Put The Kettle On, It Could Save Your Life

There is no more quintessentially British ritual than the serving of afternoon tea, but for many, tea drinking isn’t just for the afternoon. We are a nation of tea drinkers. Despite the number of high profile coffee houses that fill our high streets and the influence of American media and culture, coffee still remains number 2 to the traditional cup of tea.

A recent study showed that 53% of people rely on a traditional cup of day to kick start their day, while just over a third chose coffee. But it the popularity of tea could be having a positive effect on the health of the nation.

For centuries, tea has been used in alternative medicine to treat everything from cancer to constipation. Recent studies have shown that tea may protect against heart disease, Alzheimer’s and many types of cancer. There are over a thousand different varieties of tea but sipping the right one could be the answer to preventing a whole range of health issues.

White Tea

For Weight Loss

Unlike other types of tea, white tea is less processeed. This means the polyphenols (an antioxidant) are more potent. ECGC or epigallocatechin-3-gallate is also found in white tea. This antioxidant prevents new fat cells from forming and fights the common signs of aging, like wrinkles. There is also research to indicate that these benefits may protect against colon cancer, among other cancers.

Ginger Tea

For Headaches

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory agent that blocks prostagladins– the chemical messengers that can cause a slight swelling in the brain. Ginger tea reduces inflammation in about the same amount of time as it would take an aspirin to work. Drink a cup at the onset of your headache to stop pain in its tracks.

Green Tea

For Overall Health

Green tea has many properties that can have a huge, positive impact on your health. Green tea, in particular, is rich with antioxidants called catechins, which scavenge for free radicals that can damage DNA and contribute to cancer and atherosclerosis, amongst other things. One specific catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is unique to green tea and is abundant as a result of the minimal processing through which green tea goes. Lab studies have shown that EGCG and some other catechins can be more powerful than vitamins C and E in stopping oxidative damage to cells in addition to potentially having the ability to fight other diseases. Furthermore, it is thought that EGCG plays an important role in inhibiting DNA synthesis and cell replication, both imperative for the survival of cancer cells.

The EGCG in green tea also increases the hormone CCK, which is responsible for creating the feeling of satiation. Studies show that drinking green tea may potentially prevent the onset or slow the progression of dementia.