Tea, the Second Most Popular Drink on the Planet

Tea is the most popular drink on the planet behind water. Not only does tea provide hydration but it boasts an abundance of health benefits. One cup of tea may contain up to five times more antioxidants than any fruit or vegetable. Antioxidants are disease fighting compounds that studies suggest may help prevent certain types of cancers, keep your heart nice and healthy, burn fat and make you feel more focused amongst several other health benefits. Additional studies have found that some teas may help with cancer, heart disease and diabetes, encourage weight loss (green tea/white tea), lower cholesterol and stimulate mental alertness. Not surprising, tea also appears to have antimicrobial qualities.

Here's an amazing fact, according to Fitness Magazine and Diane L. McKay, Ph.D., assistant professor at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston, a study of 40,000 adults found that women who drank five or more cups of green tea per day had a 31 percent lower risk of death from heart disease than those who downed less than one. Other research linked black tea to lower LDL cholesterol. Tea does a body good. "It's also calorie free if you don't add milk or a sweetener like sugar or honey."

Purists consider only white tea, black tea, green tea, oolong tea and pu-erh teas the real deal, as they all come from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these flavonoids is called ECGC.

The more processed the tea leaves, usually means the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolongs and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have less polyphenol concentrations than green tea; but their anti-oxidizing power is still high.

Green tea made with steamed tea leaves, has a high concentration of EGCG, which is known to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system which in turn activates fat burning. Green tea's antioxidants, which has been highly studied, may interfere with the growth of bladder, breast,lung stomach pancreatic and colorectal cancers, prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease, reduce risk of stroke and improve cholesterol levels.

Black tea made from fermented tea leaves, has the highest caffeine content and forms the base for flavored teas like chai. Studies have shown that black tea may provide protection to the lungs from the damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke and reduces the risk of stroke.

Oolong tea, in an animal study, those given antioxidants from oolong tea were found to have lower bad cholesterol levels.

White tea is uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

Pu-erh tea, is made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. One study showed that animals given pu-erh had less weight gain and reduced LDL cholesterol.

Herbal Tea

Herbal tea is made from herbs, fruits, seeds or roots steeped in hot water. Herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black and oolong teas. Their chemical compositions vary widely depending on the plant used. Varieties include ginger, ginkgo, biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile and Echinacea.

Chamomile tea, it's antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, and stunt the growth of cancer cells.

Echinacea is often touted as a way to fight the common cold.

Hibiscus, loaded with vitamin C, a study found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered blood pressure in people with modestly elevated levels.

Rooibos Tea (red tea) is a South African herb that is fermented. Rooibos has flavonoids with cancer-fighting properties. 

You may want to incorporate healthy drinks into your daily life to reap the benefits from these health promoting properties. It's time to indulge in the healthy alternative to sugary drinks. Drink up for health!

Always searching for healthy alternatives, we have expanded our tea offerings. As owner and spice merchant of Love That Spice, Inc., it's my life's ambition to bring to you, the healthiest, gluten-free, pure spices and teas available. We're very picky, so you don't have to be. That's my promise to you!

Marlena Jayatilake

Owner/Spice Merchant




1 comment

  • Marla Cowan

    I have been drinking the anti-inflammatory tea for several months and find that I enjoy the flavor and the benefits. If food is medicine then I would prefer to treat my high inflammation with something natural. Love that Spice offers me good common sense advice and great products. I am using the Ceylon Cinnamon and find it far superior to store bought for taste and freshness. The medicinal properties of cinnamon and turmeric are well documented but, unfortunately the public seems to be unaware. Hopefully, that will change.

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