Health Benefits of Tea

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Unsweetened tea contains virtually no calories, protein, sodium or fat, making it an ideal beverage for those who are health-conscious.

According to an article published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, tea both rehydrates and offers protection against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Compounds called antioxidants are believed to be the most important ingredient in tea when it comes to promoting health. Antioxidants are also found in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, meats and wine.

Among the different types of antioxidants found in tea are flavonoids, polyphenols and catechins, compounds that fight against free radical damage to healthy cells.

While all teas contain these beneficial substances, teas differ in their antioxidant content. White tea has more antioxidants than any other type tea, and higher quality teas are believed to contain more catechins than the supermarket variety. Green tea retains more catechins than black tea as it is subject to less processing.

Green tea is in fact believed to help fight against cancer, arthritis, high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease, as well as boost the immune system. It’s also reputed to promote weight loss.

A number of studies have demonstrated the cancer-fighting properties of antioxidant polyphenols found in tea. Studies have suggested that drinking 4 -6 cups of tea per day can reduce the risk of gastric, esophageal and skin cancers thanks to these polyphenol compounds.

Tea also contains fluoride and has anti-bacterial properties. Drinking tea can reduce dental plaque and tooth decay, control bad breath and strengthen bones.

Researchers have found evidence that drinking three to four cups of tea a day can lower cholesterol and protect against heart disease (Journal of Nutrition, 2003).

Many experts believe that tea actually offers more health benefits than drinking plain water!

Teas for Weight Loss

Various teas are marketed as weight loss aids. But there’s no tea that will magically melt unwanted pounds!

The key is to use these teas as a complement to a sound weight loss strategy. In other words, eat healthy foods, avoid excess fat, sugar and refined carbohydrates, and most importantly, get plenty of regular exercise.

Green tea

Green tea, as a beverage or in dried extract form, has long been used as a weight loss aid, due to its thermogenic (fat-burning) properties. Green tea contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols, which increase fat oxidation and fat burning.

It also contains caffeine, whose fat-burning properties are well established, but its catechin polyphenols are believed to play a greater role.
Green tea also slows down the release of carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood insulin levels. This in turn also promotes the burning of fat.

Wulong tea

Wulong (oolong) tea, also called Chinese slimming tea, is widely touted as promoting weight loss by speeding up the body’s metabolic rate and blocking the absorption of carbohydrates.

Often scented with jasmine flowers, Wulong tea is heavily marketed as a kind of “magic” weight loss tea. But whether it actually has greater thermogenic properties than other types of tea is the subject of debate.

That said, it certainly offers the same benefits as other teas and can complement a healthy weight loss program.

Yerba mate

While not technically a tea, Yerba Mate, widely consumed in South America and other parts of the world, is noted for its slimming properties. Mate infusions suppress appetite, increase the rate at which the body burns calories and increases urination. These three factors, combined with a healthy eating plan, can help achieve weight-loss goals.

Tea Remedies

For tired feet
Relieve sore feet by soaking them in a cold chamomile or peppermint tea brew for 15 minutes.

For puffy, tired eyes
Place lukewarm tea bags over both eyelids and leave in place for about ten minutes. Cotton balls soaked in cold tea may also be used.

For minor cuts and scrapes
Soak a cotton ball in cold tea and apply to minor cuts or scrapes for five minutes at a time. Can be repeated as needed.

To relieve sunburn
Place a few cold, wet teabags on the affected skin to reduce the pain of sunburn.

To relieve toothache
Gargling with peppermint tea can help relieve toothache until you can get to your dentist.

As a hair rinse
After shampooing, rinse your hair with a cup of herbal tea for softness and shine.

To darken hair
For darker color and shine, use black tea as a hair rinse.

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