As a tea drinker, I was happy to be able to attend the 5th International Tea & Human Health Symposium this week. At the meeting, researchers from around the world presented new findings about the role tea plays in helping to prevent many diseases from heart disease and certain cancers to osteoporosis and obesity.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, next to water, and its’ the most researched. In just the past five years, there have been more than 5,600 scientific studies published on teea. Black, green, oolong and white tea is rich in hundreds of natural compounds that have the ability to impact virtually every cell in the body. Some of these compounds are potent antioxidants; while others provide heart-health benefits, anti-cancer properties and more.
Since tea is naturally calorie-free, drinking it in place of beverages with calories will help you lose weight. However, there are additional benefits of drinking green tea that contains caffeine. Research shows that green tea with caffeine helps increases the body’s energy expenditure and boosts fat metabolism. For a significant boost, you’ll need about 4 cups of green tea a day and you’d expect your body to burn off an extra 100 calories over 24 hours. In one study, those who drank about 4 cups of tea a day lost nearly 3 pounds in 12 weeks. In addition to aiding in weight loss, green tea appears to boost markers for bone-building and boosts muscular strength among postmenopausal women through it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
For your heart’s sake, drinking as little as a cup of tea a day can improve the health of your arteries by allowing them to dilate and thereby help protect against high blood pressure. According to Claudio Ferri, MD, of the University L’Aquila, tea drinking could reduce the incidence of stroke and heart attacks by 8-10% of a population-wide scale if we all just drank a cup of tea every day. Tea offer protection against heart attack and other types of cardiovascular disease.
If your brain needs a boost or you’re feeling tired and unmotivated at work, stop and enjoy a cup of tea. According to research from The Netherlands, attention, task performance and alertness were all improved by drinking tea compared to water. Other studies show that tea lights up areas of the brain that are associated with These studies provide support for tea’s benefits for mental sharpness, as measured by attention, mood and performance.
Drinking a cup of tea in the a.m. has some benefit, for the biggest payoff, the researchers recommend drinking a cup of brewed tea every few hours. Since black and green provide different beneficial compounds, so drinking both green and black is optimal.