Black tea originated from the leaves of the Camellia sinesis bush. Since then, people worldwide have been drinking it in many forms ranging from hot, cold, Earl Grey, and English breakfast. It has also been credited for having numerous nutritional and cosmetic benefits.
Just like coffee, black tea also has antioxidant properties that contribute to decreasing many inflammations in the body. Moreover, it contains less caffeine than coffee which can benefit people who suffer from heart palpitations. Extracts from black tea can even be used as herbal supplements that can be turned into vitamins and minerals.
The article below provides a brief explanation of the ten benefits that black tea may offer.
Summary: 10 Benefits Of Black Tea
- May Reduce Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
- May Decrease Risk Of Cancer
- May Control Blood Glucose Levels In Diabetic Patients
- May Reduce Inflammation Due To Antioxidants
- May Help With Digestion And Metabolism
- May Increase Energy And Focus
- Alternative To Coffee Or Energy Drinks
- May Contribute To Weight Loss
- May Promote Health Mouth Hygiene
- May Temporarily Reduce Grey Hairs
1. May Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
High blood pressure may lead to several deadly cardiovascular diseases such as heart failure, heart attack, and stroke. The World Health Organization (WHO) even states that the leading causes of death worldwide stem from coronary complications.
Studies have shown that drinking black tea religiously may help reduce blood pressure, which would then lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and stroke.
One study observed participants for 14 years to note the effects of consuming three cups of black tea every day.
It was concluded that the number of antioxidants in the body significantly improved, and there was no evidence that black tea is harmful to the body.
Black tea also contains flavonoids that are beneficial for the heart. This may reduce low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) in the body, which transports “bad” cholesterol throughout the system. A randomized controlled clinical study claimed that the inclusion of black tea on an everyday diet might improve cholesterol levels in adults with risks of heart disorders and obesity.
2. May Decrease Risk of Cancer
Black tea has polyphenol theaflavin properties that may hinder the growth of breast tumors. One finding demonstrated that its polyphenol components prevented the increasing number of tumor cells in the body.
These also regulate the molecular constituents of cancer cells, thus inhibiting their survival rate.
Along with polyphenols, amino acids and alkaloids are also present in black tea. Another study suggested that these phytochemicals contribute to fighting the key events of cancer development, such as tumor necrosis, growth factor, and activator proteins.
However, further investigation is required to fully understand the role of black tea at the molecular level against cancer.
3. May Control Blood Glucose Levels in Diabetic Patients
People with diabetes should consume little to no sugar in their daily diets. Consuming black tea may be beneficial for them since it is an unsweetened drink in nature. Its properties of catechins and antioxidants may also control blood glucose levels in their systems.
Several pieces of research suggest that catechins found in black tea may inhibit enzymes that contribute to the increase of blood glucose levels. Catechins may also help in maintaining insulin resistance due to their preventive factors on pancreatic cells.
This may result in lowering high blood sugar, thus maintaining glucose levels in a diabetic patient’s body.
Another study reported that catechin extracts from black tea enhanced the body’s ability to metabolize sugar, which helps the status of insulin in the blood. It was also observed that drinking black tea after meals improved the blood sugar levels of normal and pre-diabetic adults.
4. May Reduce Inflammation Due to Antioxidants
The antioxidant properties of flavonoids, theaflavins, and catechins in black tea may help kill harmful bacteria in the body. This claim was proven when a study observed that the growth of pathogens significantly reduced when black tea was consumed.
Numerous studies also suggest that drinking black tea every day may neutralize the effects of free radicals in the system. When there is an excess production of free radicals in the body, it can damage biomolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins, which results in several chronic disorders.
Thus, research specifically pointed out that consuming black tea one to six times a day increased the antioxidant component that prevents the lipids from being damaged. Hence, this can lead to a decreased onset of chronic illnesses in the body.
Due to its antioxidants, black tea may also be applied to the skin to reduce inflammation brought about by skin rashes from poison ivies.
5. May Help with Digestion and Metabolism
Black tea is often credited with having the highest tannin concentration among other teas.
Tannins found in black tea are categorized as polyphenols and can also have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. Ellagitannin, a type of tannin, is observed to have high levels in black teas.
Research suggests that ellagitannins may initiate the growth of beneficial bacteria in the guts, which may also contribute to reducing stomach upset, diarrhoea, and cancer growth.
However, further investigation is needed to fully understand its effects on the nature of cancerous cells.
These polyphenols found in black tea also inhibit bad bacteria such as Salmonella and H. pylori which causes ulcers in the small intestine. However, people with lactose intolerance may have unpleasant experiences if dairy is added to the tea.
Thus, it is advisable to buy non-dairy products such as soy milk as a means to compensate for adding milk to the tea.
6. May Increase Energy and Focus
Caffeine is one of the natural ingredients that tea contains. Like its effects on coffee, black tea may increase arousal and alertness, which contributes to additional energy and focus.
A Flicker Fusion task was conducted between two subjects who consumed water versus those who drank tea to prove its effects. In the end, it was observed that those who consumed a few cups of tea before the experiment sustained their alertness and arousal throughout the test.
A randomized controlled study also explained that aside from caffeine, 5-23 mg of theanine is also present in a cup of tea. This amino acid can only be found in tea drinks and is often associated with calmness and relaxation. Hence, several studies claimed that theanine alone might enhance attention and increase the synchronization of brain activities.
7. Alternative to Coffee or Energy Drinks
Since it contains caffeine, black tea can also be a substitute for coffee or energy drinks.
A cup of coffee has higher caffeine content compared to tea. This may be ideal for people who would want to boost their energy quickly. However, those who are looking for a lighter drink without the risk of heart palpitations may resort to black tea as an alternative.
Both coffee and tea are rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, respectively. However, compared to coffee, black tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that is only present in tea drinks. This produces anti-stress effects, which increase calmness and relaxation that counteracts the effects of caffeine. Hence, this results in a focused mental state without the feeling of drowsiness.
8. May Contribute to Weight Loss
Due to its caffeine content, drinking black tea may help you lose weight. Caffeine has properties that increase the number of calories burned by 3-13%, resulting in approximately 79-150 calories burned after 3 hours of intake.
The theaflavins in black tea also inhibit enzymes in the pancreas that are vital for fat metabolism. Studies have shown that animals who ate a high-fat diet have a decreased risk of weight gain due to the polyphenols in tea that may decrease lipid concentrations in the body.
In addition, these also promote healthy bacteria in the intestines, thus maintaining gut health.
This may explain why people who consume black tea feel more energetic and have a reduced appetite compared to those who only drink coffee. However, further human subjects are essential to elaborate on these results.
9. May Promote Health Mouth Hygiene
The anti-microbial properties of black tea may contribute to fighting bad breath and promote healthy mouth and teeth hygiene.
Studies have presented that the polyphenols found in black tea may help in killing the bacteria causing bad breath in humans. Researchers supported this claim by observing that there was a decrease in bacterial development by 30% when it was incubated with the polyphenols of black tea.
In addition, another finding suggested that the fluoride content of black tea may help in inhibiting the growth of bacteria on the tooth’s surface. Thus, consuming black tea may reduce the chances of tooth loss in the long run.
10. May Temporarily Reduce Grey Hairs
Black tea can also be used for cosmetic benefits such as rinses for hair colors.
For centuries, applying black tea to the hair has been a natural alternative in enhancing hair color. The presence of theaflavins and thearubigins contribute to giving black tea its distinctive dark color.
Thus, this may be used as a temporary color enhance that can also reduce the appearance of grey hairs. However, this method does not work with lighter colors and will fade away after few hair washes.
An important factor in the cosmetic benefits of black tea is that it does not have any allergenic nor irritating effects after applying to the skin. Thus, it is also effective against the harmful effects of UV rays from the sun.
Black tea has numerous health benefits that may also serve as an alternative to coffee. These include antioxidants with an addition of an exclusive amino acid called L-theanine, which counteracts the effects of caffeine with calmness and relaxation. This factor may also promote good digestive health and metabolism in the long run.
However, it is still important to remember that black tea still has high levels of caffeine. Therefore, monitoring intake should still be observed to maximize the black tea’s potential.
Moreover, several cardiovascular benefits come from consuming black tea. Doing this regularly may even reduce the risk of the onset of cancer and control blood glucose levels in diabetic individuals.