12 Surprising Health Benefits of Tea

By EverythingForTea.com

Drinking tea delivers more than a delicate infusion for your enjoyment — it actually offers some awesome health benefits.

1. Anti-Aging:
Tea has been consumed for generations. Not only is it enjoyable to drink and thirst quenching, but one of the health benefits of tea include being one of the most potent brews in the fight against premature aging.

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What is it that provides tea, green tea in particular, with this ability to help with anti-aging? The answer is oligomeric proanthocyanidins or OPCs. OPCs are some of the most effective antioxidants in nature. They help remove harmful free radicals that build up in our bodies as waste. Ridding the body of these free radicals helps prevent premature aging by reducing the damage these compounds inflict on healthy cells.

2. Cancer Prevention:
It is thought that due to the presence of polyphenol compounds, drinking tea may help prevent cancer. Polyphenol compounds are antioxidants that may aid the body to rid itself of the harmful free radicals that damage normal cells, which in turn can lead to the development of cancerous growths.

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3. Depression Relief:
In a study of depression, women who drank tea regularly had a 36 percent lower risk of suffering from depression compared with those who did not. The vast majority of these women – some 90 percent – were green tea drinkers. These depression-fighting properties of green tea may be related to its high content of a particular amino acid, known as theanine.

4. Diabetes Prevention:
Among the more surprising benefits of sipping tea is its positive effect on insulin sensitivity, which is diminished in people with Type 1 diabetes. Studies suggest that regular tea consumption may also help reduce the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes.

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A natural compound that is abundant in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, was shown to improve insulin production and improve blood glucose levels in diabetic mice. In fact, a scientific survey in 42 countries demonstrated that diabetes is about 25% less common among people that consume double the average amount of black tea.

5. Dementia Prevention:
As longevity worldwide is increasing, the incidence of age-related illnesses, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, is rapidly rising. Scientists have found that people who drink two to three cups of black tea every day are 50% less likely to exhibit symptoms of early onset dementia. And a recent British study showed that EGCG from green tea could prevent Alzheimer’s disease progression by disrupting a key step in its abnormal pathway in the brain.

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6. Heart Health:
Analyzing the results of 14 different studies, researchers in China found that green tea significantly lowered the concentration of total cholesterol and ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the blood. Other studies showed that tea consumption could lower triglyceride levels as well.

Comparing the incidence of heart disease between individuals who drank more than six cups of tea a day and those who drank less than one cup a day demonstrated a 36 percent lower risk of heart disease amongst the first group. In a separate study, Dutch researchers found that drinking three to six cups of tea daily compared to less than one cup, was associated with a 45 percent reduction in heart disease deaths.

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7. Parkinson’s Disease Protection:
Parkinson’s disease is caused by a depletion of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical compound that functions as a neurotransmitter, which allows signals to flow between different areas of the brain. If dopamine is depleted serious problems may follow.

Tea and the polyphenols found in it have been shown to help increase the flow of dopamine in the brain and in turn potentially protect against Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

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8. Stress Reduction:
Stress is all too common in today’s modern world. With busy work and hectic family lives it is no wonder that many of us are suffering from stress. A British study noted that drinking black tea might promote relaxation and fight stress. In fact, people who drank black tea were able to de-stress more quickly than individuals who consumed a fake tea alternative. The researchers also demonstrated that following exposure to stress tea drinkers had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

9. Stroke Prevention:
Studies have shown that drinking just three cups of tea a day can lower the chances of having a stroke by 21%. This includes both the black and green tea varieties. It isn’t clear as yet which compound in tea is responsible for this impressive effect, but it may be related to one of the antioxidants in tea or perhaps to the amino acid theanine. Whatever the reason, you may want to embrace that humble cup of tea for its impressive healing potential.

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10. Stronger Bones:
As we age, osteoporosis poses a serious threat, especially in women who are becoming increasingly prone to hip and other fractures as they age. Green tea, however, may have a positive effect.

Studies have shown that drinking 4 to 6 cups of tea a day can significantly increase bone formation and bone strength. Some studies found that those over the age of 50 who drank green tea on a regular basis had up to 30% fewer hip fractures compared with individuals who did not consume tea.

11. Oral Health:
Although tea can stain your teeth, studies have suggested that people who consume green tea regularly have better tooth and gum health. Antioxidants in tea help reduce inflammation, which means gums are less likely to become red and irritated, making periodontal disease less likely. Tea is also naturally rich in fluoride, which is known to protect against tooth plaque and tooth decay.

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12. Weight Reduction:
Drinking tea may boost weight loss. It is suggested that various compounds in tea prevent the body from absorbing fat molecules. Drinking just three cups a day of green tea seems to help melt off extra pounds.

A study by the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University found that participants who drank three cups of green tea a day lost twice as much weight as non-tea drinkers. A type of antioxidant known as catechin is credited with these weight-loss benefits of green tea. Extra Tip: Adding lime or lemon juice may help your body activate even more of the tea’s catechins.

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