The best black teas come from Sri Lanka.
As one of the world’s oldest drink, tea has been enjoye around the world for centuries. Did you know that this drink is a pick-me-up is also good for you, too? With abundant nutrients, drinking black tea provides a less-caffeinated alternative to coffee. Whether you drink it black or with a dash of milk, lets see what black tea can do for your health.
The origins of black tea
Tea originates from China. Black tea, like all real tea, comes from the camellia sinensis plant, from which is made green, white, yellow and aged tea.
Camellia sinensis assamica which is native to India and has bigger leaves than the camellia sinensis plant. This variety was imported to other parts of the world, like Sri Lanka. The drink became popular and spread across Europe and the rest of the world.
Black tea production differs from green and white tea, black tea leaves oxidize for a longer period of time. Oxidisation means that the tea leaves are exposed to air, allowing the leaves to darken and develop rich and deeper flavour. Fully oxidised tea leaves will be dark/brown and black in colour.
Black tea benefits
Promotes healthy gut bacteria
The digestive system requires trillions of healthy bacteria to function properly.
The bacteria in your gut microbiome can be linked to conditions like inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), weight loss or gain, heart health, and risk of diabetes. Black tea is rich in polyphenols, a naturally-occurring compound in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Polyphenols can support gut health by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria.
The cholesterol that is not so good, refers to low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. An excess of LDL accumulates along your artery lining, narrowing blood flow to your heart and other organs, which can increase the risk of a heart attack, stroke, or heart disease. The antioxidant catechins may be responsible for black tea’s cholesterol-lowering properties; certain studies have linked black tea to reduced LDL levels, as much as 11%.
Reduces blood pressure
High blood pressure can cause many health problems. Blood pressure, like LDL cholesterol, can be managed with diet. There are studies that link frequent black tea consumption to a decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure
High in antioxidants
All tea leaves contain flavonoids and polyphenols, both of which are antioxidants. Antioxidants work to repair your cells from damage by protecting them against free radicals. Antioxidants are also linked to promoting heart health along with preventing other chronic diseases. Catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins are among the primary antioxidant sources found in black tea.
Reduces blood sugar
Excessive sugar consumption will elevate your blood sugar, which can cause many chronic illnesses, including kidney failure, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, black tea is a drink you can enjoy without sugar.
Improvements in mood and cognitive function
Though it doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, black tea does contain the stimulant Caffeine blocks adenosine receptors. Adenosine receptors, in turn, block excitatory brain chemicals, meaning these excitatory brain chemicals flow more freely, giving your brain an energy jolt. Black tea is a great alternative to coffee, particularly if you’re trying to reduce your caffeine consumption.
A few cups of black tea daily is safe for most adults. While black tea does contain less caffeine than coffee, an eight-ounce mug still includes anywhere from 40 to 120 milligrams of caffeine. Too much caffeine may cause shakiness, dehydration, a headache, diarrhoea, and irregular heartbeat. Excess caffeine is not recommended for those who have anxiety disorders, and women who are breastfeeding should consult a doctor about their caffeine intake. Generally speaking, more than three cups of black tea a day may be harmful.
Additionally, black tea may affect the body’s ability to absorb iron. This would only be a problem for those with conditions like anaemia. Black tea is also high in oxalate, and too much of that can cause kidney stones. But it would take an unusually high amount of black tea consumption to reach that point. Its best to drink black tea at least an hour after your meal.