Is Tea Healthy? 8 Scientific Facts About Tea and Your Health Worth Knowing About
Author: Millennia TEA’s Official Science Steeper - Allison Tannis, MSc RHN
Fact: Tea helps you live longer.
As astounding as that may be, that tasty tidbit about tea is actually backed by scientific fact. Tea is healthy for you! No wonder tea is called a superfood. Did you know that tea impacts the moisture retention in skin, how organized your brain structures are, and guards your genome? (Talk about the kind of steamy details that heat up great conversations over a cup of tea or a cool green smoothie with friends.) Thanks to science, we understand now more than ever why tea is healthy and what eating fresh tea leaves could mean to your future.
What is the Benefit of Tea to Your Body?
It’s not surprising that tea has health benefits - it has been consumed traditionally as a healthy beverage for thousands of years. But, what exactly are the health benefits of tea? From your brain to your heart, enjoy discovering these 8 scientific facts that explain more about the impressive ways tea is healthy for you:
8 Scientific Facts About Tea and Your Health Worth Knowing About
- Better Brain Function
- Reduces Cognitive Decline
- Boosts Mood
- Beautiful Skin
- Guards Your Genome
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Impacts Longevity
- Reduces Risk of Death from Heart Disease and Stroke
Better Brain Function
You’re smart to drink tea, according to scientists: tea is linked with better brain function (memory, learning, attention, reasoning, decision making). Findings published in the journal Aging, showed habitual tea drinkers have better brain structure. In other words, tea appears to prevent the detrimental changes in brain organization that leads to age-related cognitive decline.
It’s smart to drink tea.
Reduces Cognitive DeclineIn fact, science has been looking a lot into how the nutrients in tea leaves benefit the brain as it ages. In a published 2017 study, daily consumption of tea was linked with a 50% reduced risk of cognitive decline in older persons. Maybe it’s smart to schedule more tea dates? Or, if you prefer your tea leaves cold, then schedule more smoothie dates?
Tea boosts your mood: scientific evidence shows a linear relationship between tea consumption and reduced risk of depression. In other words, the more tea you drink the happier you are. You can thank a number of natural compounds in tea leaves for this mood-boosting effect, including teasaponin, L-theanine, EGCG, and tea catechins. How do tea leaves make you happier? Many of these compounds in tea leaves influence the gut-brain axis encouraging the body to maintain the right amount of dopamine to bring about a good mood.
Cells on the skin usually migrate toward the surface and live for about 28 days. Skin cells that would normally start to die around day 20, do not when EGCG is present - instead they reactivate and produce more energy. It is sort of like a fountain of youth for skin cells, suggests researchers. Yes, it’s a scientific fact worth celebrating! EGCG supports your skin: helps with skin hydration, moisture retention, and preventing wrinkle formation. Raising my green smoothie to you, beautiful!
There are many benefits of green tea to aging skin worth knowing about.
Guards Your Genome
Tea protects your DNA. That famous antioxidant in fresh tea leaves, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), might just be a guard for your genome. The presence of this tea antioxidant has been found by researchers to increase the amount of p53, a protein that helps repair DNA damage and destroy cancerous cells. Thanks, EGCG!
Lowers Blood Pressure
Tea helps lower blood pressure. But, what’s astonishing is how it does it! Researchers from the University of California, Irvine, and University of Copenhagen (2021) showed two catechins present in tea leaves (epicatechin gallate and epigallocatechin-3-gallate) help lower blood pressure by activating an ion channel protein on cells in smooth muscle that line the blood vessels. When activated, potassium can leave the cells and the blood vessels relax. (Talk about deflating a tense situation – nothing like a little geeky humour to relieve tension.)
People who consume tea at least 3 times a week are happier and live longer.
What Happens if I Drink Tea Every day?
You won’t believe what researchers found about how healthy tea is! This is going to put a smile on your face: drinking tea at least 3 times a week is linked with a longer and happier life, according to a study published in the European Journal of Preventative Cardiology. This large study analyzed over 14,000 people to see if regular tea drinkers differed from non-tea drinkers. The results were stunning: habitual tea drinkers were 56% less likely to die from heart disease or stroke.
What Tea is the Healthiest for You?
This large study was further analyzed by researchers to see if one type of tea is healthier than another. Those who drank green tea had an approximately 25% lower risk of developing heart disease or stroke. Why is green tea healthy? The researchers explain green tea leaves are a rich source of polyphenols that protect against cardiovascular disease and its risk factors including high blood pressure and dyslipidemia (unhealthy blood fat levels). On the other hand, black tea is fully fermented and during this process, polyphenols are oxidized and can lose their antioxidant effects. Also, black tea is commonly consumed with milk which research has shown may counteract some of the health benefits of tea on the cardiovascular system. It’s okay to feel like you are falling in love with tea leaves after this fascinating scientific fact.
People who consume tea regularly were 56% less likely to die from heart disease.
Are Green Tea Leaves Good for You?
Scientific findings are convincing that green tea leaves are good for you in more ways than one.
Now, more than ever, you understand how tea is healthy for you and what eating fresh tea leaves could mean to your future.
Whether you prefer your fresh tea leaves in a smoothie or soup, or in the more traditional format as a brewed cup of tea, may the knowledge of these scientific facts about tea’s health benefits help you appreciate their goodness even more.
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Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: the China-PAR project. Eur J Prev Cardio 2020 Dec; 27(18): 1956-1963.
KCNQ5 potassium channel activation underlies vasodilation of tea. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry, 2021.
Habitual tea drinking modulates brain efficiency: evidence from brain connectivity evaluation. Aging 2019; 11(11): 3876.
Association between tea consumption and risk of cognitive disorders: a dose-response meta-analysis of observational studies. Oncotarget 2017 Jun 27;8(26): 43306-43321.
Skin protective effect of epigallocatechin gallate. Int J Mol Sci 2018 Jan; 19(1): 173.
Mechanisms underlying the anti-depressive effects of regular tea consumption. Nutrients 2019 Jun; 11(6): 1361.
EGCG binds intrinsically disordered N-terminal domain of p53 and disrupts p53-MDM2 interaction. Nature Communications, 2021; 12 (1).