Is Tea Beneficial or Not?

Is Tea Beneficial or Not?

We already knew some benefits of the tea in general for our organism, although it seems that it is a "simple" infusion does not stop permeating among some (and others exaggerate their benefits too much). Be that as it may, the reality is that tea (and coffee) have great benefits, even for our careless heart.
The origin of tea is found in China, where it is a very precious and consumed beverage, deeply rooted in its culture. They also consume it a lot in India and Cambodia. If we talk about Europe, England is the country where tea is most popular, having even created a name for the time when it is most usual to drink this beverage: tea time, which is usually around 5 in the afternoon.

However, there is no single variety of tea. But depending on when the leaves and buds are harvested and the treatment they are subjected to, we are talking about different types of teas, all prepared from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant.

Today, at the hands of Dr. Howard Sesso, of the Harvard Medical School and associate epidemiologist at Brigham Women's Hospital, we will tell you about the current scientific evidence about the benefits of tea for our heart and our cardiovascular system in general.

The benefits of tea, on examination

According to Dr. Sesso, tea is a great source of catechins belonging to a group of chemical substances called flavonoids. Research suggests that such flavonoids calm inflammation and reduce atherosclerosis. For its part, green tea has more of these substances than black tea, but both green and black tea have small amounts of caffeine (20-45 mg per cup, the equivalent of half the caffeine in coffee).

The different studies have shown that consuming tea can improve vascular reactivity, something beneficial when it comes to responding to physical or emotional stress. In addition, green tea and black tea can lower levels of LDL cholesterol or "bad cholesterol." For its part, it is speculated that tea can improve blood pressure, but the results of these investigations have been contradictory in this regard.

Also, several large studies show that regularly drinking black tea or green tea can reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes, although it should be noted that the personality and way of life of tea consumers are different from those who do not consume it. , so it can not be fully assured if tea is a protective substance, or if it is only a side effect of the general way of life of these individuals.

Benefits, yes, but without overdosing

Even so, as it happens in everything, it is not advisable to exceed the consumption of tea of any kind (or concentrate in pills that promise to do the same as the consumption of tea). At the moment there are no known damages for drinking a cup of tea or two a day, but going over it could end up causing kidney damage, according to a recent statement from The New England Journal of Medicine. Interestingly, black tea is a rich source of oxalates as well as flavonoids, and precisely these oxalates can cause kidney stones or stones, which can lead to kidney failure.

As Dr. Sesso comments, you should drink tea in moderation and for pleasure, not as a medicine. Oh! And be careful with adding sugar, because a little is fine, but going over sugar could mask the benefits of tea (and even more so if you consume prefabricated ice tea, where there are up to 9 tablespoons of sugar per serving, almost as much as in a soft drink ).

Finally, the million dollar question: green tea, black tea or herbal tea?

According to Dr. Sesso, both green and black tea come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The differences between them are due to the subsequent processing of the leaves of the said plant (the green tea is due to the cooking and stopping the oxidation of the leaves to let them dry later, and the black tea is produced by crushing and previous oxidation of the leaves. leaves, before letting them dry).

On the other hand, herbal teas have a greater variety, such as mint, cinnamon, licorice, ginger, and rose hips. We can find benefits similar to green or black tea, but there is not enough research in this regard to venture to affirm anything concrete.

What is tea and what are infusions

How can we distinguish, then, what is a tea from what is an infusion? Teas are the drinks that are prepared from the Camellia sinensis plant, using its leaves. There are different types, depending on the treatment that has been given to them. We can distinguish green tea, red, black, white and blue tea within the family of teas that really are teas, not simply infusions.

On the other hand, the rest of the drinks that are prepared with other plants, leaves or fruits, are infusions. Thus, Rooibos, chamomile, mint, valerian or any other type of infusion that comes to mind, fall into this category. Some of them have very specific properties.

For example, we associate chamomile with gastrointestinal well-being and we take it when we do not feel well from the stomach. Or we take valerian or lime when we are nervous and our heart system is very fast. We can even prepare infusions with spices as well known as oregano or thyme, very beneficial for health. Oregano infusion is related to the relief of asthma attacks or asthma attacks, as well as a reduction of menstrual pain, for example.

Green Tea

Also, there is a difference in the way you prepare these two drinks. The teas should be prepared with hot water, but without it having boiled. This is so because in that case, the leaves of the tea would be cooked and would give a more bitter touch, less pleasant to the palate.

However, the infusions admit some more margin, being able to prepare with boiling water and having them a time of up to ten minutes, without problems. Green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves. Once harvested, they have been allowed to dry and have undergone heat treatment.

It is a low tea in teína. The vitamins provided by green tea are A, C, and E, as well as being a drink rich in important minerals. It is the type of tea that has more antioxidants, so it has great benefits for human health.

However, it is not indicated for people with hypertension. In addition, because it contains theine, its high consumption (more than three cups a day) could cause some problems of excess of this substance, such as dizziness, headache or nervousness. Nor is its use recommended in cases of pregnancy or lactation.

Red tea, benefits, and contraindications

The leaves of the red tea have been semi-fermented and the result of its preparation is a reddish tea with a strong flavor. It contains mainly vitamins of groups B, C and D. It has fat burning properties, so it is recommended in slimming diets to promote the elimination of them. It should not be confused with the (false) Rooibos tea, since the latter is made from another plant, so it is an infusion.

Its benefits are many, among which are its depurative properties of tea or its advantages in facilitating digestion. Its contraindications, although less than its benefits, must also be taken into account. Its use is not recommended to pregnant or lactating women, diabetics or those with delicate bowel.

Black tea, how does it benefit us?

Black tea is characterized by being prepared from oxidized leaves, once harvested and treated. This oxidation process is what changes the color of tea leaves, from green to black. It is the tea with the most teína of all the teas.

Among the properties of black tea, in addition to being a great antioxidant, they emphasize that it is a natural astringent remedy, so it is very beneficial in case of gastrointestinal disorders. Due to its high content often, it is especially important not to abuse this drink, as its benefits can become health problems if taken in large quantities daily.

White tea, the most delicate of teas

White tea is a very special drink because instead of the leaves of the plant, it is made with the smallest and tender shoots of the Camellia sinensis. This peculiar characteristic is what gives white tea its clear color, as well as its differentiation in terms of flavor and aroma compared to the rest of teas.
White and green tea contains catechins (flavonoids), which are responsible for the following health benefits:

  • Combat free radicals
  • It is anti-inflammatory
  • It is antimicrobial and antimutagenic
  • combat obesity
  • In most types of tea, the most powerful ingredients are found in the fresh leaves of tea. In the case of black, however, approximately 80% of the catechins are oxidized when the leaves are processed. A cup of freshly made tea is delicious, relaxing and good for your health.

Blue tea

Blue tea or Oolong tea is a variety from China once again. It differs from the rest of teas by the semi-fermentation of its leaves. It is an intermediate step of treating its leaves between green tea and black tea.

In fact, this fermentation process is interrupted, which means that its leaves are rolled and fermented repeatedly. It is an antioxidant and strengthens the immune system. In addition, although it is usually consumed hot, it can also be cold or ice cream.

Reasons to start the day with a cup of tea

Did you know that everything we call as such is not tea? We tell you what are the properties of the tea, as well as all its characteristics and benefits
Surely many of us, despite being lovers of teas and all its varieties and aromas, we are not at all aware of what are the properties of tea, what exactly is this drink, and what is its origin.

The first clarification regarding tea is found in his own name. Although with the word tea we usually refer to all kinds of teas and infusions in general, the truth is that this is not entirely correct.

In the strictest sense of the term, tea is how we know the plant Camellia sinensis, and it is also what we call the drink we make with the leaves of this plant. The rest of the drinks prepared from leaves of plants or fruits submerged in hot water is called infusion. Surely for convenience when using the term in the oral language, we speak of teas in a generic sense.

The properties of tea and infusions are, in general, greater than their contraindications. However, excessive consumption of this beverage, especially tea due to its content in theine, can be detrimental to the metabolism.

1. Improve the state of mood

Some studies have proven that people who drink green tea on a regular basis are less likely to suffer from depression.

2. Activate Metabolism (therefore help in weight loss)

In part because of its stimulating effect on metabolism and the reduction of stored fat, drinking green tea contributes to weight loss. A Journal of Obesity publication found that regular consumption of green tea or catechin supplements help with weight loss.

3. Reduce the level of cholesterol

A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition proved that green tea can significantly reduce "bad" cholesterol levels.

4. Stimulate Renal functions

Green tea improves kidney function, of special interest for those with diabetes.

5. Benefits to lower Blood pressure

According to a study by the European Journal of Nutrition, the green tea and the catechins it contains have a positive effect on blood pressure thanks to its properties against hypertension.

6. Helping the digestion

Asian scientists discovered that green tea has prebiotic effects on the body, so it helps the intestine.

7. Reduce Sugar levels 

An experiment conducted with mice confirmed that green tea can reduce (by half) the blood sugar spikes that sometimes accompany carbohydrate-rich foods. And how much tea do you have to see this effect? In humans, approximately 2 cups.

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