare tea can give your brain and anxiety a break.
Steeped In Antioxidants
All types of tea have a tremendous amount of antioxidants. Herbal teas have different kinds, depending on what plant they came from, but every single one is a benefit to your system. These antioxidants are essential for your body to protect against free radical damage that causes disease and visible signs of aging.
Tea is also a fabulous way to get water into your system, as it can flavor your water and bring additional health benefits. The antioxidants mean tea generally tastes fresh and delicious, whether warm or cold.
Reduce Heart Disease Risk
The flavanols within tea, particularly black tea, may be able to help lower blood pressure. EGCG, a common component in green tea, links to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, and better antioxidant capacity.
May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
White tea is a very light-tasting tea with a tremendous amount of antioxidants. Some current research shows that it might even have enough antioxidants to help put it on the list for helping to prevent cancer. Because white tea has the least amount of processing, it retains the most amount of antioxidants.
Reduces Diabetes Complications
Chamomile tea is a beautiful tea to help reverse various damage, such as kidney damage, nerve damage, and vision complications of type 2 diabetes. Although chamomile does nothing for blood sugars, it helps repair the damage done by the sugars.
Increases Weight Loss
EGCG found in green tea might help improve metabolic response rates and fat-burning ability. Caffeine helps increase metabolism and gives you a burst of energy to do more. Plus, combined with getting more water into your system, tea can provide you an extra boost to your workout.
Some herbal teas such as hibiscus, peppermint, and ginger can help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness after a workout.
Calms Stomach Problems
Various herbal teas can calm your stomach. Peppermint and ginger teas help reduce IBS, indigestion, and reflux. Chamomile and weak peppermint tea are often given to young children and babies to help calm colic.
Downside To Tea
He isn't perfect, however. Dentists are not a big fan of tea, because the tannins found in black and green tea can stain your teeth. Unless you're a heavy tea drinker, it's only a color change, not actual damage. Frequent brushing with a whitening toothpaste can mitigate some of these problems.
You should avoid adding sugar and dairy products to your tea, as well. Honey is a good addition for the health benefits but should not be used regularly.
Additionally, you should avoid tea supplements. Some of them have been linked to liver damage due to the extremely high concentration of tannins and other nutrients and lack of buffers that protect against that damage.
How To Prepare A Good Cup of Tea
First, if you want good health benefits, you have to get good tea. You're not going to find good tea cheaply in the grocery store.
Dozens of online markets sell whole leaf tea, or you can find a local health food or natural food store that sells tea. If you're in a larger city, there's probably a tea shop where you can get high-quality tea.
Secondly, always use fresh, filtered water. Chlorine can make tea taste bitter.
Third, use the proper temperatures:
- Black teas: 190° to 200°F (88° to 93°C) for 2-3 minutes
- Oolong teas: 180° to 200°F (82°to 93°C) for 1 minute
- White teas: 160° to 185°F (71° to 85°C) for 2-3 minutes
- Green teas: 140° to 190° F (60° to 88° C) for 1-2 minutes
If you use water that's too hot, or you let it steep too long, your tea will come out tasting bitter and nasty.
You can re-steep the tea leaves at the correct temperature several times, if you use quality leaves. The tea will have a slightly different taste profile each time, so take that time to savor each cup.
Finally, take the time to enjoy drinking your cup of tea. The act of preparing your tea properly, taking a few minutes to let it steep, and gently sipping, the results can give you a fantastic moment to relax and appreciate life. A break in the middle of the workday can help you reset and calm down.
If you're looking for cool or chilled tea, simply prepare it as above and put it over ice or allow it to chill.
We hope you try good tea and enjoy the health benefits you can get from drinking more water and this wonderful beverage.