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Teas for Longevity, Wellness, and Cognitive Health
- Written by J.J.
Is tea in your daily diet? If not you're missing out on powerful health benefits from green, black, and some herbal varieties. Tea protects against cardiovascular disease and diabetes and eases digestion. It cleanses the liver, offers strong prevention against cognitive decline and boosts immunity. Once used as a currency, tea holds value today as a health supplement. Since 2737 BC humans have consumed tea and now recent studies corroborate most of the health advantages professed throughout the years.
Black tea is a superstar in health maintenance. In fact, when you're wondering where you put the keys or why you walked into that room or what you were just thinking about ....stop and drink a cup of black tea. Findings in a recent study from Singapore suggest that may be one of the best things to do. Among Chinese participants over 55 who drank oolong, black or green tea daily the risk of cognitive decline dropped by 50%! More impressively the study participants with a genetic disposition to develop Alzheimer's experienced as much as an 86% reduction! Tea also protects against cardiovascular risk and lowers blood pressure. Tea compounds such as antioxidant polyphenols are surprisingly more concentrated than in fruits, where we usually think of finding them, and they help to protect our DNA from chemical toxicity. Black tea tannins lower inflammation and ease digestion. All that adds up to enjoying longer life and wellness as studies are beginning to confirm. French professor, Nicolas Danchin, who led a longitudinal study comparing coffee and tea drinkers concluded, "...I think that you could fairly honestly recommend tea drinking rather than coffee drinking and even rather than not drinking anything at all." In other words...if long term wellness is your goal you can't go wrong by drinking a cup or two of black tea daily before all other beverages.
Green tea grabs more health headlines than black yet less Americans drink it. It too is a preventative powerhouse boasting high concentrations of antioxidants. In particular a polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate or ECGC helps Rheumatoid Arthritis and Prostate Cancer and may slow Alzheimer's when given in clinical doses. Studies have linked clinical doses of Green tea to progress in fighting many types of cancer and liver disease. Prevention magazine cautions that ECGC studies use isolated green tea compounds and their results don't reflect a cup a day of green tea outcomes. However that doesn't mean you can't get significant health value out of your green tea. To increase the benefit of that cup go to "Hack Your Tea" to learn how brewing methods can boost antioxidants. Variables such as brewing time, temperature change and whether you use bags, powder or tea leaves changes the ECGC value. What doesn't change is the potential health support green tea can provide.
Herbal teas are usually decaffeinated so don't have the health and pick me up benefits of caffeine however many provide both long term and immediate health benefit. An easy way to introduce yourself to herbal teas is through products from companies like Traditional Medicinals or Yogi Tea that offer herbal combination teas addressing various needs such as: respiratory relief, cleansing, immune support, digestive aid or constipation. Explore the value of each individual herb at Yogi Tea's ingredients page or branch out and familiarize yourself with the world of herbal remedies online. Some herbals such as ginger or dandelion are high in vitamins and minerals and provide mulitiple benefits. Some herbal teas or tisanes are used to supplement treatment programs for conditions such as MS. Use of herbals medicinally is an individual choice and your doctor should always be consulted. The majority of herbal teas in common use or sold in groceries are safe for consumption but always read the labels for cautionary information. Herbs are effective and powerful.
Try tea. If you do, I won't be needing to read your tealeaves to know that your health will gradually improve. Whether you're worried about your memory or just dealing with a tummy ache tea can help. Green, black, or herbal they all have properties to offer your body and mind. Brew a pot, have a tea party, or just steep a bag but consider bringing tea into your life today.