5 Health Benefits of Tea + How to Brew the Perfect Cup
I’m going to give you the bottom line right at the start of this post: The health benefits of tea largely come from their phytochemical disease-fighters, particularly flavonoids and other polyphenol compounds. These are the same types of health-boosting compounds found in fruits, vegetables and other plants. Quite a bit of research suggests at the health benefits of tea rather than solidly stating them as facts. Regardless, sip confidently. Other than water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, and there are lots of ways it can be good for us.
Black, oolong, green and white teas each come from the leaves of the evergreen Camellia sinesis. Their taste and color variations stem from their stage of growth and level of fermentation. They all appear to have health benefits, so don’t get caught up in worrying about which is the best tea. One type of tea to skip though is bottled tea. Most ready-to-drink teas contain little, if any, flavonoids.
I love to sit down with a pretty cup filled with hot tea. It’s very soothing, and I feel like I’m treating myself well.
5 health benefits of tea
- Tea is good for the heart. Tea drinking is associated with reduced risk of heart attack, lowering of high blood pressure and improved cholesterol levels.
- Tea might help prevent type 2 diabetes. In the large Women’s Health Study, women who consumed at least four cups of tea daily had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than non-tea drinkers. Other studies have shown that compounds in green tea help regulate blood sugar levels.
- Black tea might help your bones. Drinking black tea appears to improve bone density.
- Tea might help you keep your mental edge. Some studies have found that the cognitive abilities of tea drinkers are greater than those who do not drink tea. A Japanese study found that drinking green tea was associated with less risk of decreased mental abilities among older people.
- Tea might lower cancer risk. Here again, studies are not so clear cut, but there is some evidence to suggest that drinking tea may help shield against prostate cancer and digestive cancers such as cancers of the colon and esophagus.
If you want to learn more about the health benefits of tea, scroll to the bottom of this post for some great references.
Learn how tea may boost your health. Plus, how to brew the perfect cup.Learn how tea may boost your health. Plus, how to brew the perfect cup.Click To Tweet
Brew the perfect cup of tea
So know that you know how drinking tea may be good for, you’ll want to brew it right.
|Type of Tea||Temperature||Steeping Time|
|Black tea has the darkest color and strongest flavor. Its leaves are fully fermented.||Bring water to a boil.||3 – 5 minutes|
|Green tea has a delicate flavor and light color. Its leaves are not fermented.||Allow boiled water to cool for about 10 minutes before pouring.||1 minute|
|Oolong tea has a flavor and color between black and green teas because the leaves of oolong tea are partially fermented.||180-190°F||5 – 7 minutes|
|White tea comes from leaves harvested when they are very young. They are not fermented.||180-190°F||3 – 4 minutes|
|Iced tea is also packed with health-boosting compounds when freshly brewed and refrigerated for only a couple days. When the bottom of the pitcher is cloudy, the flavonoids have degraded.||1 quart of boiling water for 8 – 10 tea bags||3 – 5 minutes
Adjust the strength of your tea with additional cold water or ice cubes.
Check out these sources for more information about tea’s health benefits.
- American Institute for Cancer Research
- Black tea review
- Tea review article
- Another tea review article
What’s your favorite type of tea?
Cheers to happy, healthy sipping!
Jill Weisenberger, MS, RDN, CDE, CHWC, FAND, is a Nutrition, Culinary & Diabetes Expert, Wellcoach®-certified health and wellness coach, Freelance Writer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's also the author of four books, including a best-seller. She's a nationally-recognized media expert in high demand for print and online interviews, as well as corporate and one-on-one nutritional counseling. Jill's philosophy is that nutrition science should be understandable, realistic and oh so delicious.
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Like most of my patients and clients, I lead a busy life. You probably do too. Fortunately, you don’t need weeks, days or even hours to start living better and healthier. This blog offers timesaving strategies and bite-sized nutrition and health information. Come by often for tips and inspiration to healthy living – no matter how busy you are. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist offering credible, practical nutrition advice to keep busy people healthy. Yes indeed, we can be both busy and healthy.