I must confess; I love a warm cup of tea. I know it’s not the caffeine kick that I crave because herbal is just as exciting as the caffeinated kind. I think back and realize that my love affair began when I was a child and my mom would steep me a cup of mint tea, fresh picked from her garden. The smell of peppermint in the air was amazing. Now as an adult, although peppermint is still my favorite, I enjoy Earl Grey and green tea as well. All this time, who knew that something I do just for pleasure has so many health-related benefits.
Whether you like black, green, white, or oolong tea, it has been shown in several studies to boost immunity, reduce the risk of cancer, fight diabetes, and fight against the ever expanding waistline. Almost sounds like the perfect beverage, doesn’t it?
In a study recently published by the Journal of Nutrition, it was found that tea contains compounds that fight the absorption of fat. The compounds called theaflavins and thearubigins were able to stop rats from gaining weight when given a high-fat diet. There is one small problem. Many of us enjoy our tea with milk and sugar. Sadly, the protein contained in milk neutralizes the effects of tea’s fat-fighting capabilities. But if that’s all I need to sacrifice in order to reap the weight loss benefits of tea, that’s an easy compromise.
I am certainly not alone in my love for this delicious beverage. Tea is only second to water in its rate of consumption throughout the world, with the Brits alone consuming 165 million cups a day. With a limited warning label that reads: to benefit from its fat-diminishing compounds enjoy without milk and sugar, I say drink up. Here’s to your health and ever-shrinking waistline.
National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. (n.d.) Tea and Cancer Prevention: Strengths and limits of the Evidence. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/tea
Science Daily. (13, August, 2009). Black tea may fight diabetes. Retrieved from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090728172604.htm
By Cheryl S. Grant