Time for tea – to your health

HEALTH MATTERS: Studies have found that certain hot teas, when incorporated with a healthy lifestyle, can have a beneficial effect on your health.

HEALTH MATTERS

This article was made possible through the financial support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, which has sponsored Qcitymetro’s Health Page since 2010.


Ayesha Qureshi
Ayesha Qureshi, MPH

There are two types of tea: leaves and herbals. The leaves are either black, green, or white, each category having many variations, and the herbal teas are too many to list, but all with unique qualities.

So, which type of tea is best? The answer is based on your needs, preferences, and tastes.

Walk down the tea aisle at your local grocery and browse the many different tea brands. There is a tea pretty much for whatever ails you. Stomach issues? Ginger or fennel tea is great. Ginger is also great if you are fighting a cold. Can’t sleep? There is a plethora of decaffeinated nighttime teas to help you relax and fall asleep. Anxious? Find an eleuthero root-based tea to calm you down. Need a pick-me-up? Although a cup of tea has less caffeine than does an equal cup of coffee, it can still be enough to provide a boost to your day.

Many studies have found that some teas, incorporated in a healthy diet, may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Certain teas have been beneficial in aiding with weight loss, lowering cholesterol, and bringing about mental alertness.

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A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that tea:

  • Appears to lower the risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Contains natural compounds called polyphenols, which in green tea might protect against several cancers, including those of the prostate, GI tract, lungs, breast, and skin.
  • Has caffeine and antioxidants called catechins, which are found in green, oolong, and white teas may increase metabolism and promote weight loss.
  • Has polyphenols that are thought to strengthen bones and protect against fractures.
  • Improves mood, concentration, and performance.

If you have not had hot tea before, why not try a cup? With all the varieties, you may be likely to find something you enjoy. And when you are lucky enough to do so, raise your cup and toast to your health.