‘Karibu Chai’ is a common statement to visitors in Kenyan homesteads and at the office too. You are always welcomed with a cup of tea as refreshment. Why tea? What is it about tea that makes it so special. Tea has been here for over centuries and has been regarded as a key to great health, happiness and wisdom. It is said that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second to water.
Real tea comes from a plant known as Camellia Sinesis. It mainly includes four varieties of tea namely; Green tea, Black tea, white tea and Oolong tea. Anything else like herbal or camomile tea is an infusion of different plants, and can’t be necessarily classified as tea.
In his 1906 book titled as ‘The Book of Tea’ Japanese philosopher, Kakuzo Okakura, highlighted, highlighted the historical and ancient belief that tea started more than just a beverage. Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage (Okakura, 1906).
Two cups of tea are equivalent to 5 portions of fruits due to its rich antioxidant presence. I take a look at 9 reasons why coffee’s little sibling could be your cup of health.
1. Tea aides in weight loss
There is nothing as tormenting as trying to lose weight. Thankfully, steady consumption of tea that has high presence of; catechins and theaflavins, which are antioxidants have been proven to cause weight loss due to their ability to reduce and inhibit lipid/fat formation by improving lipid metabolism. Tea has the ability to increase the metabolism rate, and is able to burn up to 70-80 calories by just taking 5 cups of tea, on an annual scale you can lose up to 3 kg.
2. Tea and reduction of cardiovascular risks
The presence of poly-phenols (antioxidants), in black, green and oolong tea improves the control of blood pressure and formation of new blood vessels, which is termed as angiogenesis, which ensures that our blood vessels remain clog free. This reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Tea for diabetes prevention
The flavanol which is present in tea, has the ability to mimic the action of insulin once in the body, thus assists in managing Type1 and type 2 diabetes and non-insulin dependent conditions. Thus tea is highly beneficial for diabetic people.
4. Tea helps in keeping one youthful
Tea is said to reduce ageing and maintain one’s youthfulness. This is because of the antioxidants present in tea. Researchers have found that, tea’s ability to reduce stress by inhibiting free radicals in the body, free radicals are greatly attributed to ageing. Death is inevitable, however tea has a miraculous ability to aid,the elderly have and enjoy longevity of life.
5. Tea assists in oral health
Tea contains fluoride and tannins with regular consumption of tea, the combination of both components assist significantly in the reduction of tooth decay. In addition, tea has high presence of polyphenols, (antioxidants) that kill other harmful microorganisms in the mouth that could cause bad breath.
6. Tea makes you smarter
Tea contains more than just caffeine, it has L-theanine, which increases the activity in the brain, by increasing the release of a substance in the brain known as dopamine. The release of dopamine reduces the risk of dementia, (memory loss) and enhances our brain cognitive functions.
7. Tea is less caffeinated
Compared to coffee, tea is less caffeinated and reduces the risk of addiction to the beverage, agitation, indigestion and jitteriness.
Revelation on the therapeutic qualities of tea has been over-whelming. According to research, there aren’t any mankind’s ailment that are untouched by its therapeutic qualities(Modder, 2002). No other natural or synthetic substance comes even close to tea in terms. Ensure when you go for shopping as you get other beverages for that hot morning refreshment, opt for tea for a more healthier and productive life.
Modder, W. a. (2002). Tea and Health. The Research Institute of Sri Lanka.
Okakura, K. (1906). The Book of Tea. Tuttle.