August 8, 2019
If drinking the beverage, tea, is simply “not your cup of tea,” you may be missing out, according to a recent report by Reader’s Digest Canada.
Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body, dietitians and medical professionals say.
“Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” Anthony Kouri, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio, told the magazine. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”
So pinkies up; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea:
- Your risk of suffering from certain cancers goes down. The antioxidants and compounds found in tea have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, “including . skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancers,” says Uma Naidoo, M.D., director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital..” Drinking tea is just one of the simple ways you can prevent cancer.
- Your skin is healthier. Drinking black tea regularly can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer. Interestingly, how you prepare it makes a difference. “Hot black tea is helpful for squamous carcinoma of the skin,” Dr. Naidoo told Reader’s Digest. Hot tea has been found to be more beneficial than the iced alternative.
- Your risk of diabetes decreases. Drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control your blood sugar after meals.
- Your teeth get stronger. According to a study in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, green tea has an antibacterial effect that could reduce cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. Drinking green tea every day also could make developing cavities less severe.
- Your heart will thank you. The anti-inflammatory properties of tea can keep your blood vessels relaxed and clear, putting less stress on your heart. ” Dr. Naidoo recommends drinking three cups of black tea per dayto achieve the heart benefits.
- Your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease decreases. “Green tea can help you develop resistance against stress, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr. Naidoo told the news outlet. “The polyphenols protect cells from damage.”
- Your sleep could improve. “East-Asian medicinal tea can [help eliminate] insomnia,” says Dr. Naidoo. According to a study in Integrative Medicine Research,drinking tea can help improve sleep and quality of life in those with mild-to-moderate insomnia.
- Your attention span may improve. The caffeine in tea can improve your attention and alertness. “Theanine is an amino acid that is virtually unique to tea,” explains Dr. Naidoo. “It may… improve attention by relaxing the brain—but stimulating it when it is time to focus.”
- Your metabolism speeds up. “The caffeine in tea helps to improve mental acuity as well as increase metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day),” says Dr. Kouri. Just be sure you’re not overdoing it in the caffeine department. One cup of green tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and Dr. Kouri recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams.
- BUT you may not absorb enough iron. There are some “cons” to drinking tea, as well. The catechins in tea can alter your body’s ability to absorb iron. This means that even if you eat enough high-iron foods, you won’t get the benefits and could become anemic. “Though most healthy people will not be affected by this, those who have iron deficiency or anemia should abstain from large amounts of green tea,” recommends Dr. Kouri. This includes children, pregnant women, and anyone with a history of kidney disease.
- You could be at higher risk of bleeding. Drinking a large amount of tea every day could put you at risk for bleeding from a minor cut or bump. “It makes you more prone to bruising, explains Michelle Lee, M.D., a board-certified plastic surgeon who practices in Beverly Hills, California. “I require all my patients to stop drinking tea[for] two to three weeks before surgery.”
- Your medication may not work. Talk with your doctor and pharmacist before brewing a pot of tea everyday. “Catechins can interfere with some heart and blood pressure medications,” warns Dr. Kouri.
Finally, when selecting a tea, make sure it is unsweetened. Even if some flavored teas contain no calories, they still could contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Opt for making your own tea as opposed to buying it already prepared.
“The more tea leaves are processed, the less effective the catechins become, explains Dr. Kouri. “Green tea is minimally processed and has the greatest health benefits of the available teas.”
Research contact: @ReadersDigestCA