Hundreds of studies show that teas bestow a multitude of health benefits. And with teas ranging from mild green to robust Earl Grey along with a wide variety of herbal teas, you’re sure to find one to suit your taste — and your ailment.
Below are different types of tea along with their health benefits.
A study published in Frontiers of Nutrition found that black tea may reduce blood sugar levels naturally, and that drinking three or more cups a day lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes and helps those who have the disease keep it under control. Researchers at Framingham State University extracted several types of antioxidants from black tea that block the enzymes responsible for increasing blood sugar.
Another study found that those same three cups of black tea reduced the risk of fractures in elderly women by up to 42 percent.
Researchers at Japan’s Kyoto University found that drinking green tea could help prevent deadly abdominal aortic aneurysms. They believe that the beneficial compounds in green tea are polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that fights free radicals and reduces inflammation. The polyphenols also appear to make arteries stronger and more flexible by regenerating elastin, an essential protein that makes arteries stretchy, yet sturdy.
Australian researchers found that three cups of tea a day reduced the risk of fractures by 30 percent. Experts at Flinders University believe that chemicals in black and green tea called flavonoids accelerate the building of new bone while slowing the breakdown of existing bone.
Green and white teas contain large amounts of EGCG, a powerful antioxidant linked to a lower risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and numerous types of cancer. A study at Japan’s Okayama University found that senior citizens who drank large amounts of green tea slashed their risk of dying from heart disease by as much as 76 percent, and a Chinese study found that drinking green tea cut the risk of lung cancer by two-thirds.
The distinctive flavor of Earl Grey tea is due to an extract made from the bergamot fruit, which is a bitter citrus fruit. Studies have found it lowers cholesterol naturally and safely by reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, while raising levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. Bergamot lowers an especially harmful type of LDL called LDL-B, and lowers inflammation as well as blood sugar. “That’s a trifecta!” says nationally known nutritionist Jonny Bowden, author of Smart Fat: Eat More Fat. Lose More Weight. Get Healthy Now.
Rooibos tea, also called redbush tea, is an herbal tea made from the South African shrub Aspalathus Lineraris. One study found that rooibos protected the liver against cirrhosis caused by alcohol or the liver toxin carbon tetrachloride as well as N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), the supplement commonly used to treat the condition. Other studies have found it lowers blood pressure, may help prevent diabetes and cancer, and even aids in weight loss.
Ginger contains active phenols, including gingerols and shogaols, and ginger tea has been used to sooth upset stomachs for centuries, relieving gas and diarrhea. Numerous modern studies have found that ginger can help alleviate morning sickness and motion sickness, and can even lessen the nausea caused by chemotherapy. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, and a study published in The Journal of Pain found that ginger eases muscle pain following exercise. Ginger can also suppress the appetite and help with weight loss. An article published in the journal Metabolism found that drinking ginger tea after meals quelled hunger pangs.
According to a study in the International Journal of Neuroscience, peppermint tea increases concentration and focus. Peppermint oil is a natural stimulant, and merely sniffing a warm cup can boost your energy levels. Numerous studies have found that peppermint oil decreases fatigue, soothes nerves, and sharpens memory.
Peppermint also tackles headaches. A placebo-controlled study published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice found peppermint reduced the pain of migraines. An earlier German study found that peppermint reduced pain as effectively as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen.
Peppermint tea also aids in digestion, and several studies found that peppermint reduced the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by 75 percent.