Tea has been consumed for thousands of years and is the second-most popular drink in the world, with water being the first. It is the national drink of several nations, including China and India, and is an integral component of religious ceremonies the world over. Drinking tea has been known to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and improve sleep. In addition to these instant benefits, tea can also help improve a person’s long-term health through regular consumption. YOUR HEART According to Harvard Health Institute, several studies show that those who regularly drink black and green tea are at a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease. These types of tea contain antioxidants and flavonoids, which are plant chemicals that help dilate arteries and reduce bad cholesterol. Studies also link tea consumption with improved vascular reactivity — how well your blood vessels respond to stress. YOUR BRAIN Flavonoids don’t only fight heart disease; these chemicals can also reduce any vascular damage to the brain. The National University of Singapore has conducted studies that link reduced risks of dementia WHAT’S SWIRLING AROUND IN YOUR CUP?
in the elderly with regular tea consumption. The results speak for themselves: “The longitudinal study involving 957 Chinese seniors aged 55 years or older has found that regular consumption of tea lowers the risk of cognitive decline in the elderly by 50%, while APOE e4 gene carriers who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease may experience a reduction in cognitive impairment risk by as much as 86%.” YOUR MOOD Tea leaves contain the amino acid L-theanine, which stimulates several feel-good neurotransmitters, like serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters help boost your mood and alertness. According to a study by the Huazhong University of Science and Technology in China, tea even has the ability to ward off depression. The study took 22,817 participants with 4,743 cases of depression over 11 studies, and 13 reports found that individuals who drank three cups of tea a day decreased their depression risk by 37%. So, the next time you want a warm beverage that will do your mind and body good, reach for some tea and bask in all the health benefits as you sip.
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