About 30% of the U.S. population drinks coffee regularly, but around the world, many people prefer hot tea to a morning cup of coffee or espresso.
For centuries, different cultures around the world have been steeping tea and other herbs in hot water for both a delicious beverage and a health boost. From green and black tea to herbal varieties like peppermint or hibiscus, each different type of tea is associated with unique health benefits. Some teas aid sleep, some help with memory, and some teas have even been rumored to lower blood pressure. While scientists still haven’t confirmed or debunked every health perk tea makers may claim, researchers have linked tea-drinking with some overall health benefits. Researchers attribute health benefits to the antioxidants found in tea, called flavonoids. If you’re a tea lover, check out the following list of health benefits your favorite warm drink might bestow:
Many teas have been shown to help individuals manage their weight. Tea naturally contains zero calories, and increasing overall water intake helps individuals eat less at meals. In fact, one new study found that drinking 16 ounces of water or a similar low-calorie beverage before meals leads to more weight loss. However, the weight-loss benefits of tea drinking go beyond a lack of calories. Rose hip tea has been associated with BMI reduction, and Pu-erh tea has shown promising results for reducing the weight gain of animals in research trials.
Tea-drinking has also been associated with clearing skin blemishes, including dryness, redness, inflammation, and acne. Lemon balm tea in particular has demonstrated unique ability to promote skin elasticity, and rose hip tea has anti-aging effects. Just about any green tea variety is loaded with antioxidants, which can help reduce the inflammation and redness associated with acne. Over 85% of people have experienced acne in their lifetime, but tea might be an easy, widespread solution that doesn’t require harsh chemical scrubs or a trip to the dermatologist.
Energy and Focus
It’s no secret that tea contains caffeine, a stimulant which brings tea drinkers a nice energy boost. Green tea, for example, contains about 20 to 45 milligrams of caffeine for an 8-ounce cup, which promotes alertness. However, caffeine is not the only way that tea can bring a healthy boost in focus. Sage tea offers many brain-healthy benefits, including increased cognitive function and even memory improvement.
Somewhat surprisingly, tea can even improve your overall heart health. Studies have found that drinking black tea reduces the risk for stroke or a heart attack. Additionally, lemon balm tea boosts the elasticity of arteries, which reduces risk for clotting.
Emotional and Mental Health
Perhaps less surprisingly, tea is lauded for many mental and emotional health perks. Why? Drinking tea is just a nice thing to do! Pleasing smells, tastes, and the sense of treating yourself all contribute to a boost in overall contentedness and feelings of well-being. Again, sage tea and lemon tea excel when it comes to mood-boosting ability, perhaps due to their pleasant aroma and their capacity to improve mental focus.
Without a doubt, drinking tea can bring impressive health benefits. Drinking tea without sweeteners like sugar certainly causes less harm than other beverage options, like soda or even fruit juice. If you’re hoping to lose weight, improve your memory, or if you’re searching for nearly any other health benefit, there’s probably a tasty tea that can help you! Do a little research to find the perfect tea for your body’s unique needs.