BLACK TEA – HEALTH BENEFITS
A true classic and world renowned – Black tea is special because of the way the leaves are processed after the tea is harvested. There are thousands of different black tea varieties in the world and this too is known to have originated in China. When it comes to black tea, there are a few countries known for production such as Kenya, India and Sri Lanka. The most famous teas of India come from Darjeeling, Assam, and Nilgiri. Black tea comes in various shapes and grades and have a silky-smooth texture. This magnificent brew color ranges from light orange to dark brown or black depending on the type of tea and the grade. It can be a refreshing choice all day long. Taste notes are also largely varied for each tea type; however, this gives bold and brisk flavor with the rounded or full-bodied mouthfeel.
Black tea is produced via the traditional process of fermentation, which is in fact, an enzymatic oxidation induced by polyphenol oxidases enzyme, native to tea leaves. Considering this oxidation process which is unique to Black Tea, multiple studies have investigated the unique benefits related to black tea drinking habit. The major health benefits of black tea include:
- Improved cardiovascular function
- Enhanced oral health
- Improved immune system
- Stress relief – positive effects on mood, alertness and mental performance
Improved Cardiovascular Health
When we take a look at the studies that have been carried out on the health benefit of black tea, Hertog et al (1933); & Chun et al., (2007) have indicated that “Black tea, made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis, contributes 60-84 per cent of dietary flavonoids in Western populations. Further, it has been reported that flavonoid intakes in tea consumers are twenty times greater than in non-tea consumers (Song and Chun, 2008). These flavonoids act as antioxidants in tea and is known to have many beneficial impacts on the body.
A recent meta-analysis (Hooper et al., 2008) examined the impact of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages on cardiovascular risk. Twelve trials on black tea were assessed involving nearly 300 subjects in the intervention arm. Black tea consumption was found to increase FMD by 3.4 percent, on average, which may be clinically significant Since a 1.4 percent increase in FMD is believed to lower heart disease risk by 1 percent (Hooper et al., 2008).
Enhanced Oral Health
Black tea improves oral health by reducing plaque formation and restricting bacteria growth. A study funded by the Tea Trade Health Research Association found a specific element of black tea, called polyphenols , killed or suppressed cavity-causing bacteria. A similar study by Göteborg University, where participants rinsed with tea for one minute 10 times per day, showed comparable results. This was a collaborative study conducted in conjunction with the College of Dentistry at the University of Iowa.
Improved Immune System
Most tea connoisseurs have experienced calming and relaxing benefits of black tea. Studies show that the amino acid L-theanine found in black tea can aid in relaxation and enhance concentration . When consumed in moderate amounts, black tea has also been shown to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Further, a review by Ruxton (2008) summarized 23 studies on the impact of caffeine on cognitive function finding positive effects on mood, alertness and mental performance at acute intakes of 37.5-450 mg. Some evidence from human studies exists which suggests that the flavonoids in black tea are sufficiently bioavailable to stimulate the cardiovascular and cognitive effects described previously. (Widlansky et al. 2005)
As proven through these studies, it is important to understand that your favorite black tea, is not just another drink to quench the thirst. It carries many more benefits. So, grab a cup of tea from TeaSwan’s rich and exquisite collection of premium Black Tea. Finally, one thing to keep in the mind, it is very important to choose the tea that suits best for you form this wide range. But it is also equally important to prepare it properly as per the given brewing instruction. Keeping these in mind, enjoy a cup of TeaSwan tea and stay happy.
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8. WebMD: Drinking Black Tea May Soothe Stress