About half of the U.S. population will drink tea today, and this growing trend is expected to increase over the next five years. Although tea has a long and rich history, its rising popularity in today’s culture has brought along new health claims. You can go into your local grocery store and find tea to promote anything from weight loss to lactation. But what does science have to say about everyone’s new favorite drink?
Tea leaves contain a large amount of polyphenols. The antioxidants found in polyphenols do help protect our cells from damage. There are many health benefits associated with tea that are specifically related to heart health. Research has found that stroke mortality was significantly reduced in tea drinkers; green tea was associated with higher levels of good cholesterol and lower levels of bad cholesterol, and black tea was found to decrease the incidence of heart attack.
Additionally, there is research that links these same polyphenols in tea to the prevention of cancer. However, there is not enough evidence to support these claims. Tea does have great benefits, but it is important to consider which ones are factually based.
There are many factors that should be considered when looking at the health benefits of tea. Lifestyle and diet play a large impact on the effect tea has on your health. It should also be noted that adding milk or cream to your daily tea could influence the benefits. With an overall healthy lifestyle, tea can be a great beverage choice to give your body the antioxidants it needs to fight off damage and promote health.
Written by: Meghan McGillvray, Wellness Workdays Dietetic Intern