Five Top Teas To Improve 5 Top Health Issues
Tea has a long and illustrious tradition, even if it didn’t start out as a relaxation or meditation drink. Tea was originally used only for medicinal purposes and as a way to improve the health of the drinker. And it turns out that modern research might prove that the ancient tea drinkers actually had a point or two about the tea’s health benefits. Many different studies led by researchers around the world have found that teas contain a number of antioxidants, compounds and nutrients that are beneficial to health and to helping prevent or even cure certain ailments in the body.
The tea plant, and its varieties, is what makes up the main brews of teas that most of us are familiar with today. Black tea, green tea, jasmine and oolong tea are all different varieties of the Camelia sinensis plant. The teas are all derived from the same plant and the varieties appear in the fermentation, or not, of the tea leaves. Green tea is made from the non-fermented leaves, black tea is fermented tea leaves and oolong tea is semi-fermented tea leaves. These main teas are the most popular, although there are many other types of infusions and varieties of teas.
Rooibos tea is from a completely different plant and there are many other medicinal teas that use various plants and flowers. There are also a few other types of tea infusions, not created from the original tea plant, that have been used to create medicinal teas and health-boosting drinks. Hibiscus and lemon verbena tea infusions are just two of the other teas out there that are full of health promoting compounds. Here are some of the health benefits that you can reap from drinking tea on a regular basis.
1. Green Tea – Improves Memory & Disrupts Cancers
Green tea has gained some popularity lately as a drink that can help with weight loss and an overall feeling of betterment, but green tea has many more health benefits than that. Green tea has been found in many different studies to actually be very beneficial in enhancing cognitive function and one study even connected it with better memory, the kind of day-to-day use. Researchers at the University Hospital of Basel in Switzerland found that individuals that drank 27.5 grams of green tea in one day showed intense brain activity and better connectivity between the frontal and parietal lobes – two regions that are linked to aspects of learning, memory processing and decision-making.
Green tea has also been linked to many health benefits due to the amount of antioxidants present in the drink. Antioxidants help to prevent the free radical damage in the body that leads to aging, which means that it is very important to have an abundance of antioxidants especially as we age. One specific antioxidant in green tea may even help to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. Epigallocatechin gallate is an antioxidant that interacts with the building blocks that form beta-amyloid plaques and thus may help to prevent Alzheimer’s.
The same antioxidant also has the potential to help prevent cancers, according to research done by the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in California. Their research showed that this particular antioxidant in green tea can disrupt the metabolism of pancreatic cancer cells. The same interaction could be applicable to other forms of cancers.
2. Jasmine Tea – Cancer Fighting & Nerve Soothing
Jasmine tea is actually just green tea with jasmine flowers added in for extra depth and flavor. But jasmine tea is unique because the jasmine flowers add in their own medicinal properties that make it a completely different helper than green tea alone. While jasmine flowers also have a whole host of antioxidants, other medicinal benefits of the jasmine flower include stress reducing, mood boosting and calm inducing properties. Research published in the European Journal of Applied Sciences showed that jasmine tea, and the smell of jasmine tea, is proven to help soothe and calm nerves and can regulate a negative mood.
Jasmine tea has also been studied for its antioxidant properties and Professor Eliezer Flescher from the Tel Aviv University in Israel found that one compound in jasmine tea, methyl jasmonate, kills of cervical cancer cells. This is similar to the effects of antioxidants from green tea, which have been found to help disrupt pancreatic cancer cells.
3. Rooibos Tea – Protection Against Oxidative Damage
Rooibos tea might not have the levels of antioxidants that green tea does, but research has shown that it is a potent and powerful ally to the body when it comes to helping prevent damage done by free radicals. One particular study conducted on rat models found that rooibos tea, and the antioxidants in it, was particularly effective in helping the liver deal with oxidative damage which means that it could be a great help in making the organ resilient to damage.
Rooibos has also shown promise in helping to lower blood pressure. Since the tea does not contain any caffeine, unlike black or green tea, it is safe to drink by all individuals and may even be of help for those with elevated levels of blood pressure. The tea has also been studied a few times for its link to helping cardiovascular health and in improving cholesterol levels. However, the study on cholesterol found that it only had effects for individuals that were overweight and at risk of heart disease and not for those that were at a regular body weight.
4. Hibiscus Tea – Hypertension and Diabetes Helper
Hibiscus tea, or more correctly, hibiscus infusions have been found to be high in antioxidants and have antitumor effects. It has been linked in research to helping fight leukemia cells, skin cancer cells and prostate cancer cells. Even so, the research is sparse on this subject and there is more evidence for hibiscus being helpful against hypertension and diabetes, which can be sometimes linked. The tea helps to regulate both systolic and diastolic blood pressure – which means that it regulates blood pressure during, and, in-between heart beats.
The connection between diabetes and hibiscus tea is also tentative as it is used mostly in India as a treatment for diabetes. There have been a few studies in the country on the effects and benefits of hibiscus tea for diabetes treatment, but there is nothing completely conclusive yet. In India, hibiscus is used both for treatment of Type I and Type II diabetes.
5. Lemon Verbena Tea – Weight Loss & Inflammation Helper
Lemon verbena is an herb that is close cousin to another that has been used extensively in herbal infusions. It has a mild, citrus taste and smell and is favored by those that prefer gentler tastes to their teas. The tea first gained popularity as a weight loss tea and research seems to back the idea that it could help shed pounds. Studies have shown that the polyphenols in the plant can help decrease the formation of fatty acids.
The tea is also an aid against oxidative stress – in some studies, rat models showed that lemon verbena extract improved the antioxidant capacity of the blood. It was also found that infusions of the leaves had a greater effect on producing good results than if the plant was boiled in water. Also, combining the lemon verbena leaves with other ingredients that had high antioxidant capacities was shown to increase the potency.
These teas might not seem like marvels of modern medicine but they are quite potent and powerful in their health benefits, nonetheless. All five of these teas range in their health benefits, from helping with weight loss to even treating cancers. Green teas and black teas come from the same plant, the flavor changes depending on the fermentation process. Hibiscus teas, or infusions, are very popular with those that are wanting a more subtle flavor as well as lemon verbena teas. Rooibos teas are also great for those with hypertension and jasmine tea has wonderful antioxidant properties. Drinking any one of these teas can bring about great benefits.
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