It’s a common understanding that some varieties of tea are better for you than others. It’s also widely thought that herbal infusions (referred to as tea) are similar in properties, but without the caffeine. With all of the concerns around caffeine intake, and what you should and shouldn’t consume, it can safely be said that if you drink tea in moderation you shouldn’t experience adverse effects.
But what does tea do to your body, and how good (or bad) is it for you? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to!
First of all, let’s dig into the true health properties of our nation’s favourite tea – the humble cuppa. I’m talking black tea, most commonly taken with a little milk. Perhaps lemon, honey or a little sugar if you’re a bit wild.
Let’s start with a concern of most folk – how many calories you should consume within a day. According to the NHS, for the average male it’s around 2,500kcal per day. For an average female this is slightly less at 2,000kcal per day.
If this was translated into cups of tea (just for fun) you’d be looking at 178 cups of tea with semi-skimmed milk for a man, and 142 for a woman.
If we did the same calculation for cans of coca-cola original, you’d be at 18 for a man, and 14 for a woman. Shockingly, for something more nutritious like freshly squeezed orange juice you’re not far different.
So it’s top marks in the calorie department for our humble cuppa!
Natural remedies are often dismissed as outdated, and based on ancient belief as opposed to science. However, it’s no coincidence that some of our most relied on medications today – that come nicely packaged and sterilised at the chemist – are derivative of plants.
Take aspirin for example – it’s naturally found in Willow Bark in the form of salicin, which when processed by the body turns into salicylic acid. In 1928 it was discovered that salicylic acid could be manufactured, which resulted in the drug as we know it today, Aspirin.
It’s therefore not surprising that something as readily available as tea could have similarly useful properties!
A study carried out by NCIB showed that people who drink 3 or more cups of green or black tea per day are 21% less likely to experience a fatal stroke. These results were determined from 9 studies, involving just under 200,000 individuals.
So perhaps don’t turn down that extra cup next time…
Tea as a Detox
Some people go to huge efforts to ‘detox’, visiting expensive clinics or using extreme diets to achieve dramatic effects. The best way to approach a detox would be to try ‘clean eating’ where you cut out processed foods but even this is not recommended as a fad diet but more of a life choice.
Enter once again – our humble cup of tea.
According to John Weisberger and his extensive research, tea can actually modify your metabolism to detox your body and remove harmful chemicals.
Tea, deriving from the camellia plant are rich in polyphenols which are a type of antioxidant. These attack the free radicals in the body that can cause damage to the cells in your body and cause all sorts of illness, including cancer.
Tea contains 8 to 10 times the amount of polyphenols in fruit and vegetables, and therefore has a much more powerful punch when it comes to fighting those pesky free radicals.
As ever, it’s advised that you have a healthy balanced diet and lifestyle, but if you’re doing most things right, that extra cup of tea won’t do you any harm. In fact, it may have the power to save your life!