Many of us know the buzz about how healthy green tea is. It is often discussed by naturopaths and recommended by many. What many people do not know is that black tea comes from the exact same plant as green tea; the only difference is in the processing. This misconception comes from the belief that black tea is not as potent as green or white tea. This is a myth that is starting to break as more nutritionists and naturopaths are getting the word out about the health benefits of black tea.
Black tea is a great source for antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals, which strengthens the immune system and provides anti-aging benefits. They also help fight the effects of pollution and the resulting respiratory damages. Rutgers did a study on black tea showing that the antioxidants may help prevent certain cancers, such as stomach and prostate cancers. It has also shown to slow down the growth of cancers already diagnosed. Studies have shown that it makes the cancer cells self-destruct while normal cells remain intact.
Black Tea and Your Heart
Black tea is now known to prevent heart attack and stroke because it is good for the arteries. Boston University did a study where they tested black tea against water with a group of heart patients. The tests ran for a month and showed that the black tea subjects showed an improvement in blood vessels that had been impaired by 50%. This effect on blood vessels also helps to prevent stroke.
Scientists have recently discovered that black tea is also good for balancing blood sugar, more so than other teas being studied. This is good news for those who might be pre-diabetic, as this finding shows an association with lowering the risk for diabetes. This also may lead to doctors working with patients to use black tea for diabetes management. More studies need to happen, but the results are increasingly exciting for the therapeutic effect of black tea and diabetes.
Black Tea Uses and Recipes
The full flavor of black tea will call for most recipes to add some sort of spice. For example, if you add grapefruit and honey to a cup of black tea, the tea will be enjoyable but it will feel as if something is missing. To fix this, add a few pinches of cinnamon and, voila, you have an amazing cup of black tea. Orange peel and cloves are also a tasty way to take advantage of the full flavor of black tea. For a sweeter tea, ginger and molasses are a good combination. Many people enjoy a cup of black tea with milk and sugar, however studies have shown that milk erases many of the healthy properties of the tea. A creative and exciting way get some black tea benefits with dessert is to pour some black tea over a bowl of berries or mandarin oranges. Top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon and you have a healthy, yet tasty dessert.
Black tea benefits are still being studied and studies continue to show surprising findings. As with anything, moderation must be practiced with black tea because, while it has much less caffeine than coffee, it does have more caffeine than any of the other teas. It is also advisable to discuss the best way to add black tea to your diet with your doctor as certain medication could be affected. As word continues to spread that black tea is just as healthy as green tea, you now know that you can enjoy a nice cup of full flavored black tea and feel good about it.