According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A. Inc., tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in nearly 80% of U.S. households. While most people know that tea is good for them, they likely don’t know all the health benefits of this popular comforting beverage.
On any given day, over 159 million Americans are drinking tea, and in 2019 we consumed over 84 billion servings. About 84% of all tea consumed was black tea, 15% was green tea, and the small remaining amount was oolong, white, or dark tea.
According to Medical Daily and other sources, tea’s popularity is well deserved. The health benefits of tea include:
- Boosts metabolism. A review of several studies revealed that the polyphenols in tea reduce body fat by increasing your metabolism. Just remember not to add too much sugar to your cup.
- Improves oral health. The same polyphenols found in both green and black teas interact with the plaque bacteria found in your mouth, say experts at the University of Rochester Medical Center. The polyphenols kill bacteria or prevent them from manufacturing acid that attacks teeth. If your water has fluoride, a cup of tea can be great source of this mineral, which also helps prevent cavities.
- Fights inflammation. The antioxidants in tea help fight inflammation, says Medical Daily. Research has found that these antioxidants are 100 times more potent than vitamin C.
- Improves insulin sensitivity. Scientists discovered that green tea can help reduce complications of diabetes because it protects cells from damage and inflammation.
- Boosts brain function. Green tea contains both caffeine and L-theanine, compounds that improve brain function, according to Healthline. Studies have found that these two compounds are effective on their own, improving mood and vigilance, but they also work synergistically, resulting in even more powerful effects on brain function.
- Lowers cancer risk. Another benefit of green tea is that the antioxidants it contains have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including breast cancer, says Healthline. In fact, one review of several studies found that women who drank the most green tea had a whopping 20-30% lower risk of developing breast cancer than those who drank the least or none at all.
- Soothes the gut. The polyphenols found in tea benefit your gut bacteria, enhancing immunity against disease and improving blood sugar levels.
- Reduces anxiety. Teas such as chamomile and peppermint have been used for centuries to calm frazzled nerves — an excellent antidote to everyday stress.
- Helps your heart. The American Heart Association says that drinking at least a cup of tea daily may improve your HDL, or “good” cholesterol, reversing the age-related natural decline of this beneficial form of cholesterol.
- Boosts fertility. Medical Daily says that women struggling with fertility issues may find that drinking tea helps their efforts. Studies have determined that the polyphenols are responsible for the association between tea and increased fertility.
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