Drinking tea is good for your health, both body and mind health. Tea is the most frequently consumed beverage around the world other than water, a $6.5 billion industry in the United States alone, according to World Tea Expo. It’s also a cultural icon with innumerable local variations. There are postprandial mint teas poured with a flourish in North Africa, milky concoctions served with scones and jam on British afternoons, energizing matés brewed in the Andes, sweet teas sipped at lunches in Savannah, Georgia. In the Middle East, serving tea to a stranger is a gesture of hospitality. In Japan, it has a formal ceremony. And the aroma of a tea can bring back a memory as surely as a photograph.
“True” teas, such as black, green, oolong, and white, come from the Camellia sinensis plant. And while all four teas offer myriad health benefits, studies show that black and green teas are the front-runners in heart health, packing the most powerful antioxidant punch and helping reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 10 to 20%, according to data published in Food & Function.
Green tea may help accelerate weight loss thanks to its chemical composition. Green tea contains amino acids that signal the body to burn stored fat. The caffeine in green tea also helps boost energy so you can power through your workouts more efficiently. Studies have shown that these benefits are more pronounced in individuals of Asian decent. People of other ethnicities may also see improved weight loss numbers, but to a lower extent than others. Green tea extract is a popular weight loss supplement that is promoted to accelerate weight loss. Green tea extract is simply a concentrated form of green tea leaves. By drinking green tea, you can get the same weight loss benefits as taking a supplement.
Tea can help lower blood pressure. Drinking only half a cup of green or oolong tea a day could reduce your risk of high blood pressure by up to 50% and those that drink more can even further reduce their risk, even if they have additional risk factors. Tea aids in digestion. Tea has been used in China for thousands of years as an after-meal digestive aid and it can help you as well due to the high levels of tannins it contains.
Herbal blends have no caffeine, while traditional teas have less than 50 percent of what typically is found in coffee. That means you can consume it without those pesky effects on your nervous system, says Leslie Bonci, nutritionist and owner of Active Eating Advice. If you’re trying to switch from coffee to tea, try a chicory root tea like Teeccino, which has a mouth feel and flavor similar to coffee. Chicory root is also known to help reduce stress and is a prebiotic so may be helpful to your gut. Bonus: this tea will give you a kick of energy without the caffeine.
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