1. Secret compound = flavonoids
Did you know that the tea plant is rich in antioxidant like compounds called flavonoids? In fact tea contains 750 times more flavonoids than coffee. Flavonoids are active dietary compounds naturally found in plants – and tea has it in abundance. A diet rich in flavonoids can protect through antioxidant activity and provide anti-inflammatory benefits as well. Tea’s positive health effects have been linked to its high flavonoid content.
2. Green = Black for health
Green and black teas (as well as white and oolong teas) come from the same plant – camellia sinensis. It’s an evergreen shrub that grows well in China, India and Kenya. Tea farmers pluck tea leaves then dry them. Tea leaves destined to become green tea are dried for a shorter length of time than the tea leaves that will become black tea. Researchers find that the health benefits from the tea leaves of the camellia sinensis plant are essentially the same whether they are dried to green or black teas. Taste is the key difference between green and black teas. Remember to brew your green tea for about 3 min in 80C water, whereas black teas can be brewed at higher temperature water (100C) and a bit longer for 5 min. Enjoy!
3. What’s good for the heart is good for the brain
Heart health is one of the most studied health benefits of tea. Researchers are finding that tea’s natural plant compounds called flavonoids have powerful health benefits that help reduce the risk of high blood pressure, which in turn helps reduce heart disease and stroke. Tea flavonoid compounds can function as antioxidants, but researchers are finding benefits that go well beyond. While investigators are still exploring the various mechanisms by which tea flavonoids work, scientists in Australia found that regular consumption of 3 cups of black tea a day can result in significantly lower blood pressure.
4. Tea is a ZERO calorie natural beverages
Brewed tea is a simple drink made of tea leaves and water and has zero calories. No wonder it’s the second most consumed beverage around the world after water. Tea has been found to help promote weight loss in studies published in the December 2013 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Several studies suggest drinking calorie-free tea may help with weight management. Preliminary research suggests that tea flavonoids help elevate metabolic rate, increase fat oxidation and improve insulin activity. Tea catechins can also provide modest shifts in metabolism that may improve weight loss and maintenance. http://www.teausa.com/teausa/images/TeaCouncil-ResearchDoc-2015.pdf
5. Tea keeps caffeine in check
Caffeine is a natural compound and is generally considered safe when consumed in moderation. Although tea contains some caffeine, it’s 66% less than found in an equal sized serving of coffee, but still enough to provide the cognitive benefits. In a cup (250 ml) of tea there is about 45 mg of caffeine versus a cup of coffee which has 142 mg caffeine. Since Health Canada recommends that adults limit their caffeine intake to no more than 400 mg/day, this means you can enjoy about 8 cups tea a day OR 2 cups of coffee a day to stay within the limit. Enjoy herbal teas or decaffeinated teas if you want no caffeine in your beverages. For more information visit www.tea.ca