Camellia sinensis is a badass. Tea is awesome for your health bringing a ton of excellence to the table – an added bonus for those of us who are aficionados in the first place.
Removing the conversation about Rooibos and herbal teas (which aren’t technically ‘teas’ at all but that is another post for another day) the tea plant is a happy little guy just waiting to help with a myriad of issues on the front-end.
Researchers attribute tea’s health properties to the polyphenols and phytochemicals in the leaf. Tea can boost exercise endurance. Scientists have found that the catechins (antioxidants) in green tea extract increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, which accounts for improved muscle endurance.
The long and short (oolong? ha ha!) of it is that drinking tea may…
- help reduce the risk of heart attack. Tea has been said to help protect against cardiovascular and degenerative diseases.
- help protect against breast, colon, colorectal, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, ovarian, prostate and oral cancers through its crap-ton of antioxidants.
- helps fight free radicals. Tea is high in oxygen radical absorbance capacity (“ORAC” to its friends), which is a fancy way of saying that it helps destroy free radicals (which can damage DNA) in the body.
- hydrates to the body (despite the caffeine!).
- is linked with a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. When considering all other factors, regular tea drinking was associated with a lowered risk of Parkinson’s disease.
- provide protection from ultraviolet rays. Green tea may act as a backup sunscreen. As well, tea can help the body recover from radiation. One study found that tea helped protect against cellular degeneration upon exposure to radiation, while another found that tea can help skin bounce back postexposure.
- be beneficial to people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that compounds in green tea could help diabetics better process sugars.
- Green tea has been found to improve bone mineral density and strength.
- Tea might be an effective agent in the prevention and treatment of neurological diseases, especially degenerative diseases (think Alzheimer’s). While many factors influence brain health, polyphenols in green tea may help maintain the parts of the brain that regulate learning and memory.
All in all not a bad resume for a little green leaf. I have often heard the phrase ‘tea is life’ and after finding out about just some of these health benefits, I think I believe it.
Happy sipping all!