The Health Benefits of Black Tea
In the world of tea, we often hear people laud the health benefits of green tea. Of matcha and pu’erh. But what about the formidable black tea?
Black tea is one of the most consumed varieties of tea on the planet and is also one of the most consumed beverages after water across the globe, too.
So how is black tea good for you? Read on to understand the health benefits one can expect when enjoying green tea’s tall, dark and handsome cousin
To begin, what is black tea and how is it different from green or any other type of tea? Black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, pu’erh, and matcha tea are all from the same plant, the camellia Sinensis plant.
While many black and pu’erh teas are made from a variant of the camellia Sinensis plant called camellia Sinensis var. assamica and most green and oblong are made from the camellia Sinensis var. Sinensis, all these varieties are in the same plant family.
The differences can be traced to how long they are allowed to oxidize. Oxidization is when the leaves are left out to dry and absorb oxygen.
White teas are oxidized the least and fermented teas like pu’erh are oxidized the longest, with black teas oxidizing for the second-longest amount of time.
Another important detail about black tea would be the name origins! In most Asian languages like Chinese, Japanese and Korean, black tea is called “red tea”.
Why the red and black dichotomy of names here? Because while in Asia, the tea is named after the color of the tea’s liquor, in Western languages, the name “black” arose to differentiate this tea from the already established “green tea” in the consumer market.
It is also because when Dutch and British traders saw the tea for the first time, they only say the black leaves as opposed to the brewed beverage. And so they called it “black”.
Black tea has a whole smorgasbord of health benefits that will make you want to grab a cup of Ceylon or Lapsang Souchong faster than you can say “English breakfast”!
There’s a reason this wonderfully oxidized beverage has been consumed around the globe for ages. How Is Black Tea Good For You?
Come take a look as to why!
Tea has been hailed for years as a powerhouse beverage when it comes to giving our bodies a hefty dose of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help our body battle free radicals, which can roam around and cause cell damage. Antioxidants can combat these free radicals and also help improve our appearance! How Is Black Tea Good For You?
Antioxidants aid in slowing down signs of aging. Black tea’s polyphenols provide tea drinkers with a ton of antioxidants, so drink up to improve your health and keep looking young!
Stomach and Gut Health
How Is Black Tea Good For You? It pays to keep an eye on your gut! Our immune system and emotional health are both linked to a happy tummy. And a good way to provide a proper home for good bacteria while chasing out the bad bacteria is by regularly enjoying black tea!
Here, black tea’s polyphenols play a big role again, as does black tea’s semi-fermented nature. So for those hoping to balance their bellies out, drink black tea.
And our bellies will look and feel good both inside and out! What do I mean? Black tea has properties like caffeine that may help to increase our metabolism.
Black tea can also help us feel satiated for longer and so we are less inclined to overeat or indulge in excess snacking while enjoying some black tea.
Black tea not only possesses heart-friendly antioxidants but also flavonoids which may be a nice treat for your cardiovascular health. Some studies have found that individuals who regularly enjoy black tea showed reduced risks of developing heart disease.
How Is Black Tea Good For You? Black tea can also potentially lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in our bodies. One type of bad cholesterol is known as LDL. People with excessive LDL have an increased risk of stroke and developing heart disease.
And guess what beverage can help to regulate LDL in our bodies? Why black tea of course!
Helps Keep You Awake and Alert!
Like other types of tea made from the camellia sinensis plant, black tea possesses caffeine. For those looking for a nice alternative to coffee, black tea is a great choice.
Black tea generally has a higher amount of caffeine than other types of tea, and its bitter and strong taste may be a good way to ease off of coffee for those trying to curb their coffee habits.
Can Keep You Calm
One of the reasons teas like black tea are good alternatives to coffee while also being great sources of caffeine is due to an amino acid camellia Sinensis based teas all have.
This amino acid is called L-Theanine. L-Theanine has the special function of calming us down and helping to curb the negative effects of caffeine like jitters or anxiety.
When enjoying black tea, one may have a feeling of alert, calm awareness, rather than a heart-pounding sensation one may have when drinking other types of caffeinated beverages like coffee.
Bonus Fact; it’s Delicious!
Okay, so this one is less of a “factual” point than a subjective opinion! But since black tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, there is bound to be a huge catalog of tea-leaf types and black tea-based drinks out there to enjoy.
From India’s Masala Chai to the standard Earl Grey, black tea can be enjoyed with lemon, honey, milk, and scores of other herbs, spices, and ingredients. Legends even speak of black tea and coffee hybrids courtesy of Hong Kong, Taiwan, southern China, and Malaysia!
The world is your oyster with black tea. So come and explore this amazing drink. Your body will thank you for it. And so too will your taste buds!
A Few Final Thoughts
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All the best,
- l “Black Tea.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 Oct. 2019, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_tea.
- l Enloe, Autumn. “10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Black Tea.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 16 May 2018, www.healthline.com/nutrition/black-tea-benefits.
- l Goodwin, Lindsey. “The Many Health Benefits of Drinking Black Tea.” The Spruce Eats, The Spruce Eats, 26 June 2019, www.thespruceeats.com/black-tea-benefits-765048.