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It seems to be common knowledge that drinking tea is good for your health, but exactly why is not so well known. In this article we take a look at the properties of tea and why they may be beneficial for your health and wellbeing.
Antioxidants help to prevent cell damage in the body caused by oxidants. Oxidants are sometimes otherwise known as free radicals and whilst they occur in the body naturally they can also come from the environment and having an excess can lead to diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high-cholesterol, Alzheimer's, Parkinsons, dementia arthritis and heart disease and lead to issues such as faster skin ageing and damage from pollution.
Loading cells up with antioxidants help to protect them from damage from these free radicals, and is a method of doing so with no side effects.
All teas are specifically rich in polyphenols as it is a property of the Camelia Sinensis plant from which all tea is derived. This is a nutrient which detoxifies cells and so is a powerful antioxidant. In fact, many researchers say that teas may have eight to ten times the number of polyphenols than usually found in fruits and vegetables. Tea is also high in antioxidants that aren’t always present in fruits and vegetables such as thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins.
As dietary recommendations usually encourage 5 portions of fruit and veg a day – perhaps a daily cup of tea could be another to add to your daily health routine?
Whilst pound for pound, dried tea is sometimes found to have a high caffeine content when compared to coffee, when prepared this changes greatly. Less tea is usually used in cup than coffee in a cup and there is less dissolving of caffeine-heavy particles in tea and so fewer caffeine molecules are present in infused tea.
Whilst caffeine in small doses does not seem to present too much risk; with heavy consumption caffeine may have links with higher blood pressure, stress, insomnia and indigestion. Caffeine is also experienced differently by many individuals so a high caffeine diet may work for some, but anything but small amounts of caffeine may be a significant irritant to others.
For those who do struggle to consume coffee, but find that tea is quite manageable even though it is caffeinated, there is a very good reason for this.
The other properties of tea make the experience of absorbing caffeine quite different and possibly less stressful on the body. Whilst the brewed cup itself is likely to have a lower caffeine content than your average cup of coffee; tea also contains L-theanine and amino acid linked with lowering stress and anxiety. It is believed that L-theanine words alongside the caffeine during absorption which allows for the body to be calmed whilst still getting the alertness kick from caffeine. Finally, the high levels of antioxidants in tea cause the caffeine to be absorbed into the body gradually over a longer period of time than with caffeine. This reduces the stress of absorption on the body and also counteracts the caffeine “crash” that many experience from coffee.
Of course, if you are looking for something completely caffeine-free, our range of herbal infusions are the solution. Delicious and completely caffeine free, they are the perfect alternative to caffeinated tea.
Yes, that is correct! Pure tea infusions without the addition of milk of sweetener are completely calorie free! This means that it can be really helpful in managing your daily calorie intake: a delicious, natural drink that can be taken any time of day; and many teas such Darjeeling, Gunpowder and White Peony are naturally sweet but without any of the sugar.
One suggested tip to help control calories as part of one’s diet is to replace many sweet drinks with pure tea infusions. Not only will it taste great, consuming water will help to fill you up, in fact tea is an excellent way to hit recommended daily water intake targets as well so there is even more reason to make a switch. In addition, teas can be cold brewed and carried around with you all day, just to top up with fresh water as and when needed for a delicious drink at any time.
In fact cold brewing is so easy and brings out very different flavours in tea for a slightly sweeter, less astringent infusion on almost any tea type. We have selected a range of teas that lend themselves particularly well to cold brewing. You can read more here.