Surprising health benefits of drinking tea

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You already know that tea can improve your skin and help keep you fit and trim, but did you know that it also does amazing things for your health? Tea has been around for millenia. Through that time, the Chinese have drunk it for everything from hangover prevention to weight control and common cold reduction. Now, modern scientific research has given us a much better insight into how tea improves health and to what benefit.

True tea, or that from the Camellia sinensis plant, includes white, green, oolong, black and pu-erh. All of them contain antioxidants, catechins, and polyphenols, which positively impact our bodies. Media-favorite green tea was found to help lower cholesterol, both total serum cholesterol and LDL, according to a meta-study published June 2011 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Most sources suggest five cups per day will provide results, but multiple studies have shown that higher consumption leads to the biggest drop in cholesterol.

Tea is thought to work by inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol from the large intestine. Among the Chinese, pu-erh tea is the most renowned in its ability to lower cholesterol, though only minimal clinical research has investigated this traditional belief. Since tea contains high levels of antioxidants, it is not surprising that studies have found them in eye tissue. In fact, drinking tea can help to prevent the blindness caused by cataracts (the clouding of the lens inside the eye), said a 2001 study.

Cortisol is the stress hormone that contributes to belly fat and makes your skin age quicker. One recent study suggested four cups of tea per day may make your cortisol levels spike less. If you’re looking to have cortisol levels drop back down to normal faster after a stressful event, a 2006 study suggested daily consumption of tea for six weeks will do just that (as compared to placebo).

Active compounds in tea can help to lower levels of inflammation and inflammatory reactions. According to Dr. Mark Hyman, inflammation is connected to almost every modern ailment, including arthritis, metabolic syndrome, and depression. Inflammation can also cause you to retain water and look puffy, so a few cups of tea can help you look and feel thinner. READ MORE…

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