Why You Should Drink Tea Everyday for the Rest of Your Life
Camellia sinensis is inarguably a truly amazing plant with numerous health benefits and no matter what type or style of tea you prefer; black, green, white, oolong, pu-erh, or matcha; they all provide beneficial heath properties.
As a bit of introduction to our article, let’s start at the beginning….
When my husband and I began our journey into the world of tea, we did so out of a desire to live the rest of our lives full time on the beautiful island of San Juan, where we have lived part time for over 20 years, as we commuted every week to the mainland for work. With retirement on the horizon, and as serial entrepreneurs, we were searching for a new adventure to retire in to where we could enjoy island life, care for our livestock and domestic animals and do something unique and creative with our 11-acre farm.
The answer: ‘Grow Tea’. You’re probably saying to yourself about now, ‘will tea even grow in the Pacific Northwest? That was our initial question too, and to be honest, it is a bit of an experiment. Tea is grown all over the world and the most prolific tea producing countries have abundant precipitation and warm/hot climates. However, tea also grows in climates with cooler temperatures such as Tibet where the tea growing areas are very mountainous with snow-capped peaks, in Georgia, Russia and even Scotland in the foothills of the highlands. U.S. grown tea is a relatively new phenomenon with only 30 tea farms/plantations or gardens in existence, until now; San Juan Island Tea Farm proudly claims the 31st position in the U.S. and the only tea farm in Washington state. As serial entrepreneurs, we’re always up for a challenge.
So began our journey into the world of tea and our love affair with the incredible plant, Camellia Sinensis. All types of tea, from every tea plantation on the planet are grown from this same extraordinary plant; Camellia Sinensis. And even more extraordinary is that from this one plant comes an array of health benefits achieved from drinking this almost magical elixir.
Long touted as a ‘cure all’, tea, the second most consumed drink to water worldwide, has been gaining legitimacy within the medical community as more science based studies are published and the number of subjects included in such studies increases.
No matter what our age, we are all interested in improving our health, and preferably without a lot of inconvenience. Can drinking tea prevent cancer, diabetes, Altziemers or weight gain? Whether or not you believe tea can prevent disease, it’s safe to say, drinking tea certainly can’t hurt.
Green tea has long been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to cure or prevent a variety of ailments. Recent studies have show that green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from liver disorders, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s to weight loss and a host of other conditions.
What is in tea that attributes to these health benefits:
To name a few powerful elements; Polyphenols: a type of antioxidant that scavenges for cell-damaging free radicals in the body and detoxifies them. Tea has about 8 to 10 times the polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids: Flavonoids are a diverse group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) found in tea and in almost all fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits. Theaflavins and thearubigins, which are two large, complex compounds of antioxidants that combat free radicals, (unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging) eliminate toxins, and neutralize harmful chemicals during digestion. Over time, a deficit of antioxidants accelerates aging, raises the risk for chronic illnesses, and causes cellular damage brought by free radicals. Drinking green tea is an easy, delicious and convenient way to prevent this.
There are numerous health benefits attributed to tea and more and more scientific studies that support the claims. Green tea is believed to prevent, improve or reduce the following conditions.
- Cancer prevention: Some researchers believe that the high level of polyphenols in tea can help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing. Japan, the country with the lowest cancer rates may be attributed to Japan’s large consumption of tea.
- Reduction in risk of cardiovascular disease: Green tea contains catechins, polyphenolic compounds that are thought to exert numerous protective effects, particularly on the cardiovascular system. Green tea can reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol levels in the body as well.and increasing blood flow.
- Reduction on LDL cholesterol: Green tea has been linked to significant but modest reductions in LDL
- Reduced risk of stroke: Animal studies have shown that green tea such as Jasmine tea consumption have significant blood and liver cholesterol lowering effects. High blood cholesterol levels increase risk of heart disease. These teas also may improve the high density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol to total cholesterol ratio, which is cardio protective.
- Reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Promotes weight loss in overweight and obese adults: Green tea or tea in general can aid in weight loss as a beverage of choice with very low calories. Substituting tea for other higher calorie beverages can be an important dietary aid. Green tea contains enough caffeine that provides more energy and can decrease fat absorption, boost metabolism and makes burning fat more efficient. Green tea such as Bi Luo Chun is rich in folic acid, catechins, and caffeine.
Potential improvement for inflammatory skin diseases
Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease by Improving cognitive health: Tea is the only plant that makes the amino acid Theanine, also known as Teanin or L-Theanine. Theanine stimulates alpha brain waves, which are associated with a relaxed but alert mental state. It helps relax the mind, allowing one to focus on the task at hand. Do you wonder how a cup of green tea, which contains so much caffeine, can be relaxing? The answer is Theanine. Theanine tempers the effects of caffeine, and works to relax the mind. So, although green tea is high in caffeine, it does not cause nervousness or excitability due to Theanine. Gyokuro and Matcha are especially rich in Theanine.
- Improves oral health: Green tea helps keep your teeth strong and healthy by changing the pH in your mouth, helping to ward off Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that causes cavities and gum disease. Green tea such as Darjeeling also contains a high amount of magnesium, a water-soluble mineral, which helps in the formation of bones and teeth. In addition, it contains a significant amount of fluoride that can reverses early signs of tooth decay in weakened tooth enamel.
- Helps increase bone density
- Helps to reduce risk of gastric ailments. Green tea such as Darjeeling can help relieve inflamed stomach linings.
- Tea can keep you well hydrated: Tea is a beverage full of antioxidants and flavonoids. A well-hydrated body can bring a positive impact to your mood and enable muscles and joints to work at improved levels.
- Potential to strengthen immune system. Green tea has Theanine, which can strengthen your immune system, enhancing your body’s response against infections.
- Can help you cope with stress: Stress is obviously difficult to avoid, but drinking green tea can help your body regulate the production of Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone.
- Helps protect against arthritis, rheumatism and other inflammatory problems.
- Potential longevity benefits: One large-scale study in Japan, published in "The Journal of the American Medical Association" in 2006, indicates a possible link between green tea consumption and a longer life span. The study followed 40,530 adults over 11 years and found that those who drank the most green tea were less likely to die from any of the causes studied, with the exception of cancer. Those who drank more than 5 cups per day received the greatest benefit.
- Beneficial Minerals and Vitamins. Genmaicha green tea contains selenium, vitamin B, A & C, fiber and iron. Selenium, a vital mineral that helps maintain thyroid function and regulates hormones and metabolism. It is also abundant in manganese, an essential trace mineral that maintains healthy nerve functions, stabilizes blood sugar levels and aids the body in synthesizing cholesterol and essential fatty acids.
And the list goes on and on. Need anyone say more about the health benefits of tea? Besides a wonderfully enjoyable and convenient drink, tea may be one of the best things you can drink every day to improve your health.