An overview of the potential health benefits of gourmet teas

An Overview of the Potential Health Benefits of Gourmet Teas

Mankind has been drinking gourmet teas for thousands of years.  First discovered in China, tea is believed to benefit several areas of your health including your mental equilibrium, liver, and cardiovascular health.  Tea is the most popular beverage in the world after water and its benefits to health are far more than just wives’ tales.  Many scientists have discovered through research that much of the supposed health benefits of drinking gourmet teas are indeed a reality.

Why Tea?

Tea contains flavonoids, which are naturally-occurring compounds that have antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants are very beneficial to your health because they neutralize the damage caused by free radicals.  Free radicals damage genetic material and lipids and contribute to chronic illness.  Studies of the health benefits of tea have been done on animals and humans using green and black gourmet Tea.

, both of which come from the camellia sinensis plant.  Some findings from these studies include the fact that drinking tea is associated with bone and oral health, a boost of the immune system, a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease, and a lowered risk of certain cancers.

Drink Gourmet Teas for Cardiovascular Health

People who regularly consume three or more cups of black tea per day may reduce their risk of getting a heart attack or stroke.  This is because black tea consumption lowers cholesterol levels, improves blood vessel function, and reduces oxidative damage.

According to a study done in Holland, people who drink one to two cups of black tea per day have a 46 percent lower risk of severe aortic atherosclerosis, which is a strong indicator of cardiovascular disease.  In the same study, those who drank more than four cups of black tea per day had a 69 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

In a Harvard study of 340 men and women who had suffered from heart attacks, those who drank a cup or more of black tea per day had a 44 percent reduction in the risk of heart attack.

Researchers at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that five servings of black tea per day reduced LDL cholesterol levels by 11.1 percent compared to placebo beverages.

Drink Gourmet Teas to Prevent Cancer

Tea flavonoids reduce cancer risk because they combat free radical damage, inhibit cell proliferation, and promote programmed cell death.  More evidence regarding the effects of tea flavonoids is needed before definitive conclusions are made, but findings include the following:

-Smokers who drank four cups of decaf green tea per day demonstrated a 31% decrease in oxidative DNA damage in white blood cells compared to those who drank four cups of water.  Oxidative DNA damage is implicated in the development of a variety of different cancers.

-A study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that the consumption of 2.5 cups per day or more was associated with a 60% drop in rectal cancer in Russian women from Moscow.

-Researchers in Taiwan discovered a link between cancer reduction and EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is a polyphenol found in green tea.  The researchers found that the EGCG induced cell death and blocked cell cycle progression and thus inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells.

-In studies comparing groups of mice treated with a carcinogen and receiving either water or water enriched with antioxidants found in tea, the tea-fed mice developed 24 percent fewer lung tumors.  Furthermore, the average size of the tumors that did develop was 38 percent smaller than the water-fed mice.

Drink Gourmet Teas for Oral Health

Drinking tea contributes to oral health because it is believed that tea flavonoids inhibit the formation of plaque.  The fluoride in tea may also support healthy tooth enamel.  In a study conducted at the New York University Dental Center, hamsters were fed water with black tea extract.  The hamsters that were fed the tea had 63.7 percent fewer cavities than the other hamsters.

Drink Gourmet Teas to Lose Weight

According to preliminary research, drinking tea may prevent fat accumulation, increase your metabolism rate, and help you lose weight.  Green tea extract significantly increases fat oxidation and energy expenditure in healthy adults according to some studies.  Green and black teas have also been found to increase insulin.  In a study that had moderately obese patients consume green tea on a regular basis for three months, body weight decreased by 4.6 percent and waist circumference decreased by 4.48 percent.

A Reduced Risk of Kidney Stones and Osteoporosis

For people who have had kidney stones, increased fluid intake is recommended to reduce the likelihood of recurrence.  The risk of developing kidney stones can also be lowered by consuming tea.  Beverage choice is thought to affect the development of kidney stones.

Drinking tea can also reduce the risk of osteoporosis as many studies point to the role that tea plays in bone health.  In the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study was published stating that older women who drank tea had higher bone mineral density (BMD) than those who didn’t.  The researchers of this study concluded that tea might influence bone mass.  Another study showed that adults who are habitual tea drinkers experience significant benefits to BMD measurements.

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