Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

By Chad Dupuis
Tagged in Lifestyle and Basics

One of the few recommendations that I regularly make is for people who drink coffee to switch to tea.  While there are numerous studies and articles discussing the relative benefits of each, tea appears to have the advantage from an overall health perspective.  Additionally, tea has less caffeine, so from medical and stress perspectives it is easier on the body and mind.

As many people come to acupuncture and other medical alternatives for help with stress and anxiety, limiting caffeine goes a long way towards helping these issues.  Eliminating caffeine, in the form of tea, however, is not always the best idea as there are many associated health benefits.  These include limiting the damage that chronic stress can have on the cardiovascular system.  Green tea, generally, has about a quarter the caffeine as coffee, so I usually recommend it (black tea has about half the amount of caffeine as coffee, so can still be too stimulating). 

Various studies have shown a variety of positive benefits:

  1. Tea strengthens the immune system (cancer prevention, aids bacterial infections...)
  2. Tea strengthens the cardiovascular system and helps lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  3. Tea helps control insulin levels, so it aids in the treatment of diabetes
  4. Tea stimulates the nervous system with caffeine (increased focus, energy...)
  5. Tea slows the aging process (improves memory, slows cognitive impairment...)

The quality of the tea and the process in which it is prepared, as with all foods, herbs, etc., has a relationship with the effects on your body.  For this reason, I don't recommend store bought individual tea packets as they are often dry and poor quality.  It is better to use higher quality teas that have been prepared well (we carry some in our store).

Now in China and other asian countries, as well as in the west, tea can get very expensive - just like wines, scotch, and some herbs like ginseng.  But paying a lot of money for tea is not necessary - just stick with the whole teas (not individual packets) and you will be fine.  You'll have to try the many different varieties to find the ones that you like - they all come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), so the health benefits are similar, but the way they are processed can lead to many variations on the taste.  So start exploring and improving your health while you do so - if only everything was this easy!



Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

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Authored by: Chad Dupuis on 30 July 2008

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