Wednesday Wisdom: 7 Health Benefits Of Black Tea
“Aap chai laingae ya thanda?” (“Would you like tea or a cold drink?”) We always ask our guests this before serving them a welcoming drink which makes it obvious that we, Pakistani, are a Chai or tea drinking nation. It is a most common hot beverage in each and every household in the country. The level of addiction may vary from house to house or person to person but the fact remains that we take our chai/tea quite seriously. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa are more inclined towards Green Tea or Qehwa while Southern and central parts of the country prefer Chai, black tea with milk or known to the West as Chai Latte. There are various styles of making Chai or Tea and most common are shared on the blog in a post about 3 Highway Style Chai Lattes, check it out for details. Since Chai is such an integral part of our daily lives, be it at home, office, get together, meetings or any event on any level, let us discuss a few science supported health benefits of Black Tea based on an article at Health Line.
- Antioxidant Properties: Antioxidants are substances that are known to prevent or slow the damage of cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that body produces under environmental or other pressures. Black tea contains a group of polyphenols with antioxidant properties which may decrease the risks of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, maintaining cholesterol and blood sugar levels while improving general health.
- Heart Health: Tea contains flavonoids which benefit heart health. Flavonoids are antioxidants, also found in fruits, vegertables and dark chocolate, and consuming flavonoids on regular basis may help reduce many risks factors for heart disease that includes high blood pressure, high cholesterol, increased triglycerides and obesity.
- Lowering LDL Cholesterol: Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) are also called “bad” cholesterol as it transport cholesterol to the body cells whereas High Density Liopoprotein are known as “good” cholesterol because it transport cholesterol away from the body cells and to the liver from where it is excreted out of the body. Studies have shown that black tea consumption may help reduce LDL cholesterol.
- Intestinal Health: There are trillions of bacteria in our gut, some of them are good for the health and some are not. Polyphenols in black tea may help promoting the growth of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria, like Salmonella. Black tea also have antimicrobial properties that kills harmful substances and improve gut bacteria and immunity by helping repairing the intestinal lining.
- Lowering the Risk of Stroke: Researchers have found that those who drank more than 3 cups of green tea or black tea per day have a 21% less chance of stroke in comparison to those who drank less tea per day.
- Improving Focus: Black tea contains theobromine and an amino acid called L-theanine which improves alpha activity in the brain for better focus and alertness.
- Convenience: For those who prefer a low calorie, unsweetened beverage with no caffeine, black tea is an ideal drink. It is easier to find and make with either loose tea or tea bags.