7 Surprising Health Benefits Of Plain Tea

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“These fight free radical damage and keep the body from decay. They have been shown to fight and prevent strokes, reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.”

While coffee might be the drink of choice for most in the morning, there are others that need their tea. Tea is actually the most popular beverage in the world after water. It’s drunk widely throughout Asia and the western world but rarely do we see it as a health beverage. Fancier herbal teas made from other plants are lauded for their specific benefits but plain old tea has some great things to offer too!

1. Fights Inflammation

Inflammation is prevented by antioxidants


Tea contains amazing antioxidants called catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins.[ref] These fight free radical damage and keep the body from decay. They have been shown to fight and prevent strokes, reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.[ref]Other Healthy Beverage Options. Harvard School Of Public Health[/ref] However, keep in mind that the antioxidant availability of tea goes down when you mix it with milk, so as far as possible, try not to add any dairy.

2. Promotes Weight Loss

Tea boosts metabolism


Tea, especially green tea, does slightly improve your metabolism. Combined with the right diet and regular exercise, it can have a positive effect on weight loss and healthy weight maintenance. A warm cup of green tea in the morning on an empty stomach can kickstart your metabolism for the day. Just make sure not to add sugar or milk.

3. Controls Diabetes

Tea increases insulin sensitivity


Tea has been shown to control blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity. Studies show that drinking at least 3 cups of tea a day is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.[ref]Yang, Jian, Qun-Xia Mao, Hong-Xia Xu, Xu Ma, and Chun-Yu Zeng. “Tea consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis update.” BMJ open 4, no. 7 (2014): e005632.[/ref] It goes without saying that you shouldn’t add any sugar to those 3 cups.

4. Improves Mood

Tea helps reduce depression


Studies show that tea is associated with a lower risk of depression.[ref]Dong, Xiaoxin, Chen Yang, Shiyi Cao, Yong Gan, Huilian Sun, Yanhong Gong, Huajie Yang, Xiaoxu Yin, and Zuxun Lu. “Tea consumption and the risk of depression: A meta-analysis of observational studies.” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 49, no. 4 (2015): 334-345.[/ref] This does seem to make sense considering that a hot cup of tea often seems to provide comfort and relaxation. If you want to fight those blues, grab a cup of steaming hot tea.

5. Prevents Cancer

Antioxidants help prevent cancer


The antioxidants we mentioned earlier have a huge role to play in the prevention of cancer. Research shows that tea can help prevent a variety of types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and cancers of the digestive system cancers. Green tea might also have a positive effect in reducing the risk of breast, prostate, and endometrial cancers.[ref]Other Healthy Beverage Options. Harvard School Of Public Health[/ref]

6. Fights Bad Breath

Tea helps kill harmful bacteria


It sounds strange but tea is actually great for dental health. The catechins in tea help kill the bacteria that produce harmful acids. It has been shown to reduces the risk of dental plaque, gingivitis, and helps reduce bad breath as a result.[ref] Goenka, Puneet, Aditi Sarawgi, Vinayak Karun, Anant G. Nigam, Samir Dutta, and Nikhil Marwah. “Camellia sinensis (Tea): Implications and role in preventing dental decay.” Pharmacognosy reviews 7, no. 14 (2013): 152.[/ref] Maybe don’t replace your mouthwash with tea, but the occasional cup of tea can help keep your pearly whites shining.

7. Improves Cognitive Performance

Tea improves creativity and performance


The caffeine in tea has been shown to improve work performance and creativity.[ref]Einöther, Suzanne J., and Vanessa E. Martens. “Acute effects of tea consumption on attention and mood.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 98, no. 6 (2013): 1700S-1708S.[/ref] If you have a long day ahead that needs lots of brainstorming, a cup of tea in the morning is ideal.

If you’re someone who loves starting the day with a cup of tea, you can rest easy knowing that you’re doing a body a favor. If you don’t really think to drink it, maybe try adding a cup or two to your daily routine. Just remember to skip the milk and sugar.