People have been drinking black tea for centuries. Since we keep going back to this beverage it must be good. In fact, there are more than a few known health benefits of black tea.
It is soothing, perks you up, improves your focus, and can help keep you warm when you need it to. These are only a few. It feels as if we are still learning more of them through time.
- 1 What is Black Tea Good For?
- 1.1 Weight Loss
- 1.2 Improves Brain Function
- 1.3 Improves Gut Health
- 1.4 Antioxidant
- 1.5 Anti-aging
- 1.6 High Blood Pressure
- 1.7 Reduces Risk of Stroke
- 1.8 Prevents Cancer
- 1.9 Controls Diabetes
- 1.10 Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
- 2 Possible Side Effects
What is Black Tea Good For?
Black tea is one of the healthiest types of tea there is. This is because the whole leaves are used in the production process. In order to maximize the effect of your health, then, choose loose tea over tea bags. This will preserve the black tea health benefits.
Black tea contains many antioxidants, which help to eliminate free radicals in the body. This can have many positive effects, such as reducing chronic diseases. It also contains amino acids, potassium, proteins, fluoride, and manganese; these ingredients all promote your health.
Here is an expanded list of the many health benefits associated with drinking black tea.
We have known for quite a while that green tea is associated with losing weight. The role that black tea can play in weight loss is only a fairly recent discovery.
Obesity rates are rising and bring along a host of other health problems. Many of these issues may begin to be prevented with a few cups of tea a day.
Antioxidants Help The Process
One of the antioxidants found in black tea is flavonoids, which have a variety of health benefits. These flavonoids increase a good kind of bacteria in your gut.
If you have too much of the bad kind of bacteria, you will have increased inflammation. This inflammation can lead to increased fat storage and decreased fat export. In other words, obesity.
One of the special functions of flavonoids in this instance is reducing inflammation along the digestive tract. By reducing inflammation, the body can better regulate fat distribution. The catechins within the flavonoids help to burn belly fat.
Losing Weight by Improving Your Metabolism
Drinking black tea also improves metabolism. This is mainly thanks to the caffeine, which raises the drinker’s body temperature through a process called thermogenesis. The higher temperature causes the body to burn fat more efficiently and to metabolize important nutrients.
If you drink a soda or two to help get you through the day, consider switching to a cup of black tea. It makes better sense for your health. If you switch, you will cut out a heck of a lot of calories and sugar. Tea is a no-calorie drink! That alone is a major incentive to switch.
Consuming black tea throughout the day is also a good way to keep from snacking on empty calories. The more you drink, the fuller you will feel. If you drink a cup shortly before mealtime, you will not eat as much during mealtime, either. Water, of course, is an alternative to this, but why not choose a beverage with so many other attached health benefits?
Drinking black tea won’t be the sole cause of weight loss. Any health plan needs to be balanced with good nutrition and exercise. Adding this drink to your regime, however, will give it a tremendous boost.
Improves Brain Function
Another active ingredient in black tea is L-theanine. This is an amino acid that increases blood flow to the brain, making you more alert and giving you better focus.
When L-theanine is mixed with caffeine it creates a greater effect on focus than just caffeine alone can. The two, when mixed together, boost your energy.
However, because of the increased blood flow to your brain, this is not merely a short-term spike. You don’t have that crash after the effects wear off.
One recent study indicated that regular tea drinkers have better-organized brains. Their brains formed better connections between the different areas. These connections ensure that these different regions communicate more quickly and accurately with each other. This can help protect against mental decline later in life.
Improves Gut Health
Black tea is prebiotic, which is a dietary fiber that improves digestion. This is accomplished by effecting changes in your gut bacteria.
Your gut is home to a huge variety of all kinds of microorganisms. It decreases specific bacteria in your digestive system that is connected to obesity. At the same time, it increases another lean bacteria.
Helps Body Absorb Fiber
This good bacteria is responsible for much of keeping your body healthy. It is accountable for helping your body break down and absorb fiber well.
Fiber is so important to our bodies; it is connected to helping prevent heart disease, diabetes, and possibly cancer. It also can prevent some weight gain.
Affects the immune System
This bacteria is also important for maintaining your immune system. Your immune system is largely connected to your gut. If you can maintain a good balance of bacteria, you are already doing a lot to stay healthy.
Your gut bacteria may also affect your central nervous system. There has been a lot of research lately about the connection between the gut and the brain. Some studies have even referred to your gut as your second brain.
The two are intricately connected through a system of nerves. The bacteria in the gut can control messages sent to the brain. This can send serotonin to your brain to improve depression and other mental health issues.
Antioxidants are elements that protect your body from free radicals and are found in abundance in black tea. Free radicals are molecules that compromise the immune system by causing cell damage, and therefore illness. Antioxidants are invaluable in reducing your risk of disease because they flush toxins from your body.
The main group of antioxidants found in black tea is polyphenols, which include a subgroup of catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins. In general, these antioxidants are all very beneficial to health.
These are associated with lowering blood sugar levels and obesity, and cholesterol. They may even prevent cancer cells from forming.
The antioxidants found in black tea are different from the types of antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables. Drinking black tea is a nice, natural way to supplement your intake of these important nutrients.
We just learned all about the positive benefits that antioxidants give black tea but haven’t discussed its anti-aging effects. Another nasty result of free radicals is that they cause fine lines and wrinkles. When we flush those bad guys from our system, we are helping our skin look younger.
You can make your tea work overtime by applying it directly to your skin. Soak a cloth in some tea (or tea bags, if you use them), and press it to reduce the fine lines.
Black tea acts as an astringent and may reduce acne. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so a compress applied on your eyes will reduce puffiness and bags.
Certain minerals, including vitamin B, found within black tea are excellent for healthy skin and hair. It even promotes new hair growth.
High Blood Pressure
Having high blood pressure is a leading cause of many health issues: heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, and aneurysm. High-blood pressure medication is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs today. Drinking black tea may be a way to naturally lower your blood pressure slightly.
Research has indicated that it is possible that some of the components of black tea may lower a person’s systolic and diastolic blood pressure by a couple of points. This may not sound like much, but it can be quite significant. Even small changes in blood pressure can go a long way toward reducing hypertension and the risk of cardiovascular disease.
While the reasons are yet unclear how this works, one theory is that flavonoids play a role in this. That may be due to their association with reducing belly fat. Excess abdominal fat has been linked to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure.
Reduces Risk of Stroke
One study looked at 552 men and their consumption of black tea. Those who drank 4.7 cups on average each day had a 69% lower risk of having a stroke. Multiple other studies over the years have indicated similar results.
Our old friends the flavonoids are once again possibly behind this. Flavonoids make blood cells less likely to clot. Another antioxidant benefit is that it fights the free radicals that do damage to arteries.
Strokes are one health risk that we can do much to prevent. Given all the other health benefits of black tea, it makes sense that a reduced risk of a stroke is one as well.
While not all cancer is preventable, drinking black tea may help prevent certain kinds of cancer from forming. The polyphenols in the tea may help fight cancer cells and prevent cancer cells from surviving. Studies have shown that new cancer cells were not able to develop as well once exposed to polyphenols.
One of the powerful kinds of polyphenols found in black tea is known as EGCG or epigallocatechin. This compound can protect cells from mutation. It has also been shown to actually kill cancer cells in certain circumstances.
It is possible that black tea can lower the risk of ovarian cancer in women who regularly consume it. And the theaflavins contained within may stop breast cancer cells from spreading.
Again, drinking black tea cannot cure cancer, but it is possible that it can reduce the cancer cells, which is a tremendous health benefit.
People with diabetes cannot metabolize sugar. Insulin lowers glucose levels, which is critical in preventing conditions that can lead to diabetes. Finding a natural way to help your body break down sugars is a priceless health benefit.
EGCG is back at work again here, this time improving insulin levels in your body. Studies have shown that after consuming black tea, insulin production in the body increases to 15 times higher than normal. This helps the body metabolize sugar much more effectively.
In fact, people who drank black tea over a long period of time showed a 70% less chance of developing diabetes.
Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a disorder of the nervous system caused by nerve cell damage. The flavonoids and theanine found in black tea seem to protect the areas of the brain most affected by cell loss. These antioxidants are effective in blocking damage and slowing the progress of further damage.
There is evidence to indicate that caffeine also plays some role in reducing the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Coffee has also shown to be somewhat effective. However, both caffeinated and decaffeinated black tea were effective, hinting that it must be more than just caffeine.
Black tea may not altogether prevent a person from developing Parkinson’s, but it may be valuable in slowing the progress. It may delay the symptoms as much as 7 years.
Black tea may also slow the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, too. It has been discovered to kill brain chemical activity linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Remember good old EGCG, the antioxidant?
It can stop plaque from forming in the brain, which would inhibit communication between the cells.
Possible Side Effects
Caffeine can have some positive contributions to your health, but there are of course downsides. Some people are incredibly sensitive to caffeine and should not drink it. It makes them jittery.
Instead of helping them focus it has the opposite effect and they can’t concentrate.
Too much black tea throughout the day will negatively impact even the most caffeine tolerant person. Sleeplessness, headache, and nausea are sure signs that you need to cut back on the caffeine intake.
Since caffeine stimulates the digestive system, it is common for vomiting and diarrhea to occur. Consider cutting back on your intake if these symptoms become frequent.