Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world and has been around for millennia. In recent years, modern scientific research has begun to provide insight into how and why tea is so beneficial to us. Here are 10 reasons to make time in your daily life for a cup of tea:
Keeps You Hydrated
Staying hydrated is one of the most important aspects of basic health. Without fluids, our bodies can’t function as they’re meant to— we feel tired and hungry, our skin starts to dry out and our body starts to produce more cholesterol to keep our cells working. While tea can’t replace water, drinking tea to stay hydrated helps your body keep working as it should.
Helps You Focus
Tea has less caffeine than coffee, so it shouldn’t make you jittery, but it still packs enough punch to improve focus and cognition. Caffeine combined with an amino acid naturally present in tea works to improve reaction time and memory. The boost to working memory and attention span provided by green tea may help reduce the risk of dementia and improve overall brain health.
Lowers Risk of Cancer
The polyphenols in tea are powerful antioxidants that work hard to fight cancer-causing free radicals in the body. Sipping green tea daily can reduce the risk for several kinds of cancer including stomach, prostate, pancreatic, ovarian and breast cancer.
Lowers Caloric Intake
Before a bunch of sugar and milk is added, tea has a negligible amount of calories: An 8-oz. cup of black tea has 2.4 calories. Replacing sodas and other high-calorie drinks with a cup of tea greatly reduces the amount of calories being consumed every day, and tea boasts health benefits that other drinks don’t offer.
Green tea and oolong tea increase your metabolism to help you lose weight. Oolong tea contains polyphenols to block fat-building enzymes. White tea is less processed than other types of tea and contains extra potent polyphenols, making it another great option. When it comes to choosing a tea to boost your metabolism, it’s hard to go wrong.
Protects Your Teeth
Black tea has powerful antioxidants that prevent plaque from clinging to your teeth and causing cavities. Since plaque buildup is the cause of bad breath and a load of dental problems, drinking black tea regularly can protect your teeth and gums, leading to happier dental checkups. Polyphenols in black tea also inhibit the growth of bacteria, protecting you from bad breath. Tea is also a great source of fluoride, which can help protect and strengthen tooth enamel.
Lowers Risk of Stroke
Drinking three or more cups of green or black tea per day can reduce your risk of ischemic stroke by 21%. Consuming more tea results in a more drastic reduction of stroke risk. While the research on why tea reduces stress risk so efficiently is still in early stages, many scientists believe the catechins in tea may provide protection to blood vessels.
Improves Joint Health
Green tea reduces inflammation, which can cause a wide variety of painful health issues. Drinking tea may have an anti-arthritic impact, reducing pain from joint breakdown. There’s also evidence that catechins in tea may help prevent cartilage from breaking down and preserve joints longer. Anti-inflammatory properties of tea can also help those suffering from a headache.
Reduces Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a stress hormone your body releases that makes your skin appear to age more quickly and contributes to the build-up of belly fat. Drinking a few cups of tea per day can reduce cortisol spikes, lowering the risk of aging skin and keeping your waistline under control.
Studies have found that tea drinkers have a higher bone density than non-drinkers. Phytochemicals in tea such as flavonoids may help protect you against bone loss, and adding milk to the tea gives an added boost to this benefit. Bone health is a critical part of health and is especially important as our bodies get older and more fragile. Nutrients in tea may help protect older women from osteoporosis, reducing the risk of bone fractures.
With the list of benefits tea can provide, the reasons to add a few cups to your daily diet are nearly endless. Drinking tea is a perfect place to start introducing good habits for a happier and healthier body.