Tea is a delicious drink that can be enjoyed at any time of the day and it is a tremendous source of natural benefits. But what are the top 10 virtues of tea? Today we will take a closer look at the main benefits that tea has to offer.
Originating in East, the main tea producing countries are India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Kenya. After water, tea is the most common beverage in the world!
There are different kinds of tea available in the market: black tea (available in a variety of flavors), green tea, red tea and white tea. All teas are devoid of calories (if they are not sweetened with sugar), fat and cholesterol, whilst being rich in tannins, and antioxidant substances that stimulate the nervous system.
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The most consumed teas are black tea, obtained through rolled and fermented leaves, and green tea. For the latter the leaves are dried and rolled without being fermented so it retains significant antioxidant properties. White tea is slightly fermented. Red tea, on the other hand, cannot strictly be called “tea” as it come from the acacia shrub, of South African origin, called Roiboos.
Pu-erh tea is a special variety: its leaves are dried and then undergo a process of post-microbiotic fermentation before being compressed.
Black tea has a stimultating effect because of the caffeine it contains. Caffeine is an alkaloid that promotes intellectual activity during periods of intense efforts. It is better to avoid late in the evening if you suffer from insomnia. Green tea, on the other hand, does not contain caffeine, because it is not fermented. Theobromine, an antidepressant present in chocolate, is also present in black tea, increasing it’s stimulating effect
The effects of tea depend on the type of tea and duration of infusion. If brewing time is short (about two minutes), the tea will be rich in caffeine and so have a stimulating effect. In contrast, prolonged brewing time(3-5 minutes)releases a large amount of tannic acid, disabling caffeine and reducing the stimulating effect, while giving the tea a more bitter flavour.
Tea is also known for its polyphenols, an antioxidant that has a protective role against-circulatory diseases. Tea also contains anti-inflammatory tannins as well as vitamins B1, B2 and E, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc and fluorine which protects teeth and bones.
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In recent years, green tea has become popular amongst people trying to lose weight as it calms the feeling of hunger, whilst the caffeine and theobromine facilitate the removal of fat. Green tea is also a great remedy for a hangover due to it’s detoxing virtues so don’t hesitate to drink it in copious amounts, starting with a cup in the morning on an empty stomach. It also has diuretic and detoxifying qualities.
Green tea contains large amounts of antioxidants, especially; polyphenols which makes it more effective than black tea. Catechins in particular fight free radicals, prevent the formation of cancer cells, fight bad cholesterol (LDL) and protect against cardiovascular disease. Finally, it protects the stomach and is rich in vitamins C and B.
That is why the ritual of tea should not only be a British habit, but it can be a eco-friendly magic potion for all.
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