Drinking Tea is, without a doubt, beneficial to your health. And these health benefits of drinking tea, especially black tea, are truly amazing. They have been proved and concluded by studies carried out by reputed and authentic sources.
It does tend to make one sit up and ponder that the tea which you so casually drink, can give you so many health benefits
Black Tea, Green Tea, or White tea are all made from the leaves of the same plant called Camellia Sinensis. The health benefits are due to the properties present in this plant.
In the tea manufacturing process, black tea is prepared after the leaves are further dried and after full fermentation and oxidation of the tea leaves, while green tea is not oxidized completely and the leaves are not allowed to dry up as much as in black tea.
It is believed that due to this reason, the health benefits of green tea are more than the health benefits of drinking black tea. However, this is not a proven fact and the debate continues.
Four Facts about Tea you should know
- After water, black tea is the most widely drunk beverage in the world.
- Tea contains less than half of caffeine as coffee.
- The calorie content of tea (without milk and sugar) is almost negligible.
- The health benefits of tea are mainly due to polyphenols such as catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins. Catechins are basically flavonol monomers. These polyphenols have strong anti-oxidant properties.
Know what is an antioxidant
In brief, anti-oxidants neutralize the free radicals ( unstable atoms) that have been formed during oxidation that takes place in the body cells.
Free radicals, if not neutralized, do much harm to the other body cells in the body and contribute to a wide range of diseases like heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. Antioxidants, like those present in black tea, help to prevent these diseases.
Polyphenol is an antioxidant and helps to protect our body from many diseases by neutralizing free radicals formed during cellular metabolism
Tea has caffeine, antioxidants, and a lot more.
- 100 grams of black tea contains 20 mg of caffeine.
- 1 cup black tea with or without milk contains 47.4 mg caffeine.
- If you are a healthy adult, you can safely consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine a day.
- Pregnant women should not have more than 200mg of caffeine a day.
However, according to WebMD, drinking more than four or five cups of black tea a day may cause certain health issues – mainly due to caffeine-related side effects.
Besides caffeine, black tea contains
- alkaloids, including caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine
- amino acids
- minerals and trace elements
- volatile organic compounds, which contribute to its odor and taste
1 cup black tea contains the following macronutrients in the proportion mentioned:
Health benefits of drinking black tea
The health benefits of drinking black tea span across major systems of the body. They include:
- In coronary artery disease, there is dysfunction of the vasodilatation and vasoconstriction properties of the heart blood vessels. Drinking black tea over a period reverses this dysfunction. However, this benefits only those who drink it straight without the addition of milk, because the addition of milk prevents you from getting this benefit.
- Flavanols in tea keep the arteries of the body more flexible, thereby increasing blood circulation.
- Tea helps to reduce raised blood pressure.
- It helps to protect you against sunburns.
- Theaflavins in tea help to lower increased cholesterol levels.
- In a patient with bronchial asthma, drinking tea helps to make breathing easier.
- Black tea helps to kill viruses, including the herpes virus that may be present in the mouth and gums.
- It has germicidal (germ-killing) properties and kills germs that cause diarrhea, pneumonia, infections of the urinary bladder, and skin infections.
- Drinking black tea reduces the risks of breast cancer, stomach cancer, and colorectal cancer. This is attributed to a compound called TF-2, which is present in it. TF-2 specifically kills the cancer cells without damaging the normal cells.
- Black tea helps to prime up your immune system. How does it do it? Tea contains alkylamines (L-theanine) in a relatively weak form. These alkylamines are also present in certain bacteria, fungi, cancerous cells, parasites, and other invasive agents. In people who drink tea, the immune cells already have come to recognize these alkylamines. Therefore, when bacteria, enter your body, the immune cells, which have come to recognize these alkylamines, promptly combat them and destroy these infective forces.
- Black tea delays the aging process by reactivating the dying skin cells.
- Tea contains Vitamin B1 or Thiamine. How does this benefit your health?
- Vitamin B1 helps to utilize carbohydrates in your body
- Helps to metabolize amino acids
- Vitamin B1 is important for the functioning of the nerve cells
- Helps in the formation of blood
- Vitamin B1 is important for brain function
- Helps to increase blood circulation
- Contributes positively to the production of hydrochloric acid, which is present in gastric juice, thereby helping in the digestive process
To obtain the maximum health benefits from drinking tea, drink it black, without adding milk or sugar. This is a common practice in the middle east, where it is called “Suleman Chai” – chai meaning tea.
Risks and side effects
Though drinking black tea in moderation is a healthy choice for most people, excessive consumption can have certain side effects.
How much to drink is not defined, but generally exceeding 4–5 cups (710–950 ml) per day can have some harmful side effects, which are mostly caffeine-related. These include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Increased frequency in urination
- Irregular heartbeat
- Ringing in the ears
- High blood pressure