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The Chinese have known it for centuries – the benefits of tea are numerous. Drinking tea will keep you healthy, prevent tooth decay, protect your skin and strengthen bones.
When discussing the history of tea it is often overlooked that tea was first used as a medicine. The benefits of tea were well-known to the ancient Chinese and they used it for many different types of ailments.
As tea progressed from medicine to beverage, the benefits of tea were still known. The low incidence of heart disease and cancer in Eastern countries provoked scientific curiosity, and many studies about the benefits of tea have been undertaken.
The scientific evidence proves what the Chinese have always known – tea is good for you. And we now know why. Tea contains polyphenols – important antioxidants which protect our body from free radical damage. The benefits of tea come because tea is one of the richest sources of antioxidants when compared with other foods.
Antioxidants are important because they reduce the risk of cancer. Drinking 4 to 6 cups of tea a day can help prevent gastric, esophageal and skin cancers. Other benefits of tea consumption include preventing blood clotting and lowering cholesterol levels. A study published in December 2005 linked the consumption of tea to lower risk of ovarian cancer.
Other Benefits of Tea
Heart disease is a big killer in modern society. Many scientific studiers have shown that tea drinkers are at less risk to this disease than the general population. The benefits of tea extend even further – those tea drinkers who do have a heart attack are more likely to recover than non-tea drinkers.
According to a study done at the University of Arizona, the benefits of tea extend to the skin. Researchers found that drinking black tea protects against squamous-cell carcinoma. Green tea compounds are also used in skin lotions designed to protect the skin against sun damage.
Bones and Teeth
Tea is high in fluoride, so the benefits of tea also include strengthening teeth and bones. Tea drinkers have been found to have more bone mass than non-tea drinkers, and oolong tea has been shown to reduce bacteria in the mouth, leading to a reduction in dental caries.
With all these benefits of tea, are there any drawbacks? Well, for one, tea has caffeine which can cause insomnia or irritableness if too much is consumed. There is less caffeine in tea than in coffee, though. Black tea has about half the caffeine as coffee, and green tea has just one third the amount of caffeine than coffee does.
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