Black tea. The staple. The juggernaut. The go-to hot beverage of the masses. Like its oolong, green, and white counterparts, black tea is made from Camellia sinensis leaves, though it tends to be the strongest tasting of the family. And not only is it consumed the world over by builders, nanas, office workers, parents, and, well, everybody really, it’s also an extremely helthy beverage.
According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation, four million tonnes of tea was consumed in 2010. That’s about the equivalent weight of four million fully grown brown bears. So it can be safely assumed that we, as a species, enjoy our tea.
That said, let’s take a look at some of the top benefits of a daily dose of black tea.
In a study, 75 young and healthy male tea drinkers were split into two group and monitored for a total of six weeks. For the duration of the study, one group drank a fruit-flavoured caffeinated black tea beverage that contained the same active ingredients as a regular cup of black tea, and the other was given an identical-tasting drink that contained the same amount of caffeine but none of the active ingredients. Both groups were subsequently made to endure stress-inducing scenarios.
What the study found was that, although both groups reacted in a similar manner to the events (spike in blood pressure and heart rate), the black tea drinkers recovered far more quickly compared with the fake tea drinkers. In fact, only 50 minutes after the stressful events, the cortisol levels of the black tea drinkers had dropped lower than those of the other group.
Professor Andrew Steptoe of the UCL Department of Epidemiology and Public Health said, “. . . our study suggests that drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life. Although it does not appear to reduce the actual levels of stress we experience, tea does seem to have a greater effect in bringing stress hormone levels back to normal.”
What’s important to note here is that black tea may help in recovering from and dealing with stress, as opposed to eliminating it completely.
Improvement in oral health
No coffee breath here. Black tea is a bonafide oral hygiene hero. Not only may it reduce inflammation, but black tea contains catechins, flavonoids, and tannins, which have an anti-microbial effect and inhibit bacterial salivary enzymes. Black tea also contains polyphenols, which have also been found to inhibit the growth of oral bacteria. It’s also been reported that black tea reduces the occurrence of dental cavities.
So, really, we might say that black tea is a mouth-cleansing wonder cocktail.
The caffeine cure
According to researches from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University in Corvallis, consuming 300 or 400 milligrams of caffeine per day shows “little evidence of health risks and some evidence of health benefits.”
Lowered risk of diabetes
One study, carried out on a group of elderly people living on a Mediterranean island, revealed that those who had been drinking 1-2 cups of black tea on a long-term bases were up to 70% less likely to have or develop type 2 diabetes.
Of course, the exact root of this discrepancy can’t be precisely pinpointed, but it does allude to the possibility that regular black tea consumption could be a factor in this decreased risk.
So, fancy a cup? Then why not try Love Leaf’s Vanilla Chai blend? It’s a smooth and tasty brew, with all the goodness of black tea and then some!