Whether you enjoy an occasional cup when you’re curled up with a good book, or you’re a self-confessed tea addict, there are numerous benefits of tea that will make you feel good about reaching for a second glass.
Health benefits of drinking tea
Tea is chock-full of antioxidants, which play a role in lowering your risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Research has also shown that tea helps ward of signs of aging, like congnitive declines. Sounds like a miracle drug, doesn’t it?
Tea for diabetes
Those who have type 2 diabetes suffer from insulin resistance, which affects the way their bodies metabolize sugars. What teas like green tea do is they, through a chemical reaction, sensitize cells so they can better metabolize that sugar, says Susan Steinbaum, DO.
A small number of studies have shown that green tea may not have that much of an effect on managing hyperglycemia, but overall, the consensus in the scientific community seems to be that green tea especially has benefits for people with type 2 diabetes.
In 2006, Japanese researchers released results from their study, which indicated that participants who consumed at least six or more cups of green tea each day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
If green tea isn’t your cup of tea (pun intended), research suggests that black tea could also play a role in reducing your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Tea for heart disease
In 2012, Harvard Health Publications published an article citing a study of more than 40,000 Japanese men. The researchers, according to the article, found participants had a 26 percent lower risk of heart disease and 16 percent lower risk of death if they drank more than five cups of tea per day.
That might seem like a lot of tea, but it really isn’t. Imagine you have a cup with breakfast, one to hold you over until lunch, one with lunch, one before dinner, one with dinner, and one before bed (decaf of course!). You’ve just hit that more than five cups per day quota, and with time a cup of green tea will simply become part of your routine.
Tea for cancer
This seems too good to be true, right? Wrong!
On its website, the National Cancer Institue has an entire fact sheet devoted to the benefits of tea in fighting cancer. According to their information, the polyphenols — which are nutrients we get through plant-based food and are chock-full of antioxidants — in green tea prevent the proliferation of tumor cells.
Tea for memory
If you’re over the age of 55 and a consistent tea drinker, pat yourself on the back. A 2017 study conducted by the National University of Singapore and published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging found that drinking tea reduced signs of cognitive impairment by 50 percent. Among those who were genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s, the risk of cognitive impairment dropped by 86 percent.
This news seems pretty jaw-dropping, but the National Center for Biotechnology Information warns that the result “does not prove that drinking tea will stop you from getting dementia.”
So while you shouldn’t put all your stock in drinking tea, there are a great deal of documented health benefits from having a few cups every day. And to that, we say “Cheers!”