Steeping Wellness: Top 10 Health Benefits of Tea - Steepologie

Steeping Wellness: Top 10 Health Benefits of Tea

Is tea good for your health? A simple cup offers a surprisingly wide range of health benefits. Discover these benefits and learn the healthiest way to enjoy your tea. Enjoyed for centuries, tea is the second most widely consumed drink in the world (behind only water!). The good news is that this soothing beverage may offer more than just a hydrating pick-me-up.

What are the top 10 health benefits of tea?

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1. Rich in protective plant compounds

All varieties of tea—black, white, green, and oolong—are rich in protective plant compounds known as polyphenols.*1 Regular consumption of these polyphenols may help protect body cells from damage, potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease,*2 diabetes,*2 and cancer. Catechins in green tea and theaflavins in black tea are primarily responsible for these health benefits.*3


2. May improve blood pressure

Drinking tea may enhance blood vessel function and help lower blood pressure.*4 It increases the availability of nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes the inner muscles of blood vessels, allowing blood to flow more freely.

3. May improve cardiovascular health

Evidence suggests that regular tea consumption may reduce the risk of heart disease,*5 largely due to its polyphenol content. Notably, the catechins found in high levels in green tea have shown a positive impact on various cardiovascular outcomes.*6

4. May modulate glycaemic response

Tea polyphenols aid in managing the body's response to carbohydrates by inhibiting their digestion and absorption,*7 as well as stimulating insulin release. This is known as the glycaemic response, which is the effect of food or drink on blood glucose levels after consumption. Green tea is particularly effective in this regard.*8

5. May reduce diabetes risk

Tea polyphenols can inhibit digestive enzymes like lactase and delay glucose absorption in the gut.*9 Some studies suggest that a consistent, lifelong intake of dietary polyphenols may be as effective as certain medications in reducing diabetes risk. However, further research is needed to confirm these findings.

6. May improve gut health

Many dietary polyphenols, including those from tea, pass unabsorbed to the large intestine where they are broken down by gut bacteria. This process provides fuel for beneficial gut bacteria,*10 enabling them to thrive and diversify, which in turn improves gut function and supports the immune system.

7. May reduce the risk of cancer

Polyphenols in tea may help slow the development of certain cancers.*11 Convincing evidence currently exists for oral cancer, with suggestive evidence for liver, breast, and colon cancers. However, more well-designed studies are needed, considering additional influencing factors.

8. May alleviate stress and anxiety

Tea is generally seen as a relaxing drink especially when considered against coffee. Although both tea and coffee are caffeinated, only tea contains the amino acid l-theanine which has a relaxing effect thanks to its ability to increase alpha brain waves.*12

9. May improve attention and focus

Beverages like tea that contain both caffeine and l-theanine appear to have the greatest impact on our attention and focus.*13 For example, a  cup of green tea provides 25mg of l-theanine which is associated with less cognitive dysfunction and appears to help us maintain better concentration and focus.*14

That said, it’s not just green tea that offers these benefits. A study looking at the impact of drinking black tea reported quicker performance, improved memory and fewer errors being committed.

10. May support bone health

There is some evidence to suggest that drinking tea regularly, especially green teas, may help maintain bone density and as a result reduce the risk of bone fractures.*15 The protective effect is thought to once again be thanks to tea’s polyphenol content.*16

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*1 Source National Library of Medicine
*2 Source National Library of Medicine
*3 Source National Library of Medicine
*4 Source National Library of Medicine
*5 Source National Library of Medicine
*6 Source National Library of Medicine
*7 Source National Library of Medicine
*8 Source National Library of Medicine
*9 Source National Library of Medicine
*10 Source National Library of Medicine
*11 Source National Library of Medicine
*12 Source Science Direct
*13 Source National Library of Medicine
*14 Source National Library of Medicine
 *15 Source National Library of Medicine
*16 Source National Library of Medicine

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