Leafing through the health benefits of tea

teaDrinking a steaming hot cup of cocoa or a flavored latte during the frigid winter months can be just the thing to get you warmed up, but can also be a source of hidden calories. Choose your beverages wisely and be careful of added sugars and high calories. A nice hot cup of tea can keep you warm while being low in calories and providing many added health benefits.

Tea & heart health

The strongest evidence of tea’s benefits is related to heart health, thanks to the antioxidant properties in tea. Flavonoids in black and green tea prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol, reduce blood clotting and improve widening of blood vessels in the heart. Studies have shown decreases in heart attacks, lower cholesterol, and significant decreases in blood pressure related to black tea intake specifically.

Tea & cancer

Research on this relationship is less compelling. It has been suggested that antioxidant compounds, specifically catechins, can prevent cancer. However, a recent review has stated that with the exception of colorectal cancer, studies related to tea consumption and cancer are extremely limited.

Tea & teeth

Researchers in Japan reported that at least one cup of green tea per day was associated with significantly decreased odds for tooth loss. Tea is usually brewed with fluoridated water and the tea plant can naturally accumulate fluoride from soil, likely providing its anti-cariogenic effect. Be cautious of added sugars, as these may promote cavities and counteract the benefits of consuming tea!

For more information, visit the Kendall Anderson Nutrition Center website and the December monthly newsletter.

For more healthy recipes and exercise and nutrition tips, see the CSU College of Health and Human Sciences Pinterest board.

Written by Chance Johnson.

CSU University Communications Staff