Drink to your health: the many benefits of tea
We can all remember a time, waking up feeling poorly only to have mother bring us a warm, soothing cup of tea. The warm brew has soothed minds and bodies since ancient times, but only recently has science begun to uncover the myriad of health benefits hiding in the humble tea leaf. Beyond calming the fire of a sore throat, tea can help maintain radiant skin, aid in weight-loss efforts, and contains antioxidants that may slow the aging process.
First and foremost, tea is hydrating. It is 99 per cent water after all, and a healthy alternative to sugary sodas or processed juices. While caffeinated teas do contain a mild diuretic, their non-caffeinated, herbal or green counterparts are nearly as hydrating as a glass of water. Keeping up on hydration helps curb cravings, keeps skin supple and overall is a key component of good health.
There is also evidence that drinking tea may reduce the risk of heart attack. While even the strongest cup of tea won’t replace a healthy diet and exercise, or compensate for a history of heart disease, one study in the Netherlands followed 37,000 tea drinkers over 13 years found that subjects who drank three to six cups of tea per day were 45 per cent less likely to die from heart disease than those who drank less than one cup. The study further concluded that drinking more than six cups of tea per day was associated with a 36 per cent lower risk of developing heart disease than drinking less than one cup.
Finally, some herbal teas have been used in generations past to ease minor medical ailments. Those that suffer from heartburn frequently report that drinking ginger tea eases the stomach acid that causes the symptom. Hawthorn tea contains a high amount a fiber, which can aid in digestion and relieve drinkers of minor gastro-intestinal distress. For generations, sufferers of insomnia have always turned to chamomile to get a good night’s sleep, and now science can tell us why. Sedative effects of chamomile may be due to the presence of apigenin, a component that binds to the receptors in the brain that induce sleep.
Tea has been prescribed by mums across the ages, and is one of the most ancient medicinal treatments known to mankind. From a fast cure for restless nights, to long term support for the heart, with a warm cup of tea, you can be sure to drink to your health!
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