6 Health Benefits of Tea

6 health benefits of tea

Tea is an easy drink to include in a healthy diet, and it has been enjoyed in many cultures for centuries. Focusing on green, black, oolong or white tea, research shows that there are some unique health benefits for regular tea drinkers.

You May Have Better Blood Pressure

Consumption of flavan-3-ols, the plant compound found in true teas, is linked to heart-health benefits, including a reduction in blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, according to the aforementioned Advances in Nutrition study. Aim for 400 to 600 mg of flavan-3-ols each day, the research suggests, or the amount in about two cups of black or green tea.

You May Have a Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers

Cancer risk can be impacted by many factors, with some being completely out of your control (like genetics). Among the factors that can play a role in cancer risk, drinking tea may be one that has a protective effect. Data published in an Advances in Nutrition study in 2020 suggests that tea consumption may have protective effects against some types of cancer, particularly oral cancer. Weaker evidence suggests a link between tea consumption and breast, endometrial and liver cancers. Tea's polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, may soak up the free radicals that contribute to cancer development, and they also may suppress the growth of cancer cells, the authors point out.

You May Have Better Attention

Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that has been shown to impact brain health. According to a 2021 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, the L-theanine found in tea may play a role in improving attention, ultimately boosting working memory. L-theanine may, among other functions, help increase certain brain waves that enhance cognition.

You May Have a Supported Immune System

Varieties of tea, like black and green, are rich in polyphenols. And certain polyphenols found in some true teas, like EGCG and theaflavin, may support immune health, according to a review in Frontiers in Immunology in 2020. Additionally, tea is rich in compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, which may support immune health too.

You May Have a Longer Life

A 2022 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine evaluating half a million tea drinkers in the United Kingdom showed that higher black tea intake was associated with a 13% reduced risk of death from any cause for those who drank two or more cups per day compared to those who don't drink tea. Tea drinking was also linked to a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease and stroke.

You May Be More Hydrated

Tea counts as fluid, so sipping on the beverage can keep you hydrated throughout the day. Staying hydrated can keep you cognitively sharp during the day, help regulate your body temperature and keep your digestion regular.