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Health Benefits of Tea
NOTE: The information on these health pages is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians. We are a tea company who wanted to understand the health research for ourselves and found a wealth of complex and nuanced information online, which we decided to share. We've done our very best as laymen to be accurate but our interpretations should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult a medical or health professional with respect to any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention.
Yes, Tea Really is Very Healthy for You!
The healthful components of tea are primarily antioxidants and enzymes that alter various body functions in healthy ways. Antioxidants function by reducing free radicals (which interfere with normal cell function) and enzymes trigger multiple healthy effects by triggering healthy gene behaviors as well as altering chemical interactions of-and-between various organs.
“Tea has approximately ten times the amount of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables.”—Tea Antioxidant Myths and Facts
(Believe it or not, that's the fact, not the myth! Like most of the information on this page, it seemed to us too good to be true—until we did the research.)
The Health Benefits of Tea Include:
- Tea helps fight cancer
- Tea helps prevent high blood pressure, hypertension, heart disease, & stroke
- Weight Loss
- Good for the Immune System
- Anti-inflammatory Effects
- Anti-Aging Effects
- Helps Prevent and Treat Diabetes
- Improves Digestion
- Reduces Bad Cholesterol, Improves Good Cholesterol
- Reduces Risk of Dementia
- Good For Teeth and Bones
- Stress Relief, Calm Energy Boost
- Helps With Endurance
- Improves Brain Function
- Helps Fight Liver Disease
Use the Full Leaf for the Full Benefit!
The health benefits of tea will vary greatly based on the type of tea and how it is processed because manufacturing techniques have a pronounced impact on the cellular components of tea responsible for tea's various healthy effects.
To get the greatest health benefits from drinking tea:
- Green Is Good - A case can be made that green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet because it contains more of some of these various healthful compounds and seems to be most studied.
- So Is Black - The oxidization that turns tea into black tea changes some of those compounds into different compounds with different benefits. So both are good.
- Bags and Bottles are Bad - Tea from bags and tea from bottles is generally made with lower grade tea and have far less of these beneficial components left intact after processing, as compared to whole leaf tea. Tea bags may also have chemicals and plastic in them.
- Use Bruetta for Iced Tea - Most iced tea is also lower grade tea made far less effective by over processing and loaded with sweeteners BUT, not if you use Bruetta to make your iced tea! (Or a large batch pitcher with the leaves fully intact.)
- Don't Add Milk - Many of the health benefits of tea are canceled if you add milk because the antioxidants in the tea attach to the fat in the milk and so are unavailable to attach to the free radicals in our bodies.
- Drink Tea Soon After Meals - Because digestion creates free radicals and because tea helps regulate blood sugar.
- Don't Add Sugar - Because, well, it's sugar.
- Use Relatively Fresh Tea - Try to order only 1-2 month's worth and store it away from direct sunlight and oxygen.
- Eat It? - Eating tea is generally even more effective than drinking it. You can use our BruSpoon for that too but why do that when you can Brew Better?
Don't You Mean Tea "May" Help Prevent...?
These are very complex, pervasive ailments and direct causal relationships are very difficult to prove to scientific standards, so for most of those specific direct effects, the most anyone can say is that they "may" be true, with some being less certain and others quite likely.
But in each category, there are at least some mechanisms that are fairly well understood and which help support the same biological functions that these ailments assault. So, at a minimum, those healthy supporting functions make tea helpful in preventing and dealing with these diseases by promoting healthy related functions. And there is growing evidence that it does go beyond that.
Furthermore, the high quality of our loose leaf tea means there is less need for added sweeteners, which makes it helpful as a healthy alternative to sweetened beverages like soda pop. Read more about "May Prevent vs Helps Prevent"
Tea Can Be a Valuable Component of Health Initiatives
Loose leaf tea has natural flavor without the need for unhealthy sweeteners, making it easier than ever to offer employees a healthy alternative to sweetened beverages. The day to day habit of this change can help to create a culture of health. These factors, along with leading by example, are all essential elements of any successful health and wellness program.
Thus, one simple and immediate step an employer can take as part of a wellness program is to provide a convenient, high-quality loose leaf tea station and then drink tea with the employees while inquiring about each other’s health initiatives.
As part of a comprehensive program, this can lead to a huge return on investment of tea.
Is There a Downside to Drinking Tea?
- people susceptible to kidney stones (as with any food containing oxalic acid)
- pregnant or nursing women and people on blood pressure (and other such) medications should consult their doctor (as with any caffeinated beverage)
- people with iron deficiencies should be aware that tea can interfere with iron absorption
As with any pigmented food or drink, one should observe normal dental hygiene to avoid possible teeth stains.
As with all beverages involving boiling water, it is recommended one wait 4 minutes before drinking.
And of course, tea is just one aspect of a healthy lifestyle. For optimum health, you will still need to eat a well-balanced diet, exercise, get enough sleep, etc.