National Tea Day: 7 incredible health benefits of tea-drinking
For the love of tea! Celebrating National Tea Day with 7 health benefits of tea-drinking #WisdomToWellness
Through good days, bad days, celebration, heartache and everything in-between, putting the kettle on – whether that's to make English Breakfast or Matcha – is something that human beings all over the world take great comfort in. There are many health benefits to drinking all sorts of different teas, from cancer prevention to weight loss, but the advantages don't stop at the physical - there's an awful lot that treating ourselves to a cup of tea can do for our mental wellbeing too.
In celebration of National Tea Day, we take a look at just some of the ways taking tea can improve your life…
Photo by Elena Mozhvilo - Tea and creativity
If you’ve ever sat down to embark on a project involving some sort of creative or innovative process, you’ll know in that moment, a mug of tea would never go amiss. Many of the world’s most famous artists, writers, entrepreneurs also feel this way (C.S.Lewis, for one, was famously quoted saying “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”) and there may be good reason for this.
The physical health benefits of tea are extensive and although this is something that has been known (or at least, believed) for thousands of years, new revelations just keep on coming. One of the latest discoveries is that by drinking a hot, caffeinated tea every day you could reduce your likelihood of developing glaucoma by a whopping 74%!
The report, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology in 2017, looked at 1678 people and tracked both their daily consumption of beverages and how many of them had developed glaucoma. Remarkably, these impressive results only occurred for hot, caffeinated tea. Iced tea and decaf showed no difference in glaucoma risk at all.
3. Increased Memory & Alzheimer’s prevention
Photo by Richard Sagredo - mental health benefits of tea
Another really exciting find is that drinking either black or green tea on a regular basis could help to improve memory. But beyond that, the way it improves memory indicates that it may actually help to protect the brain against Alzheimer's Disease.
A team from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne found that both teas, once digested, inhibited the activity of certain enzymes in the brain which are associated with the development of Alzheimer's.
4. White Tea Warrior
Photo by Tea Creative │ Soo Chung - white tea wellness
The history of white tea (uncured, unfermented tea leaves) spans back to the Song Dynasty Chinese Empire (960-1279) when it was first presented as a tribute to the Emperor. Today, this is still a beverage fit for a king and, truly, one of nature’s miracles. The anti-viral and anti-cancer properties of tea has been known for some time, with white tea being the most potent, but a couple of studies in the last decade have really surpassed expectations.
A 2009 study conducted by Oregon State University in Corvallis, looking into the protection against colon cancer using a group of laboratory mice, had staggering results. A therapy with prescription drug Sulindac was found to cut polyp formation in these mice by about half, but consumption of white tea yielded an average decrease of 30 to 13. Mice given both Sulindac and white tea in combination saw a tumour reduction of about 80 percent, from 30 tumours to six. That’s a pretty huge reason to celebrate National Tea Day!
5. Natural Pain Relief
Photo by Lisa Hobbs - chamomille tea for pain relief
Chamomile tea is largely known for its sleep-inducing properties (and indeed, these are quite true) but lesser known is this tea’s ability to relieve pain - particularly menstrual cramps. This delicate, floral concoction may be gentle in spirit, but it packs a punch when it comes to anti-spasmodic effects.
Rooibos tea, traditionally a South African caffeine-free drink, has gained popularity all over the world for its mild, nutty and slightly vanilla flavour - a favourite of many celebrating National Tea Day! But these mighty leaves have more to offer than delicious flavour. Among many benefits, Rooibos is claimed to be able to relieve and in some cases prevent allergies. This is due to two particular bioactive flavonoids: Chrysoeriol, which can work as a bronchodilator (a substance that decreases resistance in the respiratory airway and increases airflow to the lungs) and Quercetin, which essentially blocks mast cells and acts as an all-natural anti-histamine.
7. Diabetes Defence
Photo by Thought Catalog - tea to reduce risk of diabetes
According to diabetes.co.uk, a 2009 study showed drinking three cups of tea per day could reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 40 per cent. Research has shown black tea may improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place, due to a high content of micronutrients called polyphenols which have the ability to increase insulin activity. However, adding milk to your tea could reduce the positive effects, so if you’re hoping to make the most of this it’s best to take it black.