Healthy Benefits of Drinking Tea

Photo credit: Petr Kratochvil [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A healthy lifestyle means getting plenty of exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and drinking healthier beverages. All your hard work to lose weight and live a healthier life can be undone if you drink beverages that add empty calories and preservatives to your body. Replacing coffee and soda with tea is one way to reduce the amount of sugar in your diet, lower your caffeine intake but still enjoy a warm or cold drink.

Teas contain antioxidants. These natural chemicals attach to and help to remove free radicals in your cells. Free radicals are a natural by-product of metabolism, but can cause cell damage. Free radicals contribute to cell damage in your organs and increase the rate of aging in your skin. Food and drinks that contain antioxidants can reduce the number of free radicals in your body. Teas contain powerful antioxidants, called flavan-3-ols, which can reduce the effects of harmful free radicals.

The flavan-3-ols (a.k.a. flavanols) in tea also support healthy blood cells, which are critical to transporting oxygen and nutrients to your cells and removing carbon dioxide and other waste products from your cells. The flavan-3-ols antioxidants in tea also help to protect your blood vessels from plaque build-up that can lead to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Tea also helps to reduce LDL cholesterol, or the “bad” cholesterol, which can cause hardening of your arteries. Hardened arteries causes high blood pressure and may contribute to heart disease.

Improving the health of your arteries, promoting healthy blood cells, and reducing bad cholesterol in your body promote heart health. Tea helps promote unimpeded blood flow by helping to keep your arteries free of blockage by plaque build-up caused by high cholesterol. Free flow of blood to your heart muscle helps keep it healthy. Antioxidants, especially flavan-3-ol antioxidants, may even help reduce the risk of heart attacks.

Cell damage caused by high levels of toxins and free radicals in your cells may result in certain types of cancer. Flavan-3-ols antioxidants found in tea are a powerful tool in the fight against cancer by preserving cell health and encouraging healthy cell growth.

Your immune system fights off disease by attacking bacteria and viruses that enter your body. Disease and organ damage can result if your immune system is weak. Your immune system can be affected by the foods and beverages you consume. Much of your immune system is found in your digestive tract. Tea helps to support your immune system by removing free radicals that damage your cells.


Health Benefits of Green Tea

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Have you heard about the health benefits of drinking green tea? Green tea has been touted as beneficial to weight loss, cancer prevention and improved mood, but is it true? Green tea has been used for hundreds of years as a diuretic, to treat gas, regulate blood sugar and blood pressure and even to help stop bleeding. Other claimed health benefits include better digestion and a sharper mind. How does green tea help improve all these health issues? 
Green tea contains powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell damage by free radicals. The most potent antioxidants in green tea are catechins. Free radicals attack and damage the DNA in cells. Damaged DNA can contribute to cancer and other serious illness. Studies have shown that green tea antioxidants inhibit the growth of cancer cells in a test tube, but human studies are inconclusive. The catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is especially high in green tea. EGCG and other tea catechins have helped to reduce cancer growth in laboratory animals. It’s not clear how catechins inhibit the growth of cancer cells, but the they do and it can’t hurt to add some green tea to your diet to help cleanse your body of free radicals. 
Drinking green tea as part of a weight loss diet can improve weight loss. Green tea helps to boost your metabolism, which results in burning more calories. Green tea also helps weight loss by lowering LDL cholesterol, or the bad cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol can lead to other health problems including heart disease, plaque buildup in arteries and high blood pressure. Drinking green tea also helps to regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure
Green tea’s health benefits are numerous. If you don’t like tea or have never tried it, try replacing one cup of coffee with a cup of green tea every day. Soon you will be enjoying not only the health benefits, but also the flavor of this ancient health-boosting drink.

For more information about the health benefits and cancer-fighting properties of green tea see: