The caffeine characteristic of black tea makes it an excellent stimulant for the human body, as well as a restorer of diseases. It is a natural, healthy and energizing infusion that even helps us reduce stress as it reduces cortisol levels.
Black tea is a beverage that is obtained from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Dried leaves are used to produce various varieties, including black, green and oolong tea, but black tea is distinguished from others because it has undergone a complete oxidation process. Lovers of this type of tea highlight its diverse properties and a recent research noted that it can also help with weight loss.
Black tea is the one that contains the most theanine (caffeine) that is released during the oxidation process. Although drinking tea has many advantages, be careful not to drink it very hot because it accounts for the risk of suffering from esophageal cancer, warn scientists at the University of Beijing in China.
Black tea contains 2% to 4% of caffeine, this affects thinking and alertness, increases urine output and can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It also contains antioxidants and other substances that could help protect the heart and blood vessels, according to Natural Medicines.
Health benefits of black tea
1. It is antioxidant
Free radicals are molecules that are produced in normal conditions in your body by breathing, exposure to sunlight, pollution and, in case you consume, by certain medications or tobacco.
Your body is normally in a balance between the production and neutralization of these molecules. However, when your body cannot neutralize these molecules, a state of oxidative stress occurs.
This oxidative stress damages important molecules in your body such as DNA, nucleic acids, proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.
The antioxidants present in black tea help your body to slow down, prevent or remove diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, aging or inflammatory diseases among others.
The polyphenols and catechins of black tea has been the main molecules related to this effect.
2. Reduce atherosclerosis
A study published in 2001 by the American Heart Association found through a study in people with atherosclerosis that, consuming 450 milliliters of black tea daily for a month reverses this disease.
In the short and long term, an improvement in blood circulation was observed in people with atherosclerosis.
These improvements are attributed to the increase of catechins in the blood plasma.
Tea by its polyphenols prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in your blood, which is the main step for the development of atheromas.
It also improves vasomotor function without altering the tone of your blood vessels, increasing your dilation or altering your muscle function.
That is why, to prevent or reverse damage to blood circulation, two glasses of black tea daily can help you improve your health.
3. Lowers cholesterol levels
Nine studies conducted in different countries around the world have shown that the consumption of black tea decreases your LDL cholesterol levels.
Moreover, this reduction was observed in people with high levels of LDL cholesterol and at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
The oxidation of this type of cholesterol in your blood is one of the determining steps in the development of atheromas and possible cardiovascular complications.
In one of its publications, the Journal of Clinical Nutrition assured that the reduction in LDL cholesterol is greater when black tea is consumed in the form of an extract. However, other currents ensure that in its liquid form it also provides the same result.
One of the possible ways in which black tea lowers your LDL cholesterol levels are by inhibiting its absorption in your intestine and accelerating its excretion in bile acids.
4. Decreases the risk of heart attack
Being black tea one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, flavonoids and catechins, of which it is composed, are the main source of dietary intake in people.
According to the results of epidemiological studies, daily consumption of black tea greater than 3 cups per day is recommended. This will lower blood cholesterol levels and protect the body from possible heart attacks.
5. Decrease the risk of having diabetes
Since the 1980s, researchers in China had already demonstrated the anti-diabetic characteristics of green tea.
The catechins and some polysaccharides present in green tea, are the molecules that give it this property.
Like green tea, black tea proved to have protective properties against diabetes in a study conducted in India.
The possible preventive mechanism is by protecting the beta cells of your pancreas, which are responsible for releasing insulin and regulating your blood glucose levels.
Black tea proved to be more effective than green tea in normalizing your glucose levels.
In addition to protecting your pancreas and preventing the risk of you having diabetes, black tea also lowers your blood glucose levels if you already have diabetes.
According to traditional medicine in Sri Lanka, it is recommended to drink 6 to 10 cups of black tea a day if you have prediabetes or if you have just been diagnosed with diabetes.
A study conducted in Japan and published in 2014 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, found that the intake of black tea leaves inhibit the degradation of disaccharides in monosaccharides, simple sugars and responsible for raising glucose in your blood.
This inhibition prevents the absorption of simple sugars by your cells.
This inhibition is very important since if you have prediabetes or a newly diagnosed diabetes it delays the development of the disease.
7. Neuroprotective in Parkinson’s disease
It is known to arise as a consequence of several factors in your body mainly caused by oxidative stress:
- decreased glutathione, a very important antioxidant tripeptide in your cells.
- iron deposition
- lipid oxidation.
- alteration in antioxidant enzymes.
There are several natural antioxidants that have neuroprotective characteristics by avoiding damage from free radicals.
The drawback of some of these therapeutic agents is their inability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which acts as a wall between your circulatory and nervous systems, preventing the entry of toxic substances.
Black tea polyphenols can cross this barrier.
They also have several preventive and curative properties against the factors that trigger Parkinson’s disease:
- Property to neutralize free radicals.
- Ability to trap iron and prevent deposition.
- Anti-inflammatory property
- Ability to avoid cell death.
- Ability to prevent the mutation of your cells.
- Ability to prevent the creation of new blood vessels, an existing process in cancer.
In a study carried out in 2002, it was associated that the consumption of two cups of tea per day reduces the risk of having Parkinson’s disease.
Likewise, another study of 2006 published in Neurobiology of Disease, concluded that the substances present in black tea can prevent, reverse and encourage the progress of Parkinson’s disease.
8. Neuro protector in Alzheimer’s disease
Antioxidant therapy has had good results in preventing Alzheimer’s disease, encouraging its progression or its onset.
The constituents of black tea with antioxidant capacity are flavonoids, carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid, among others.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by damage to neuronal tissues.
In a study conducted in India in 2015, it was concluded that the administration of black tea extract improves cognitive function through various neuroprotective mechanisms.
It was also observed that it is better if you ingest the complete black tea extract compared to if you ingest its isolated components, since its components together have a greater protective effect.
In addition, the flavin and rubignin compounds present in black tea prevent the absorption of toxic metals for your body such as aluminum, which causes cell death and has been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Natural antidepressant
In January 2016, a study was carried out in China in which it was found that the higher the consumption of black tea, the lower the probability of having symptoms of depression in older adults.
Although depression is a disease associated with the elderly, it can also be suffered by people of any age and from any place.
It is estimated that by 2030 this disease will be in the third place of mental disorders.
With regular consumption of black tea, you can improve your dopamine levels as suggested by this study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
The main substances of black tea that contribute to prevent and treat states of depression are: theanine and caffeine, stimulating the production of dopamine and serotonin and polyphenols, which in turn decrease the inflammatory state in your brain.
Including a cup of black tea in your diet can have an effect on your emotional state.
10. Against lung, ovarian and colon cancer
The anti-cancer properties of black tea extracts have been studied with positive results.
Research has determined that, the exposure of high concentrations of black tea extracts for 9 days, prevented the proliferation of cancer cells and the death of existing malignant cells.
This property of black tea is due to the fact that high concentrations of its components can induce cell death, which is beneficial in some situations, such as cancer.
11. Protects against osteoporosis
In a study conducted in Australia in women around 75 years of age, it was found that those who consumed more black tea had less incidence of fractures.
It was concluded that if you drink at least three cups of black tea, the risk of having a fracture is reduced by 34%.
Flavonoids were the components of black tea associated with these benefits.
12. Accelerate the metabolism
There are several ways in which you can benefit from black tea if you want to maintain a healthy weight.
Black tea, through its polyphenols and catechins, increases the energy expenditure of your body. In addition, black tea caffeine promotes the use of fats.
In your intestine, the components of black tea prevent the absorption of a certain proportion of fats.
This is why black tea can help you achieve an ideal weight and a better body composition if you take it combined with a suitable diet such as the Mediterranean.
13. Reduces the risk of having kidney stones
Calcium oxalate reaches some people in the form of kidney stones. You can avoid this if you consume enough water.
Some recommendations, in case these stones are forming in your kidneys, are to avoid foods high in calcium oxalate.
However, avoiding these foods also decreases your intake of highly nutritious foods such as spinach,strawberries, nuts, even black tea.
Research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people who consumed tea had no history of gallstones. The antioxidant elements of black tea can prevent the appearance of these stones.
This is why the best way you can prevent their appearance is by drinking enough fluids and a diet from fresh, natural foods.
The consumption of black tea can also help you in preventing its development.
14. It is diuretic
Because of its caffeine content, black tea stimulates you to secrete urine.
This property of black tea is beneficial if you retain fluids, because its regular intake will help you manage retention safely and naturally.
15. Immune protector
In a study published in 2015 in BBA Clinical, it was concluded that if you consume black tea regularly, after 6 months your immune system strengthens its function.
In this study, we observed an increase in blood marker levels that indicate the activation of the immune system.
It is important to emphasize that this strengthening of the immune system occurred in healthy people since those suffering from inflammatory diseases, the regular consumption of black tea resulted in decreased immune system.
PREPARES WELL THE BLACK TEA
Meanwhile, and to take full advantage of the virtues of black tea, take note of the following tips:
When you add the tea to the water, do not leave it boiling. The water must be hot, yes, but to make the most of its virtues and not lose its aroma you must remove the water from the fire when it starts to boil. Add a teaspoon of tea per cup (or a ready-made sachet) and let stand 3 or 4 minutes. After this time remove the tea leaves (if not the infusion could be too strong taste).
If you want to sweeten it, opt for honey, stevia or a pinch of cinnamon rather than sugar (numerous studies suggest that abuse of refining could end up damaging the microbiota that, as you have seen, is essential to take advantage of the virtues of tea).
If you want to reduce its flavor, you can add a little of your favorite vegetable drink (oatmeal, rice …). Mint and lemon also combine very well with black tea.
Finally, remember that black tea contains the most caffeine. That is why it is ideal to drink it in the morning (if you drink coffee, try to spend 2 or 3 hours before preparing tea). In any case, do not drink more than three cups a day and avoid it if you suffer from insomnia, stress or anxiety.