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Tea And Health
Tea and Health The function of tea and natural, bioactive compounds in tea, as elements in a healthy lifestyle is best explained by the first line in Kakuzo Okakura’s 1906 philosophical treatise on tea, The Book of Tea. Okakura sums up the historical and ancient belief in tea as more than just a pleasing beverage by writing, “Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage…” Scientific research confirms what Asians believed for centuries – that green and black tea contain powerful natural antioxidants which can protect regular tea drinkers from many degenerative diseases. The main degenerative diseases of concern today are heart disease, high blood pressure stroke, cancer and diabetes. Studies have shown that the antioxidant activity of flavonoids in green and black tea reduces the risk of many degenerative diseases and help maintain good oral heath. Tea and Heart disease Regular consumption of correctly brewed tea, has been shown to reduce oxidation of fat. Studies suggest that green and black tea are equally effective in this respect. Catechins in green tea, theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea were shown to have the ability of inhibit lipid oxidation and plaque formation (which can lead to heart disease), whilst reducing cholesterol. Regular consumption of tea has also been associated with reduced blood clotting. Blood clotting increases the risk of coronary thrombosis. Tea extracts and tea polyphenols can inhibit the platelet aggregation to a certain degree, thereby reducing the risk of thrombosis. Both Green and Black Tea also improve endothelial function (vasoconstriction and vasodilation – the control of blood pressure, atherosclerosis, formation of new blood vessels -angiogenesis). Tea and Cancer Numerous in vitro and in vivo studies have revealed that polyphenols in green and black tea can directly react and neutralize chemical carcinogens thereby reducing the risk of cancer. It has also been shown that tea increases the activity of detoxifying enzymes which are naturally found in the human body. The anticarcinogenic potential of tea is based on the ability of tea flavonoids to interact with the active carcinogens and make them inactive. In vitro and in vivo research indicates that tea and tea polyphenols inhibit initiation and later stages in the development of carcinogens. Regular consumption of tea – especially fresh tea – decreases the growth rate of tumours whilst preventing the formation of large tumours. Tea and Diabetes In Type-1 diabetes the pancreas does not produce the required amount of insulin to required amount of insulin to regulate blood glucose. In Type 2 diabetes liver and muscle cells cannot utilize the insulin produced to regulate blood glucose. Some plant extracts contains substances, which could mimic the action of insulin and help in managing Type 2 or non-insulin dependant diabetes. The flavonol, myricetin, which is present in green and black tea is found to be able to mimic insulin activity. The enzyme alpha-amylase catalyses the conversion of starch in food to glucose in the digestive process. Glucose in the digestive tract is easily absorbed into the blood stream while starch is not absorbed. Polyphenols in tea inhibit alpha-amylase activity and could contribute to reducing blood glucose. Research suggests that tea consumption can be highly beneficial for diabetics. Tea and Ageing Antioxidants in tea are known for their ability to reduce oxidative stress. Diseases of old age are thought to be the result of attack by Free Radicals. Tea polyphenols inhibit the action of Free Radicals and can contribute to better quality of life for the elderly and also possibly longevity. Tea and Oral Health Tea contains fluoride therefore tea drinking makes a significant contribution to the daily fluoride intake and to the reduction of tooth decay. It has been found that in addition to fluoride, the polyphenols in tea also act to reduce tooth decay. Recent studies have revealed that tea inhibits the growth of other harmful microorganisms in the mouth. In addition to these and other function benefits that are likely in tea, scientists identified a compound called L-theanine in tea. L-theanine is said to be responsible for promoting a feeling of relaxation, whilst maintaining mental alertness. 50mg of L-theanine (contained in two to three cups of tea) can naturally stimulate the brain and bring on refreshed and relaxed sensation. How much Tea Natural plant derived foods generally contain antioxidants although the antioxidants in green and black tea are much greater than levels found in fruits and vegetables. As a general rule, two cups of tea are equivalent in antioxidant capacity, to five portions of fruit or vegetables. Researchers are generally agreed that 5-10 cups of tea are recommended although no adverse effects have been noted from consumption of more than this number. Care should be exercised though by infants, young children at risk of type 1 diabetes, pregnant women, patients on psychoactive drugs or with sensitivity to caffeine, and tea drinkers whose diets are nutritionally not balanced. FURTHER READING Tissa Amarakoon, Shang Hong Huang & Ranil de Silva. Therapeutic Applications of Ceylon Tea: Potential and Trends [pp. 377- 417 in Yi-Zhun Zhu, Benny K-H Tan, Boon Huat Bay, Chang-Hong Liu (ed.), Natural Products, Essential Resources for Human Survival. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., 2007].W.W.D. Modder, A.M.T. Amarakoon. Tea and Health. The Tea Research Institute of Sri Lanka, 2002.Revelations on the therapeutic qualities of tea have been overwhelming. According to research, there are not many of mankind’s ailments that are untouched by its therapeutic qualities. No other natural or synthetic substance comes even close to tea in terms of benefits across such a multitude of fronts. A panacea it may not be, but there is no denying that in this health conscious era, science is excited by what tea has to offer and has placed it under their microscopes like none other before.
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Tea Traditions from Around The World
Every country in the world loves a good cup of tea, which is probably why they have developed unique styles of enjoying it. Have you ever tried one of these brew-takes on the classic cuppa?   Morocco – served in three rounds, each with a slightly different flavour, the drink is a blend of mint, green tea and lots of sugar. You cannot refuse any of the servings, unless you want to offend your host.   Tibet – would you like some butter and salt with your tea? That’s how Tibet does it. Black tea is mixed in with yak butter, milk and salt because the locals believe that it is soothing to have at such high altitudes.   China – Cha Yen or Thai iced tea is a sweet and spicy concoction with some serious calories and is made with Assam tea, sugar and condensed milk blended in with spices such as anise, orange blossom and tamarind that is poured over ice into a tall glass. Yum.   Pakistan – Say hello to Noon Chai, an exquisite blend of pistachio, milk, almond, salt, cinnamon, cardamom and some star anise. It is pink in colour and is always served along with some snacks. Source :
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9 Impressive Benefits of Ceylon Tea
There are impressive benefits of ceylon tea, including its ability to aid in weight loss, protect against chronic illness, boost heart health, increase energy levels, strengthen the immune system, improve the appearance of the skin, moderate diabetic symptoms, and prevent kidney stones. Ceylon Tea You may not be familiar with the term ceylon tea, possibly because you’ve never heard of Ceylon – the formal name of Sri Lanka until 1972. Tea production in this country is impressive and is responsible for over $1.5 billion of global tea sales. The excellent terrain and temperature of Sri Lanka make it an ideal location to grow this tea, and it comes in three varieties – black, green, and white. You can find ceylon tea all over the world, but many people may simply mistake it for regular old black tea. Black ceylon tea is the most common form and has a mild flavor that is reminiscent of citrus fruits. Green ceylon tea has a more pungent, nutty flavor than its black counterpart, and has the highest level of antioxidants since these tea leaves are unfermented. Finally, white ceylon tea is the most expensive and rarest form and is prepared, harvested, and processed by hand, along with being allowed to dry in the sun, giving it a sweeter, more pleasant flavor than the other two varieties. Essentially, any tea that comes from Sri Lanka is called ceylon tea, and it is widely praised around the world for its high polyphenolic content, which bestows a number of health benefits on those who regularly consume this tea leaf variety. More specifically, ceylon tea is believed to have a warming influence on the body, and always has a slightly tangy taste, which sets it apart from other varietals on the market. The flavonoids, antioxidants, and polyphenolic compounds in ceylon tea have made it a popular remedy for a wide variety of ailments and afflictions, and can even be used in topical applications for certain issues. Health Benefits of Ceylon Tea Let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of ceylon tea. Weight Loss One of the best things about ceylon tea is its ability to stimulate the metabolism, making it a precious tool for those attempting to lose weight. By speeding up the metabolism, your body naturally burns fat faster, even if you don’t change other aspects of your lifestyle or workout regimen. This means that by giving your metabolism a morning boost with ceylon tea, you will have more energy for even more activities, which may further increase your calorie-burning efforts! Boosts Immunity Across the board, ceylon tea can help to promote a healthier body, starting with the immune system. By improving the response time of the immune system to pathogens and foreign agents, ceylon tea can better prepare the body to fight off illness. Furthermore, the antioxidants found in ceylon tea generally reduce oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals within the body, which can help the immune system focus on the important things, like keeping you protected from infections! Protects the Heart Ceylon tea possesses a measurable amount of potassium, which is a crucial element of heart health since it functions as a vasodilator. This means that it relaxes the tension in blood vessels and arteries, allowing your blood pressure to decrease to normal, healthy levels and reduce the strain on your heart. A cup of ceylon tea to start each day, along with a potassium-rich fruit like bananas, can do wonders for your long-term heart health. Increases Energy Sri Lanka used to be a major coffee-producing nation, but a lot of that infrastructure has shifted to making tea. However, ceylon tea and Sri Lankan coffee share an important characteristic – caffeine. By providing your body with a healthy dose of caffeine, this tea can boost your cognitive acuity and attention, and also pull you out of that morning energy slump. If you drink it at a regular pace, perhaps 2-3 cups over the course of the day, you’ll also avoid the terrible caffeine crash that you so often get from coffee. Skin Care Some of the antioxidants that have been identified in ceylon tea are specifically linked to reducing collagen loss in the skin by preventing oxidative stress in the surrounding cells. Collagen is important for skin elasticity, namely preventing the appearance of wrinkles and keeping the skin taut and strong. By preventing oxidative stress in this way, you can prevent premature aging, eliminate those pesky wrinkles, and also promote healthier blemish-free skin. Eliminates Kidney Stones Research has connected the consumption of black tea to a decreased risk of developing kidney stones. This is believed to be connected to both the caffeine content and antioxidants present within this miraculously delicious and beneficial tea variety! Regulates Diabetes Symptoms Drinking ceylon tea has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels, which is particularly important for people who suffer from diabetes. By helping to regulate the glucose and insulin levels in the body, ceylon tea can prevent the spikes and drops that can be dangerous for those who struggle with diabetes. Prevents Chronic Illness The impressive antioxidant range that ceylon tea possesses makes it a powerful aid to human health in many ways. Specifically, the theaflavins and thearubigins found in this tea are known to directly counteract the spread of cancer and can prevent cellular mutation and oxidative stress. In order to prevent chronic diseases, like cancer, ceylon tea can be a great line of defense to boost the responsiveness of your immune system. Word of Caution: Due to the notable content of caffeine found in this tea, it is not recommended that pregnant women consume it, as this can lead to complications in the pregnancy, not to mention the fact that most babies cannot process caffeine in utero. Furthermore, if you have anxiety problems, adding caffeine to your diet isn’t always the best option. However, in low-caffeine doses (steeping for short periods of time), ceylon tea can help to eliminate some of the factors that may be causing you stress. As always, it is best to speak with your doctor before adding a new herbal treatment to your normal dietary or health regimen.
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