In the age of paleo and keto diets, of chemical sweeteners and activated charcoal, it's difficult to know what's right to put in your body. And every body is different, of course -- what's right for certain bodies will be wrong for others. But on a base level, I think we can all agree that plant-based foods are the most nutrient dense -- think of kale, blueberries, and sweet potatoes! If you're looking for an easy way to improve your diet and increase your nutrient intake, look no further than calorie-free, delicious tea!
Traditional tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant; tea is made by plucking the buds and leaves off of the plant, exposing the leaves to oxidation or fermentation, and then brewing them in hot water. This process of brewing allows the transfer of bioactives, or a substance that has a biological effect.
Now, let's break this down: What exactly is in tea that makes it so good for you?
Well, for starters, tea from iN-TEA is a zero-calorie drink. Other coffee shops (hello, Starbucks!) add sugars into their tea, or make their tea from powdered mixes, which contain chemical preservatives. At iN-TEA, we believe in bringing only the best tea to our customers, which means whole-leaf tea freshly brewed with zero additives.
Not only is tea calorie-free, it also has a high level of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are very powerful. Specific groups of polyphenols, such as catechins and theanine, have been known to have incredible effects. There's a particular catechin called EGCG which is uniquely powerful -- studies done by the American Cancer Society have suggested that it can help kill off cancer cells. This is incredibly important, as cancerous cells are deadly because they don't die when they're supposed to, and keep growing instead. Studies done specifically with lung cancer and breast cancer have shown that the EGCG found in tea may be able to help inhibit tumors.
There are other studies suggesting that women who drink green tea regularly have a lower chance of developing breast cancer. As a woman who has a history of breast cancer in her family, it's become incredibly important for me and my mother to drink tea every day to help lower this risk.
Interested in learning more about fighting cancer with tea? Check out Cancer Hates Tea, an informative book sold both in-store and online!
Green tea can help fight other ailments, as well -- a Japanese study of 40,530 people had mind-blowing results. Drinking green tea regularly was shown to lower the risk of dying from stroke, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension. In general, this study found that drinking green tea lowered the risk of death by any cause by 23% in women and 12% in men. Now that's some real magic!
Another powerhouse in tea is L-theanine, an amino acid that can only be found in tea and a specific type of mushroom. L-theanine enhances alpha-wave activity in the brain, and promotes what Tea Class calls a "quiet alertness", and facilitates a "relaxed focus". This is what makes the caffeine high of tea so much more pleasant than that of coffee -- the L-theanine counter-acts the crash of the caffeine high, leaving only a smooth flow of energy.
Tea also has been known to enhance your metabolism -- another study indicated that regularly consuming hot tea was correlated with an overall lower BMI and waist circumference. Some studies show that the EGCG from green tea can help you burn more calories -- up to 4% extra per day! Not only is tea on its own a calorie-free, but it can also help you burn them -- talk about a metabolic boost!
Tea is also very hydrating, even despite its caffeine content; studies show that there is a net gain of fluids while drinking tea. It's important to remember here that tea is not nearly as caffeinated as coffee -- one cup of black tea has about half of the amount of caffeine of a cup of coffee. Caffeine has been known to act as a diuretic, which can attribute to the dehydrating factor of large doses of caffeine. Additionally, tea has a smoother caffeine high than coffee, as there are no jitters or crash after consuming a cup of tea like there is after consuming a cup of coffee. This is where the L-theanine comes into play again; this unique antioxidant has been shown to bring alertness to consumers, warding off the effects of a caffeine crash.
The benefits of drinking tea are endless, and this is only a crash course! There will be more Wellness and Tea posts in the future, detailing how tea can help you lose weight, exercise more effectively, and even fight cancer.
Looking to find some yummy teas to start on your wellness and tea journey? Our Vanilla Coconut black tea is a lovely best-seller, and so is our refreshing Moroccan Mint green tea. Check out our website to peruse our selection of 170+ loose-leaf teas -- we ship our tea anywhere in the world!