The Health Benefits of Tea

Rachel Adler
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Cup of Tea

We have all heard the typical rumors and murmurings that tea can do wonders for your health. While we know it makes us feel better when our throat hurts or we’ve got a cough, we’re not exactly sure what it’s actually doing for us – and aside from the fact that it warms our fingers (and our insides!) we figured it was time to find out what benefits we’re really gaining from drinking all of this tea. And, if you’re not taking advantage of these brewed cups of goodness in your diets, you may want to start now.

Below, we’ve broken down the most popular varieties of tea and what they can do for your health, simply by sipping on them. Find your favorite flavor (or what ails you) and pick up a cup today.

Oolong Tea:
This form of tea can actually help boost your metabolism, promoting weight loss. It has a unique antioxidant and caffeine combo that raises your metabolism for up to 2 hours after drinking it, with studies showing that it has led to sustained weight loss and a smaller waist size after drinking.

White Tea: 
White tea is also known for helping with weight loss, and is less processed than many other forms of tea. The polyphenols in white tea, which are a type of antioxidant, are extra potent because of this. It also contains ECGC, an antioxidant that helps to prevent new fat cells from forming and fights the signs of aging. Research has also shown that it may protect against colon cancer.

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Passionflower Tea:
This tea contains an ingredient called flavone chrysin, which has anti-anxiety benefits – over-stressed workers take note! It’s a great choice to brew before bed to try to calm your mind.

Black Tea:
Black tea can help keep your breath smelling fresh due to it’s polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) that stop plaque from sticking to your teeth. Black tea can also help belly fat from forming before it starts, and the polysaccharides in black tea may have glucose-inhibiting properties – which in turn may prevent diabetes.

Green Tea:
The reason everyone raves about green tea is because it has multiple benefits for your overall health. It has a phytonutrient called EGCG that increases a hormone responsible for the feeling of satiation (or feeling full). That same phytonutrient also is effective in fighting cancer, and studies have shown that it may prevent the onset of dementia.

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Ginger Tea: 
Ginger is a terrific anti-inflammatory agent, so this tea works well if you feel a headache coming on. Ginger works to calm the chemical messengers that cause a slight swelling in the brain, reducing the inflammation in about the same time as popping an aspirin.

Peppermint Tea: 
Anytime you have an upset stomach, sip on peppermint tea. It can calm your digestive system, and is known to relieve constipation.

Chamomile Tea: 
The antioxidants in chamomile tea may help prevent complications from diabetes, like vision loss or kidney damage, as well as stunt the growth of cancer cells. It can also help to soothe an upset stomach and promote sleep by soothing your nervous system.

Image via Istock

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