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The Amazing Health Benefits of Tea

Health benefits of tea

A recent article in New Scientist Magazine reports that numerous studies have shown that green tea protects against a number of cancers, including lung, prostate and breast cancer.

EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a powerful antioxidant that is abundant in green tea.

The health effects of tea have been studied since its discovery in China almost 5000 years ago. No wonder because it has always had a place in traditional medicine. The World Health Organization defines traditional medicine as:

“The health practices, approaches, knowledge and beliefs incorporating plant, animal and mineral medicines, spiritual therapies, manual techniques and exercises, applied to the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of disease or the maintenance of well-being” .

Tea has been used for centuries for many health purposes. Most importantly, it has been used to prevent disease and maintain well-being. Below, the various health benefits of tea will be explained.

What is tea?

Tea as we usually refer to it can take many different forms. However, the term tea actually refers to the tea plant, otherwise known as Camellia Sinensis. The leaves produced by the many varieties of this plant produce the teas we know as black tea, white tea, green tea and oolong tea. Many other teas are available, such as herbal teas, African Rooibos Tea. The South American Yerba Mate Tea and so on. And while these other teas don’t come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, are still commonly referred to as tea.

Why is tea so healthy?

The reasons why tea is so healthy, in a way, can be endless. The reasons are endless simply because of the endless variety of beneficial teas, herbs, fruits, flowers, etc. in the world, that exist naturally and are available to us. Many of these teas and herbs contain essential minerals, compounds, enzymes and antioxidants that are extremely beneficial to the human body. Many studies have been conducted to support that tea offers benefits to the body and mind.

The health benefits of tea (Camellia Sinensis and the battle of the free radicals)

Black, green, white and oolong teas come from a warm-climate tree known as Camellia Sinensis. The leaves of this tea tree contain a powerful antioxidant called polyphenols. Numerous studies have proven the anti-cancer and anti-aging properties of polyphenols. Some studies have shown that polyphenols may reduce the risk of many different types of cancer. Polyphenols do this by fighting our body’s natural byproduct known as free radicals.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines free radical as:

“An atom or group of atoms that has at least one unpaired electron and is therefore unstable and highly reactive. In human tissues, free radicals can damage cells and are believed to accelerate the progression of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diseases associated with the age. “

Without giving you horrible Chemistry 101 flashbacks, we know that the human body is made up of many different types of cells. These cells are made up of different molecules, which in turn are made up of atoms linked by chemical bonds. Atoms have a nucleus, neutrons, a number of electrons and a number or protons. Usually the bonds are not broken leaving an extra unpaired electron. However, when a weak bond breaks, leaving an atom with an unpaired electron, a free radical is born. Free radicals are very unstable and react quickly with other compounds, trying to capture the necessary electron to gain stability. Generally, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule, stealing its electron. When the attacking molecule loses its electron, it also becomes a free radical, starting a chain reaction. Once the process begins, it can multiply, resulting in the breakdown of a living cell.

Free radicals are produced in our bodies for a variety of reasons including the immune response, metabolism, the natural aging process and disease. A multitude of external factors such as radiation, cigarette smoke, alcohol and various chemicals and herbicides also produce free radicals in our bodies. The human body can handle a certain amount of free radicals using antioxidants, however as we age the amount of free radicals in our body increases. The antioxidant polyphenols found naturally in tea are amazing in our body’s defense against free radicals. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals by donating one of their own electrons, terminating the electron-stealing reaction. Antioxidants are nutrients that do not themselves become free radicals by donating an electron because they are stable in any form. They act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cell damage, disease, premature aging and cancer.

In short, free radicals in our body damage our cells. Damage that can cause premature aging, disease, illness and cancer. Our body is introduced to free radicals by both internal and external factors. Antioxidants found in tea can prevent cell damage due to free radicals by stabilizing them in our body.

More wonderful health benefits of tea

Anticancer – Multiple studies have shown that the antioxidant compounds in tea have cancer-fighting properties. Tea also provides inhibitory effects on DNA synthesis of leukemic cells and lung carcinoma

cells. Tea has been linked to both prevention and combat against many different types of cancer.

Against Heart Disease – Green tea has been shown to fight obesity and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol – two risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. Tea has also been shown to improve blood vessel function.

Against Stroke – Research presented at the International Stroke Conference in February 2009 found that drinking three or more cups of tea a day can reduce the risk of stroke by up to 21%. The research, conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that consumption of green and black varieties of tea has a significant impact on the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Anti-arthritis – Tea has been shown to provide prevention and relief from rheumatoid arthritis.

Heightened Psychic Awareness – The amino acid L-theanine, which is found almost exclusively in the tea plant, affects the brain’s neurotransmitters and increases alpha brain wave activity. The result is a calmer, yet alert, state of mind.

Weight loss – Clinical trials conducted by the University of Geneva and the University of Birmingham found that tea increases metabolic rates, accelerates fat oxidation and improves insulin sensitivity. In addition, green tea contains catechin polyphenols that increase thermogenesis (the production of heat by the body) and therefore increase fat consumption.

Immune system – L-theanine can help the body’s immune system response when fighting infection by enhancing the disease-fighting ability of γ-delta T cells.

Reduced stress levels – Drinking black tea can lead to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Platelet activation, which is linked to blood clotting and the risk of heart attacks, has also been shown to be lower for tea drinkers.

Oral hygiene– Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a study that revealed that polyphenols found in tea help inhibit the growth of odor-causing bacteria and can prevent cavities.

Cardiovascular Health– Research has shown that black tea improves blood vessel reactivity, reducing both blood pressure and arterial stiffness, indicating better overall cardiovascular health.

Tea appears to be a natural and enjoyable way to increase the health and well-being of the whole body, both mentally and physically. In addition to the studies that have been conducted revealing the great health benefits of tea… the simple act of making a cup of tea… and sitting down to enjoy it seems to have a profound effect on the body, mind and spirit. soul. This effect is perhaps not something best measured by science. Instead, it’s just something we feel.

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