Drinking Tea Benefits for Weight Loss and Living a Healthy Life
I am a tea fan.
Let me rephrase that: I am a tea fanatic. I absolutely love the stuff, and typically drink three to four cups every day.
Creating a tea drinking habit was never something that was a chore for me. It came quite easily -in fact, like any good thing, I was always a bit concerned that I was potentially drinking too much tea daily, since too much of anything can put a strain on your kidneys. Fortunately my research has shown that volume to be a fine amount for daily consumption.
Having a passion for tea and consuming a fair amount of the stuff over the last 30 years turned out to be a good thing, as an ever increasing number of studies have come out over the past few years showing the benefits of regular consumption of tea.
Creating a Tea Habit
Like any habit, regular tea consumption is something that anyone can do. It is simply a matter of creating a routine. If you enjoy the taste of tea, this should be really easy. If you hate the flavor, it might be quite difficult. Therefore one of the most important aspects of creating a tea habit is finding the flavor you enjoy.
Different types of tea’s have different benefits. They are known as one of the best sources of natural antioxidants, and even to have some purported weight loss effects.
There are a lot of purported tea benefits that, which we will list later in this article. Some benefits are stronger in certain types of tea, some in others. But all teas contain the same basic benefits, since the most common three types of teas— green tea, black tea and oolong tea— come from the same plant: Camellia Sinensis. The only difference is the level of the helpful properties.
This is not to say that tea is a magic bullet. It is not a miracle cure. It is just another facet of a healthy lifestyle that will help you live a longer and better life. Incorporated with a fitness regimen and a healthy diet including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and far less processed foods it can help quite a bit.
Discover the Perfect Tea for You
As noted above, you will get some benefit from many different type of teas. It is therefore my opinion that if you are creating a tea habit, finding one that suits your tastes should be of primary importance.
Like soda, beer or coffee, there are a lot of different flavors of tea, ranging from strong to mild. It is highly possible there may be one you love, while others leave you with a bad aftertaste. For example, while Pu-erh tea is very popular in China, where many rave over its wonderful benefits, I find it to be far too strong, with an earthy flavor. But this distinctive earthy flavor may be something others would enjoy. Conversely, many may find that green teas are too mild and lack a bit of strong flavor.
As a rule of thumb, black teas often have the strongest flavors, while green teas are usually the mildest, with Oolong teas somewhere in the middle. Herbal teas, have their own distinctive flavor sets and benefits, but since they come from different plants, they are actually not technically “teas.”
It it is my recommendation to find the teas that you enjoy the flavor of, and then to incorporate their consumption into your daily routine.
Benefits of a Daily Tea Habit?
The main way tea works to help you is because it contains phenols and polyphenols—specifically catechins, theaflavins, flavenoids and epicatechins. These work as strong antioxidants. Because of this, they help prevent a huge host of diseases and maladies.
For example, in researching this article I found about 20 studies linking the drinking of specific types of tea (green or black) to a having a preventative effect on specific types of cancer. By no means does this mean that “drinking tea prevents cancer,” but it does show that regular daily tea consumption over time does have some small preventative effect on some types of cancer.
Admittedly, some of the purported benefits are less clear. For example, I found studies that claimed that tea does have weight loss properties, while I found others that debunked this completely. So take some of these benefits with a grain of salt. The more important thing to remember is that, overall, tea has enough positive benefits that it contributes to a healthy lifestyle.
Interestingly enough, one of the things I always believed to be a drawback to regular tea consumption has proven to be untrue. I always believed that tea was a diuretic, like coffee or soda, since it contains caffeine. But that is actually untrue. Studies have shown that tea is actually hydrating, despite the fact that it has caffeine. It is surely not as hydrating as a nice cup of cold water, but this is another small plus in the column of tea benefits.
Tea Benefits List:
- Hydrating to the body (in spite of the caffeine)
- Reduces risk of heart attacks
- Antioxidants help prevent a large amount of cancers -(skin, breast, colon, oral, prostate, ovarian, liver, lung, esophagus, pancreas, small intestine, stomach)
- Fights free radicals
- Provides mild protection from UV rays
- Weight loss
- Counteracts some of the effects of smoking and second- hand smoke
- Has some mild effect on people recovering from exposure to radiation
- Combats neurological diseases
- Lowers the risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Relieves constipation
- Promotes a good night’s sleep (when caffeine free)
- Lowers cholesterol
- Good for a body’s natural fluid balance
- Reduces diabetes suffering
- Promotes healthy skin
- Soothes stomach cramps
- Improves dental health
- Mental alertness (via caffeine)
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Helps increase/maintain bone density
- Improves digestion
With all these benefits, it is a wonder that everyone doesn’t drink tea!. Perhaps this is why the ancient Indian and Chinese cultures have always been so tea oriented. It does quite a bit for your health.
But remember to take these effects with a little bit of skepticism. Many of these studies were conducted on mice or a limited number of people. The results were almost always positive for the benefits of a tea drinking habit, but not complete enough to be sure of how much of an effect it really has.
However, on a whole I think it is clear that tea has no real negatives. The caffeine is not enough to make it dehydrate your body, and without sugars added, it is a filling no-calorie drink. It does no harm and could do quite a bit of good.
Different teas give different levels of benefits, so below I have linked some other pages where I go over the specific benefits of the different types of teas.
Specific Types of Tea Benefits:
• Oolong Tea Benefits
• Black Tea Benefits
• Green Tea Benefits
• White Tea Benefits
• Pu-erh Tea Benefits
• Ginger Tea Benefits
• Echinacea Tea Benefits
• Chamomile Tea Benefits
• Hibiscus Tea Benefits
Hopefully you will find the tea that is perfect for you! If you are unsure of what type of tea flavor is your favorite, I highly recommend trying a tea sample pack, with many types of tea.
Twinings has a good one, with many varieties including: black, green and Oolong teas, as well as many of their herbal counterparts. Get it here.
Are you a regular tea drinker? Do you have your own favorite tea, or some anecdotal evidence to demonstrate how tea has helped you or people you know?
If so, please share in the comments below.
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