Black tea has become one of my favorite beverages and what's awesome is it's very simple to make at home. I personally use my coffee maker to make an entire "pot" of tea by simply dropping 8 to 10 tagless bags of black tea in the coffee pot after adding 12 cups of water to the maker. Turn it on and let it run it's cycle and there you have it, a pot of hot, fresh black tea. In addition to being extremely easy to prepare, black tea is full of health benefits, making it a great choice for those of us working to live a Wellness Based Lifestyle.
Like several other teas, black tea is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Black tea is fermented longer than green tea, which accounts for the darker color. As a result of the longer fermentation process, black tea has a higher caffeine content.
Among the health benefits of black tea, perhaps the most important is the high amounts of antioxidants present. Antioxidants help to reverse the detrimental effects of free radicals (formed by a processed called oxidation, which I discuss in more detail in a previous blog on antioxidants and inflammation). Antioxidants are also important in reducing the risk of cancer. An antioxidant found in black tea called Theaflavin has been shown to destroy cancer cells in the body. Flavanoids present in black tea are also important for heart health and helps to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and reduces the risk of stroke.
Black tea also is a great way to increase energy as a result of its caffeine content. Caffeine helps to increase the metabolism (great for weight loss), increases brain functioning and alertness, and has been shown to increase athletic performance in certain instances. Black tea has a lesser amount of caffeine than coffee and many people with a slight sensitivity to caffeine have found black tea to be a tolerable source of caffeine, meaning they do not experience the jitters they get from coffee or soda. Another substance found in tea, Theophylline, has been shown to stimulate the heart, kidneys and respiratory system thereby increasing the health of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Black tea is also a digestive aid and has been used for centuries in China as a way to treat diarrhea and other GI issues. There is also some research that shows tea helps to reduce intestinal inflammation, common in those that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Research published in the March 2008 volume of "Aging Cell" promotes that regular consumption of black tea can potentially lower the risk of developement of Type II Diabetes. Type II Diabetes affects approximately 285 million people worldwide and the number is increasing yearly. A substance in black tea called Tannins have been shown to kill viruses including hepatitis and influenza. A research study conducted at Pace University found that black tea can neutralize the herpes virus. Tannins also help to reduce the harmful bacteria in the mouth which can lead to reduced risk of tooth decay and the root cause of bad breath!
In Wellness and Love,