Black Tea Benefits

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Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. India is the 2nd largest producer of tea in the world around 80% of the total tea produced in Pakistan is consumed by the domestic population. 

Black tea is one of the most common tea forms. It is an even oxidised form of tea than oolong, green or white tea. The black tea comes from ‘Camellia Sinensis’, native to China.

It is popular due to its strong, bold taste and long shelf life. Before tea was considered a beverage in ancient times, people used it for medicinal purposes. Slowly, it became popular because of its flavour and the health benefits it offers.

Black tea is an excellent source of antioxidants that play a crucial role in keeping the body healthy. Black tea and green tea offer similar benefits. But scientists are explicitly looking at black tea because of its oxidation process. Keeping this in mind, let’s look at what this beverage offers.

Nutritional Value of Black Tea

Usually, people drink black tea with milk, but consuming it without milk offers maximum benefits.

Since black tea is the most oxidised tea type, it provides a unique colour and flavour. It tastes savoury to sweet and has an amber to dark brown texture. Many people drink black tea for energy, alertness, and increasing metabolism before a workout. It is due to its caffeine content.

It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from DNA damage. In addition, studies hint that antioxidants in black tea may help lessen the risk of atherosclerosis, which is clogged arteries, particularly in women.

With that said, let’s put some light on the nutritional value of black tea to understand its health benefits.

1 cup of black tea (237gm) contains:

  • Calories – 2.4 
  • Carbohydrates – 0.4 grams
  • Fibre – 0.1 grams
  • Fats – 0.0. Grams
  • Proteins – 0.1 grams

It is safe to say that black tea is undoubtedly a healthy beverage that contains all the essential nutrients and minerals. The best part about black tea is the bold flavours that make it a satisfying drink. You can enjoy it at any time of the day. 

Including black tea in your daily diet helps you lead a healthy life. You can make the most of this beverage by drinking it regularly.

Black Tea for Weight Loss

People have found a new reason to drink black tea – weight loss!

A study evaluates inter-relationships between tea compounds and the gut microbiome. It also suggests that black tea works as a probiotic that aids the digestive process.

According to health experts, the flavonoids unique to black tea help shed those extra pounds. Black tea only has approximately two calories per cup. It also has 0% cholesterol and saturated fat.

The molecules of black tea are more significant than the other tea types. It means that black tea molecules spend more time in the small intestine. Scientists believe that the presence of these molecules in the small intestine helps increase the amounts of good bacteria and microorganisms in the gut microbiome. As a result, the liver tissues burn fat deposits more efficiently. 

Furthermore, black tea is considered a weight-loss beverage because it contains the highest concentration of caffeine among all the tea categories. A cup of black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine boosts energy and increases metabolic rate. Therefore, drinking black tea before your workout may help your body perform better and shed those extra pounds faster.

Caffeine also raises body temperature, also known as ‘thermogenesis.’ When the temperature increases, it triggers reactions in the body that results in improved metabolism of nutrients and vitamins, and ultimately, fat burning.

If you look at the nutrition table, you will see that the calorie count in black tea is almost negligible. Replacing high-calorie beverages and drinks like juice and soda with black tea can help lose weight quickly. Moreover, drinking black tea is a tastier alternative. Since black tea contains flavonoids, it can help improve fat distribution. Thus, it may lead to a healthier weight loss.

Proven Health Benefits of Black Tea

Scientists and researchers are still experimenting with the properties of black tea to find more solid evidence regarding weight loss. Nevertheless, you can include black tea in your daily diet and enjoy the overall health benefits it offers. 

The health benefits of black tea are immense. From a healthy heart to improved digestive health, lowering the chances of diabetes, and more, black tea offers a whole list of health benefits. 

Black Tea Reduces the Risk of Diabetes

According to studies, long-term intake of black tea may help lower fasting blood glucose levels. As a result, it may help reduce the rates of type-2 diabetes. However, there is a need for more research. In addition, polyphenols like flavonoids are in abundance in black tea. These flavonoids help lower the glycemic index.

It has been observed in studies that people who drink black tea for a prolonged period have a 70% low chance of experiencing a spike in blood sugar levels. It means there is a lesser risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Another study suggests that women drinking more than or equal to 4 cups of tea per day have a 30% reduced chance of getting type 2 diabetes than other women.

Going by the above data, it is safe to say that black tea may help prevent the risk of type-2 diabetes. 

Black Tea May Help in Preventing Cancer

Black tea is high in theaflavins, an antioxidant that can help destroy abnormal cells in the body. The free radicals present in our body can create significant damage by turning the normal body cells into cancerous cells.

The antioxidant content in black tea is so high that it keeps the free radicals at bay. In addition, it plays a significant role in the prevention of substantial cancer types like skin cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and stomach cancer. 

A case-control study in Uruguay suggests that tea consumption decreases the incidence of lung cancer in male cigarette smokers. Consumption of black tea also aids in increasing globulin hormones in females throughout their menstrual cycle.

Black Tea Helps Improve Heart Functions

Numerous studies have shown that drinking black tea lowers the chances of stroke in adults.

Black tea includes flavonoids, which help prevent plaque accumulation in the arteries. As a result, it helps reduce cardiac stress. Furthermore, caffeine in black tea dilates the blood vessels of the body. As a result, it helps increase blood flow to all body parts. The speedier blood circulation helps provide more oxygen to the body’s organs and tissues. 

One randomised study discovered that consuming black tea for 12 weeks decreased triglyceride levels by 36%, blood sugar levels by 18%, and the LDL/HDL plasma ratio by 17%. 

Another research reveals that those who drank three cups of black tea daily had an 11% lower chance of getting heart disease.

In conclusion, it is safe to say that people who consume black tea daily are less prone to developing cardiovascular conditions.

Black Tea Helps in Relieving Stress

Drinking black tea reduces cortisol (a stress hormone) production and helps in normalising it. Furthermore, black tea is rich in an amino acid called I-theanine which eases stress.

Researchers at the University College London (UCL) discovered that people who drank tea de-stressed faster than those who drank a fake tea substitute.

If you are going through rough times mentally, you should drink three or more cups of black tea in a day. If not treated early, stress can cause chronic illnesses like coronary heart disease and other mental disorders. Drinking black tea also helps in soothing your mind and allows you to concentrate.

Black Tea Protects Against Bad Bacteria

The flavonoids and polyphenols found in black tea have antibacterial properties. In addition, several studies suggest that consumption of black tea helps lower the risk of Helicobacter pylori infection. It is a bacterial infection that affects the stomach.

Moreover, it also prevents unnecessary sweating, a sign of bacterial infection. Doctors and health professionals say that applying chilled black tea bags to razor bumps, burns, itchiness, and redness can provide deep comfort.

Black Tea Improves Digestive Health

Black tea contains many tannins and other chemicals that positively affect digestive health and relaxes the system.

The anti-inflammatory properties of black tea help cure digestive problems. In addition, it helps combat stomach ulcers and provides a therapeutic effect on gastric and intestinal illness.

Research published in the Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine looked at the effects of black tea on diarrhoea in 60 people aged 2 to 12. The randomised controlled study found that black tea has antidiarrhoeal effects and can help relieve stomach pain.

Black tea aids the growth of good gut bacteria, thereby improving gut health.

Black Tea Makes Stronger Bones

The flavonoids present in the black tea help keep the bones healthy, thereby preventing fractures.

Minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus keep the bones stronger and reduce the chances of developing arthritis and other joint issues.  In addition, a study suggests that women who drink more than or equal to three cups of tea per day have a lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis.

The phytochemicals present in tea help reduce inflammation in the muscles, especially joints and allows easy mobility. Drinking black tea also leads to greater bone mineral density. 

Black Tea Beneficial for Good Oral Health

Polyphenols like flavonoids, tannins, and catechins present in black tea possess anti-microbial properties that help keep your oral health intact and prevent related problems like bleeding gums, bad breath and plaque formation. 

Black tea promotes the production of salivary enzymes. If you consume black tea regularly, it can lower inflammation, prevent cavities, and stop the growth of bacteria.

Dr Wu’s study suggests that rinsing the mouth with black tea for 30 seconds, five times, at a 3-minute interval, reduces plaque bacteria from developing.

Doctors recommend drinking a cup or two of unsweetened black tea with water. It helps destroy and surpass bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay.

Black Tea: Healthy Drink

Making black tea is probably one of the most manageable tasks. However, it is all about precision and timing. If you miss anything, it can alter the taste. But don’t worry! This section will tell you how to make tasty, refreshing types of black tea at home, like a pro.

Lemon Black Tea Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • Loose-leaf black tea – 2 tbsp (teabag also works fine) 
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Lemon – optional

Directions: 

  • Take a saucepan, add water, and cook on a medium flame for a couple of minutes. 
  • When the water comes to a boil, add the loose tea leaves while stirring (make sure you bring the stove to medium heat).
  • Boil the mixture on a low flame and let the water infuse all the elements of black tea. 
  • Strain the leaves, add lemon juice and serve hot. 

Iced Black Tea Recipe

Ingredients: 

  • Loose-leaf black tea: 2 tbsp (teabag also works fine) 
  • Crushed cardamom pods: 3 
  • Fresh Mint: 3-4 leaves
  • Rosewater: 1 tbsp
  • Honey: 1 tbsp

Instructions

  • Add the water to a pan and brew tea. Allow it to cool. 
  • Now, add tea powder, and cardamom and let the flavors infuse. (Let it simmer). 
  • Filter the tea, add honey, rose water, and mint leaves and serve cold or hot. 

Black Tea: Other Ways to Use

  • Black tea can impart a smoky flavor to soups, including red meat or mushrooms.
  • Poaching food in black tea infuses the aroma of the tea into the food. For example, poaching mushrooms in lapsang souchong black tea is one option.
  • For cooking beans and grains: Substituting tea for water lends a smoky touch to the food flavor.
  • In desserts: Steep black tea leaves in warm milk and then use it in puddings or custards. Similarly, you can prepare a chocolate mousse with Earl Grey black tea infusion.

Possible Side Effects of Black Tea

While black tea is all good for your health, you should know that everything in this world has limitations. If there are pros, there will be cons as well. The same goes for black tea. Here are the potential side effects of black tea that you should know. 

Anemia

Black tea is rich in tannic acid. While foods rich in tannic acid are great sources of antioxidants, research suggests that its overconsumption can affect the body’s ability to absorb minerals like calcium, zinc and iron. A reduced level of iron in the body can be the cause of anaemia. Common symptoms of anaemia include dizziness, fatigue, poor concentration and increased risk of infection etc. 

Caffeine Effect

According to research, a high dose of caffeine affects the body adversely causing various conditions that range from mild to severe like irritability, sleeplessness and upset stomach to increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat and calcium loss.  

Studies indicate that too much black tea induces the release of high levels of stress hormones in your body that may lead to anxiety and depression. 

Caffeine may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort by increasing the production of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) when consumed on an empty stomach. We often have caffeinated drinks to change our mood but we must realise that the effect is only temporary. Apart from the damage, it does to our body, it increases dependency and you would need an increasing quantity each time to feel the same short-term boost. 

Pregnancy Complications

Caffeinated drinks should be consumed in moderation during pregnancy as they may adversely affect the fetus’s development and can even cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Research indicates that a high intake of caffeine during pregnancy leads to poor gestational weight gain and SGA. 

Drug Interaction

Apart from interfering with the mineral absorption ability of the body, black tea with its components like caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine can also hinder the working of various medications or reduce their effectiveness. 

Summary 

India is a country of tea lovers. Black tea is one of the most common types of tea and has several health benefits like reducing the risk of diabetes and cancer.

It also helps manage stress and promotes oral and bone health. It is best to drink plain black tea. Adding milk, sugar, cream, and syrups will increase the calorie content and possibly reduce its health benefits.

Moreover, if you are health conscious, you should refrain from ready-to-drink teas and iced teas. However, moderate consumption is advised because of its adverse side effects.

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