12 Health Benefits to Indulge Your Black Tea Cravings

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12 Health Benefits of Black Tea

It was wrongly believed that black tea is devoid of any health benefits and that it was green tea alone which took the crown. Recent researchers have proved the belief critically incorrect by providing evidences of black tea’s immense potential to do good to human body.

 

 

 

 

Where does black tea come from?

Tea is an ancient aromatic beverage originated in China. Leaves of the tea plant are plucked from the evergreen plant, Camellia sinensis, usually grown in both tropical and subtropical climates at high altitudes of 1500m above. From a minimum of 4 years to a maximum of 12 years, a tea plant indeed takes time to bear seed. This is followed by another period of 3 years to harvest. The slower the plant grows, the better is the aroma. Post plucking, the leaves undergo fermentation process which imparts the color of tea. Based on processing, teas can be generally divided into different categories namely green, yellow, white, oolong, and black. Once fermented, the leaves go a process of drying to complete the production cycle. An atmosphere with a high humidity quotient is the chief reason behind the dark color and strong flavor of black tea. Later it is shipped across to destinations galore for a warm consumption.

 

Did you know: India, one of the largest tea producing-tea exporting nations of the world didn’t know the sweet aroma or the taste of this infusion until the colonial superpower from the West took the task on its shoulder? An engaging tale goes behind the popularity of this tea drinking custom prevalent in almost every Indian household today. Tea stalls were put up in railway stations since it was one of the major thoroughfares of the city. To grab attention, every cup of black tea came with complimentary fritters and snacks. Buyers greedy of a hearty snack were tempted to buy a black tea cuppa. Thus went on the tea tasting sessions for the Indian palate, something to wonder in amazement. One must say, the colonizers were indeed smart!

 

 

What are the amazing health benefits of black tea?

  • Great energizer: Black tea is an excellent stimulant. Presence of caffeine in low quantity coupled with theophylline stimulates the respiratory system, heart and kidneys and creates alertness. 
  • Maintain healthy cardiovascular system: Studies have found a positive correlation between decrease in cardiovascular ailments with increased black tea consumption (> 3 cups tea per day). Regular drinking of black tea can reverse endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in patients suffering from coronary artery disease. Abundancy of antioxidants like flavonoids and polypehnols restrict oxidation of LDL cholesterol both in the bloodstream and artery walls reducing the risk of heart disease. Black tea also contains manganese which helps in preventing blood clots and helps in better cardiac muscle function. This is one of the most important health benefits of black tea.
  • Reduces puffiness of eyes: Chilled black tea bags help to normalize swollen eye area.
  • Healthy skin and hair: Antioxidants in black tea help fight skin ailments like acne. It is found to be more effective than harsher benzoyl peroxide used in most anti-acne skin products.
  • Prevents tooth decay and oral cancer: Being rich in polyphenols, tannin and fluoride, regular consumption of black tea keeps a check on the bacteria responsible for tooth decay and bad breath. Catechin, an antioxidant found in black tea reduces the risk of oral cancer, especially in those individuals who smoke cigarettes and/ or use tobacco products.
  • Improves concentration and memory: Amino acid L-theanine, an essential component of black tea increases alpha brain wave activity. This results in calmer   mind, deeper concentration and mental focus on impending work. 
  • Strengthens immune system: Black tea is an excellent source of flavonoids (antioxidants found in apples). It is found to be highly effective in fighting against bacteria and support healthy immunity system. Also, presence of alkylamine antigenshelp in boosting immune response. Black tea's health benefits come from these powerful phytochemicals that strengthen both bone and connective tissues.
  • Combat neurological disease: Recent studies on health benefits of black tea suggest that black tea’s caffeine may protect against Parkinson's disease.
  • Keeps aging at bay: Drinking black tea helps to maintain skin's water content which is absolutely necessary for healthy-looking skin. Being a very high source of antioxidants, black tea slows down aging process and age-related diseases.  
  • Anti-HIV agent: Black tea is rich in potent theaflavinsanti-HIV-1 compounds. They prevent HIV-1 entry into normal (target) cells. 
  • Reduce risk of type 2 diabetes: Black tea is highly beneficial for preventing spike in sugar level after the meal. 
  • Beat stress and improves concentration: Limited daily consumption of black tea helps in combating stress by its innate ability to balance stress inducing hormone cortisol.
  • Anti-cancer: Polyphenols in black tea prevent carcinogen formation, the key reason behind cancer. “Catechin”, a particular type of tea tannin helps in suppression of malignant tumors especially in the breast, stomach, ovary, prostate, lung, colorectal, and bladder. Also, black tea is stocked with an active compound “TF-2” which kills cancer cells (apoptosis) while keeping normal cells remain unaffected. It also prevents damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
  • Fight off osteoporosis: Health benefit studies on black tea found that older women can maintain normal bone mineral density (BMD) with regular consumption. 
  • Enhances metabolism and digestive tract health: The tannins helps in overall metabolism and act as a therapy to those plagued with intestinal and gastric illnesses. Regular intake ensures proper functioning of the digestive tracts. Moreover, these tannins have proven anti-diarrheal and anti-inflammatory effect. 
  • Weight reduction: Black tea is low in sodium, fat and calories. This beverage (unsweetened) is highly advantageous for individuals who want to lose or control weight without sipping unhealthy soda drinks. However, don't indulge in excessive amounts.

Do you drink tea regularly? If not, start your day with a freshly brewed black tea cuppa to reap superb health benefits.  

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