With the increased focus on green tea as a superfood in recent years, some might wonder if black tea offers the same level of benefit. The truth is that black tea not only offers many of the same health advantages associated with green tea but also has its own unique antioxidants. Here is a look at how black tea benefits health.
Black Tea & Heart Health
Black tea has several properties that may decrease risks of heart problems. Consumed over the long term, black tea is known to reduce blood pressure. Blood vessel inflammation, which can be caused by factors such as air pollution, smoking or a high-fat diet, is also decreased by black tea. Finally, the tannins in black tea reduce risks of blood clots, which cause more than half of all deaths in the United States. One study found that people who regularly consumed at least three cups of black tea per each day had one-fifth lower risk of stroke compared to people who didn’t indulge on a daily basis.
Brain Health with Organic Black Tea
Brain health is also benefited by black tea. The drink has been shown to lower risks of Parkinson’s disease and dementia and may help ADHD sufferers focus. In Parkinson’s disease, tea helps by preserving the health of the brain’s dopamine neurons, which are lost progressively during the course of the disease. Dementia in old age was found by American researchers to be half as common among people who routinely drank two to three cups of tea per day. Stimulation and mood elevation from black tea may also lower risks of depression, and black tea can be better than coffee for people with anxiety because tea contains l-theanine, a relaxing amino acid.
Kidney Health from Black Tea
Like other caffeinated drinks, black tea has a mild diuretic effect. Increasing the volume of urine eliminated by the body decreases risks of kidney stones. This is further enhanced by addition of lemon juice, which helps break down the stones. Although black tea does contain measurable amounts of oxalate, which can contribute to kidney stones in susceptible people, the diuretic effects of the drink are widely believed to counteract any impact from the oxalate.
Black tea consumption has been linked to lower risks of type 2 diabetes in population studies. For example, a study of elderly Mediterranean people found that those with a long history of drinking one to two cups of black tea daily had less than one-third the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who drank less than one cuppa per day. Laboratory studies have found that black tea delays glucose absorption and reduces fat digestion in the intestines. Finally, black tea extracts have been shown to actually regenerate pancreatic beta cells, which produce insulin, in rats with toxin-induced diabetes.
Cancer Risk Reduction
Although black tea has not been proven to prevent cancer, it is rich in antioxidants that may reduce risk. Free radicals, linked to inflammation and tissue damage that can predispose to cancer, are decreased by theaflavins and other polyphenols present in black tea. Furthermore, lab experiments have found that black tea extracts slowed tumor growth in rats. Theaflavins are produced during the black tea fermentation process, which creates the substances from the widely touted catechins contained by green tea.
Health of Teeth and Bones
The fluoride and tannins in black tea have been shown to promote healthy teeth and bones. Tea naturally contains high levels of fluoride, which it takes up from the soil. Fluoride not only helps prevent tooth damage by oral bacteria but also aids in repair of the teeth by mineral-rich saliva. Throughout the body, fluoride actually lowers risks of osteoporosis in old age. Tannins in black tea have anti-bacterial effects and also prevent oral bacteria from sticking to tooth enamel in the first place.
Black tea is a versatile beverage for enjoyment and health support. On top of its many health benefits, black tea also stays fresh longer than its green counterpart. It may be no wonder that when it comes to tea, the world’s favorite beverage after water, black tea still reigns supreme.