The old adage of “Milk, it does a body good”, though it provides calcium, should have really been “Tea, it does a body good”. Tea is derived from a plant (Camellia sinensis) and includes six varieties: green, black, white, yellow, puerh and oolong. Other teas are an infusion of a different plant, fruits, vegetables, spices, etc., and aren’t technically teas.
The health properties of tea include antioxidants, phytochemicals, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous studies have shown that tea has numerous cancer-fighting properties, it helps our bodies fight free radicals, it hydrates us, can help reduce the risk of heart attack, can help lower waist circumference and BMI, help lower the risk of diabetes and stroke; help lower the risk of Parkinsons disease; green tea can act as a sunscreen; counteract the negative effects of smoking; improve bone mineral density and strength; help us recover from radiation exposure; is used for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases; influence brain health, learning, and memory. It also appears to have antimicrobial properties.
All of the above however is not to say that tea will cure you of an unhealthy lifestyle. You should still be eating a diet of organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and I would personally recommend fish, but if you are a vegetarian or vegan, then the fish is not necessary. I would recommend that if you are a meat eater that you limit your intake of red meat, and try to stay as clear as possible from the processed meats.
Tea contains very little calories. To keep it this way, and keep the health benefits intact, don’t sweeten it with granulated white sugar which has been shown in other studies to feed cancer. Many teas are good without being sweetened, but if you do like that sweet taste raw honey, pure maple syrup or stevia are good ways to get your sweet on without making it unhealthy. Lemon is also good in tea and carries alkalizing properties, is rich in vitamin C, cleans your bowels, dissolves kidney stones, gallstones, and calcium deposits, is an antibacterial, contains 22 anti-cancer compounds, and this list could go on and on. If you still enjoy your milk, add a dab to your tea as the English do, just make sure that it is organic.
Green tea (which includes Matcha) has the highest concentration of polyphenols because they are not oxidized and fermented the same way the black and oolong teas are, though black and oolong are still high.
Herbal teas (such as Rooibos which is an herb from Africa), are mineral dense, caffeine free, increase blood circulation, settle the stomach, and are high in antioxidants. The Cancer Association of South Africa, after eight years of research, has officially recognized rooibos for instance of containing two polyphenols and as a leading source of having natural anti-cancer chemicals. The many spices used in these teas also share too numerous health benefits to go into in this blog post.
In short- go, and enjoy that wonderful cup or glass of tea. It does a body good….uh…GREAT!!
For a variety of organic and a nice selection of various loose leaf teas which are the ones that hold the most benefit to you check out JavaMomma.