Tea is one of the most popular beverages throughout the world, not only for its rich flavor and taste, but also for a number of health benefits.
Tea, the world’s second most popular beverage (next to water) is prepared from the leaves of Camellia sinensis plant. There are mainly six types of teas, which are made from the same species of plant, but with different processing techniques. They are known as white tea, green tea, black tea, yellow tea, oolong tea and pu-erh tea. Tea has a long history of being used as a beverage and it was widely used in ancient China to treat a number of health conditions. In modern times, tea has become a subject of extensive scientific research and studies, many of which have highlighted some unique and important qualities of tea, which can help to lower the risk for a wide range of diseases and disorders. So, let’s take a brief look at tea nutrition facts, including nutritional value of tea and its health benefits.
Tea Nutritional Value
Tea prepared without adding milk and sugar has no calorie. Only when milk and sugar is added, tea contains calories. 1 cup of brewed tea, i.e. about 237g of tea can contain approximately 7.1mg magnesium, 2.4mg phosphorus, 87mg potassium, 7mg sodium and 884 mcg fluoride. In addition to these, it contains about 11.9 mcg of folate. Tea can provide a significant amount of dietary requirement for fluoride, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Other nutrients found in tea are, vitamin C, thaimine, riboflavin and vitamin B6. Tea also contains catechins, polyphenols and flavonoids, all of which exhibit strong antioxidant properties.
Tea Health Benefits
Studies on tea have observed that much of the health benefits of tea is due to its strong antioxidant properties, which can be attributed to the presence of substances like, catechins, polyphenols and flavonoids. All these substances have been observed to be powerful antioxidants, which can help in minimizing the damaging effects of free radicals on the body cells and tissues. Free radicals are known to be highly reactive and to oxidize the cells and tissues of the body.
Antioxidants help to prevent such oxidative damage caused by free radicals. This in turn can prove immensely helpful in reducing the risk for certain life threatening diseases. Tea, if taken in moderation can provide a number of health benefits, which are enlisted below:
Tea can help to manage the level of cholesterol in the body. This in turn, can help to reduce the risk for heart attack and strokes.
Tea can increase the rate of metabolism, which may prove helpful for those trying to lose weight.
Green tea can be especially helpful to burn extra calories. Know more about green tea benefits.
Tea may also be beneficial for preventing diabetes, as it can improve insulin sensitivity or glucose tolerance.
Tea, if taken regularly can help to provide protection against cardiovascular diseases. It can reduce the stiffness of the blood vessels and lower blood pressure, which can improve cardiovascular health.
Due to its antioxidant properties, tea can provide some protection against cancer, especially gastric, skin, ovarian and esophageal cancer.
In addition to these, tea can strengthen the immune system, make the bones stronger, increase mental alertness, treat the depression symptoms and lower the level of stress hormones in the body.
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Green tea is a very useful tool to enhance fat loss, and is the only thermogenic agent that is not a stimulant. An acquired taste, maybe, but one that most people should acquire for their own good!
Let the debate begin!