Lisa Perry
Health & Wellness

The health benefits of tea

January is National Hot Tea Month. Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water.  Since temperatures around the country are low, to say the least, hot tea sounds perfect! Among the types of teas sold, you’re likely to find black teas, green teas, and herbal teas in any grocery store.

Drinking hot tea doesn’t just warm you up. For many people, the ritual of drinking tea provides a sense of comfort and relaxation. There are some health benefits to drinking tea, too.

Black and green teas originate from the same evergreen plant, Camellia sinensis, which can be found in China, India and other countries. Black teas are oxidized prior to drying, which darkens the leaves.  Green teas are not oxidized. Both black and green tea contain flavonoids (antioxidants), which may help reduce inflammation in blood vessels, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. There’s also evidence lack tea may lower blood pressure. Black teas tend to have slightly lower amounts of flavonoids than green teas, but both have plenty of health benefits .

The antioxidants in green tea may reduce may hinder the growth of several cancers, as well as reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Furthermore, studies have shown that people who regularly consume black, green, and oolong teas have a lower risk of dementia.

Herbal teas may contain herbs, spices, and other flavorings, but do not contain black or green tea. Herbal teas with no added sugar can be a tasty way to stay hydrated. Try brewing an herbal tea when you’d like a beverage other than water. Peppermint, ginger, and chamomile teas are purported to aid digestion. Also, chamomile may aid in relaxation and sleep. If you are taking any medications, please review any possible interactions that may occur when using herbal products.

Enjoy a cuppa tea!          

Lisa Perry
Registered dietitian nutritionist who believes proper nutrition has the power to transform health. Loves dark chocolate.