Drink to Your Health (Part 2): BLACK TEA

By AltMed1-Peggy  

In an upcoming segment of the Drink to Your Health series, we’ll take a look at the many health benefits of green tea but first, let’s take a look at what black tea can do.


As the name suggests, black teas have a darker color and heavier or richer flavor that’s more appealing in the US, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other Western countries. According to The Tea Association of the USA, Americans drink more than 3 billion gallons of tea, about 80 percent of which is black tea.


It’s a great drink for the nutrition conscious and weight watchers because tea has no sugar (for all practical purposes, it contains zero calories), no fat, no sodium, and no carbonation. It’s a soothing yet refreshing drink whether it is served hot or cold and it can be enjoyed plain or with milk, lemon, sugar, honey or other flavorings.


New research published in the May 2012 edition of the journal Preventive Medicine reported the findings of a small (just 87 people ranging in age from 25 to 60) clinical trial to see how black tea affected heart health. People who drank just three cups a day of black tea for 12 weeks had 18.4 percent lower blood sugar (fasting glucose levels) and 36 percent lower triglycerides.  Their ratio of bad (LDL) to good (HDL) cholesterol improved.


And there are many more studies that showed how black tea helps health.

Here’s a small sample:

  • 44 percent reduction in heart attack (myocardial infarction) risk in people who drank one or more cups of tea each day, according to a 1999 Harvard study.


  • 42 percent lower risk of skin cancer in people who drank iced black tea with citrus peel, according to a 2001 study published in BioMed Central’s journal BMC Dermatology.


  • 11 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) in people who drank five cups of black tea each day while they also followed a moderately low fat diet, according to a 2003 US Department of Agriculture study.


  • Significantly lower risk of the most common type of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, people who drank hot black tea, a 2000 study reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology , Biomarkers & Prevention. 


  • Other research shows black tea aids diabetes management, helps reduce allergic response, helps curb weight gain (in animal studies), reduces risk of stroke and heart disease, combats prostate, colorectal, lung, and other types of cancer, and helps other health issues as well.


On top of all that, black tea eases stress. So, whether you prefer it iced or hot, plain or sweetened, enjoy a health-helping “cuppa” daily or oftener.




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