The Benefits of Drinking Hot Tea
Get cozy and snuggle up with a hot cup of tea. Whether you’re looking for a drink to soothe a sore throat, or need a boost of caffeine for an early day, or a healthy detox from all the sodas or junk food you’ve had over the past few weeks, tea can be a great new component to incorporate into your daily diet.
Identified as an aromatic beverage prepared using the leaves of a tea plant, known as Camellia sinensis, tea is usually prepared by pouring hot water over tea leaves. Tea is then defined on the basis of flavor and taste, which mainly comes from an alkaloid (organic compound) called tannin. Depending on your preferred taste palette you can add honey, a spoonful of regular sugar, lemon juice, mint leaves or a slice of orange to your cup of tea.
There are many health benefits to drinking hot tea, here are a few:
Lower Cholesterol: Green tea was found to help lower cholesterol, both total serum cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Most sources suggest five cups of tea a day to provide results, but multiple studies show a higher consumption may lead to the biggest drop in cholesterol.
Anti-Aging Effects: The polyphenols found in tea can help boost cell turnover, which will help reverse the signs of wrinkles, loss of moisture and skin texture.
Stronger Immune System: Antioxidants present in tea can help strengthen the immune system to ward off disease and illness.
Improves Digestion: The tannin in tea acts as a digestive aid.
Helps Prevent and Fight Colds: Tea can help prevent symptoms of the common cold like a runny nose, nasal congestion, coughing and a sore throat. It also helps warm up the body during the cold season, and its effects are almost immediate. “One of my favorite things to do, is add pure, organic honey, and squeeze the juice of a fresh lemon into my tea,” said PIH Health clinical nutritionist Andrea Adams.
Types of Tea:
There are many variations of teas, and when choosing one, we suggest focusing on what you are trying to achieve in regards to your health, and a flavor you see fit. Here are three types of teas, and their benefits.
Earl Grey: Known as a popular tea in the West, this black tea has hints of citrus and is a good choice if you’re new to drinking tea. The citrusy taste comes from the bergamot orange oil blend. Early Grey is usually high in caffeine; however you can use a decaf version if preferred.
White Tea: White tea holds a delicate, fruity flavor, and is made from the buds of immature, unopened tea leaves. White tea is low in caffeine, but packs an antioxidant punch.
Green Tea: This tea is usually bitter in taste, and includes high levels of antioxidants.
So whether you go with one of the options above or indulge in a soothing chamomile, passionfruit or cinnamon-flavored tea, experiment with the flavors and read up on the benefiting factors. And as always, consult with your family physician before incorporating anything new into your diet. For a list of PIH Health physicians in your neighborhood, go to https://www.pihhealth.org/find-a-doctor/