5 Health Benefits of Tea + How to Brew the Perfect Cup

Health benefits of tea

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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Black tea might help your bones. Drinking black tea appears to improve bone density.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 TeaTemperatureSteeping 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°F5 – 7 minutes
White tea comes from leaves harvested when they are very young. They are not fermented.180-190°F3 – 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 bags3 – 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.

What’s your favorite type of tea?

Cheers to happy, healthy sipping!

Jill Weisenberger

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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  1. Paul Hinton on April 6, 2016 at 3:04 am

    Tea is considered the most widely consumed beverage around the world for its health benefits. Tea was first consumed in China as a medicine. To date, most of the studies on the health benefit of green tea, have been on mice or cell cultures. Despite its lack of evidence, drinking tea daily does appear to help with many health benefits and weight loss as well.

    Green tea is my favorite. I enjoy drinking at least 3 to 4 cups a day, despite the lack thereof. And I certainly do believe it helps to keep my weight down. The health benefit of green tea for weight loss is perhaps one of its biggest selling points, and pretty much the main reason I drink it.

    I have enjoyed reading a lot of articles but this one is really outstanding. Its really new to me that it contains not only the ideal temperature range but also the sipping time. I must share this great article with my FB followers @ bluebanyanaustralia

    • Jill Weisenberger on April 6, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Thank you Paul for sharing my post and leaving your comments. I enjoy green tea too, especially when flavored with mint. I’ve seen many preliminary studies about weight loss as well.

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