The Many Benefits of TeaDecember 5, 2008 Written by JP [Font too small?]
The days are getting cooler and the nights are getting downright cold. So, this is the perfect time to adopt the healthy habit of drinking a soothing, warming cup of tea every day. And modern science is giving us more reasons than ever to brew up this hot cup of healing.
Of all the teas known to man, green tea is arguably the favorite among herbalists and scientists alike. The reason for this is because of its long history of medicinal use and its recent history as a scientifically proven superstar.
I want to draw your attention to some recent findings that just might encourage you to try some tea, even if you think you don’t like tea!
The Good News About Green Tea
- A study published in November of 2008 showed that green tea lowered blood pressure and LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol), decreased inflammation and also reduced oxidation in the body (which may slow the aging process). The amazing thing is that it accomplished all this in as short as three weeks.
- Another recent study in the journal Obesity, found that a green tea beverage helped to promote weight loss in type 2 diabetics. This tea drink also helped improve insulin secretion and assisted in the maintainance of a low hemoglobin A(1c) level. These are both extremely desirable results.
It’s important to note that type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing diseases in the world. Drinking green tea regularly may help to stem that trend. And, it’s especially likely to do so if we can replace sugary drinks with this health promoting tea.
- Another important revelation about green tea can be found in the journal, Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention. In November, they published a study that found that high green tea consumption could lower the risk of colorectal adenomas by more than half. Colorectal adenomas are pre-cancerous growths that are generally removed for fear that they will develop into colon cancer.
For many people, one of the obstacles to drinking tea is that taste. But, there’s a natural and healthy way to get around that roadblock. All you have to do is brew the green tea with another type of tea that you enjoy. A few of my personal favorites include ginger tea and peppermint tea. The reasons why I use these particular teas are two-fold:
- I like the taste and they effectively mask the natural flavor of the green tea.
- They possess medicinal properties of their own. I’ll share some of that information below.
One other brief note: It’s wise to brew your green tea gently and for a short period of time (usually less than five minutes). If you “overbrew” your green tea, it will likely become bitter. Also, if you’d like to add a little no-calorie sweetness to your tea, simply sprinkle a very small amount of stevia to the mix.
The Good News About Ginger and Peppermint Tea
- Ginger tea is proven heart tonic. A study in September of ’08 found that it effectively reduced LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Peppermint tea is a traditional remedy for the digestive system. In recent years, it’s even been shown to help those suffering from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).
To summarize: If you drink tea, good for you. Keep on enjoying it. If you don’t drink tea, please consider giving it a shot. Try the tips I’ve offered. They may just make drinking tea an enjoyable, as well as a healthful experience.
Here are the links to the studies I referenced:
Green Tea vs. Colorectal Cancer
Tags: Cancer, Inflammation, Tea
Posted in Food and Drink
December 5th, 2008 at 11:58 pm
Thanks for the article. I enjoy the taste of green tea more than any other drinks, I think I’m kinda addicted to it, if I’m outside and can’t drink tea for a whole day, I feel thirsty even after I drink lots of water or beverage. I hope this is fine.
December 6th, 2008 at 1:17 am
It’s more than fine, in my opinion. Most of the research that I’ve seen points to an overall protective effect of regular green tea consumption.
My only advice would be to try and get the purest green tea possible. This becomes all the more important when you consume something frequently and abundantly.
Regarding your thirst. It’s possible that the green tea is providing something of value that the water is not. After all, in green tea, you get all the benefits of the water and the herb!
December 14th, 2008 at 11:34 pm
Great news about Ginger tea as a heart tonic!
December 15th, 2008 at 1:29 am
Ginger tea is a fantastic heart tonic, G Paul.
It’s especially good during Winter. Very warming.