The Incredible Health Benefits of Tea
Interested in feeling healthier, stronger and more energetic? Drinking tea just might be the simple elixir that you didn’t realize you’ve been missing.
Since ancient times, much of the world’s population has considered drinking tea to be healthy and healing. And now, in our modern times, medicinal research is in fact proving this belief with scientific evidence.
Read on to discover the documented benefits that drinking tea can unlock for you, which teas you should be drinking, and also how much. Cheers!
So why exactly is tea so healthy for you?
It’s all about a vital plant nutrient called “polyphenols.”
Polyphenols are antioxidants found in tea and other superplants. They fight against free radicals in the body and keep your gut bacteria healthy and happy. Polyphenols are so effective that they can eliminate and possibly reverse the oxidative damage your body is subjected to every day. Getting enough polyphenols will result in the following benefits:
- ✓ Improved gut health and digestion
- ✓ Stronger immunity
- ✓ Sustained energy
- ✓ Reduced stress and better sleep
- ✓ Aid in weight loss
- ✓ Healthier, clearer skin
Tea is one of the richest sources of polyphenols ever discovered, with more scientific and clinical studies supporting its health benefits than any other superfood. But the problem is few of us are getting enough polyphenols to experience these benefits.
That’s where Pique comes in.
Heal Your Gut and Aid Your Digestion
Did you know that tea is a prebiotic? Many of us are constantly hearing that we should be taking prebiotics and probiotics and we’re left trying to figure out the best source. Well, the answer could be as simple as your morning cup of tea.
Prebiotics encourage the growth of good microorganisms in your digestive tract, which in turn contribute to good health. And recent studies show that green and black tea provide these prebiotics. (1) Between the two, black tea actually has a more potent prebiotic effect than green tea. Here’s why:
The molecules in black tea are larger than those in green tea. This means they’ll stay in your intestinal tract instead of being immediately absorbed. By hanging out longer in your intestines, these black tea molecules actually induce the growth of beneficial bacteria. Not only is this healing for your gut, but it also helps aid your digestion. (2)
Build Stronger Immunity
The polyphenols found in tea are potent antioxidants. Ok, so we all know that antioxidants are supposed to be good for us, but why? What exactly do they do?
As your cells go about their daily work of keeping you alive, they create a waste product called “oxidants.” Elevated levels of these oxidants can be harmful to your health, causing symptoms ranging from a weakened immune system to chronic inflammation to even cardiovascular disease!
Yikes! How can I get rid of these oxidants? Enter antioxidants. These amazing substances actually bind to the oxidants and neutralize them. So with every cup of tea you drink, you are introducing more antioxidants to your system. You can imagine these little guys swimming through your body, cleaning up all the waste that’s just sitting around waiting to make you sick. Pretty cool, right?
Fun fact: Pique Tea was born because our co-founder Simon developed repeated medical problems requiring multiple surgeries that resulted in an infection that took 3 months to recover from. Determined to find a natural way to reclaim his health, Simon began the quest that led to the development of Pique. (You can read more about Simon’s story here.)
Green tea in particular contains high levels of L-theanine and has been demonstrated to produce an anti-stress effect. The way it does this is by blocking certain receptors in your brain and actually inhibiting cortical neuron excitation. (4) In other words, it helps your brain chill out. Plus, it can lower your blood pressure too!
One study demonstrated that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine found in green tea leads to a state of calm awareness and alertness without the jittery feeling sometimes associated with caffeine intake. (5)
Aid in Weight Loss
Green tea has been proven time and time again to be a successful aid in reducing body fat and LDL cholesterol. (6) (7) This goes above and beyond mere weight loss -- these are true long-term health benefits!
The catechins in green tea seem to be particularly effective in burning visceral abdominal fat, which is the most unhealthy (and potentially dangerous!) fat that your body stores. In fact, studies have shown that green tea can aid in reducing waist size without changing body weight. (8)
The other way that both green and black tea can aid weight loss is because caffeine has actually been proven to increase your body’s production of ketones. (9) So if you happen to be following a Keto or intermittent fasting diet, you’ll be able to transition your body into a fat-burning mode even quicker by drinking tea. Speaking of those two diets...
Boost Results of Keto and Intermittent Fasting Diets
Especially in the first couple of weeks of the keto and intermittent fasting diets, it can be very normal to experience hunger pangs. Those hunger pangs are simply a function of the fact that your system is spoiled and used to being fed glucose every few hours. You don’t want to give up on one of the most potentially beneficial eating plans around just because of a growling tummy, right?
Tea to the rescue! It’s not just something to fill your belly. Green tea catechins have been proven to lower your ghrelin levels. (10) What’s ghrelin, you ask? Ghrelin is a hormone known as the “hunger hormone,” and it is the primary culprit of those annoying hunger pangs. For many of us, lifestyle, environmental and biological stressors can lead to a hormone imbalance which will actually set off hunger pangs that have nothing to do with a true need to eat.
Normalizing your ghrelin levels will alleviate this problem and help you adapt to a keto diet or intermittent fasting with minimal discomfort. Now that’s a fast fix!
Get Healthier, Clearer Skin
Most of us are familiar with the fact that tea has health benefits, but one you don’t hear much about is that it can improve your skin.
Just for starters, if you’re drinking tea, you’re automatically drinking more water. Water equals hydration, which might just be the most essential part of keeping your skin healthy.
Remember those polyphenols we mentioned? Because of their potent antioxidant properties, they lower inflammation in your body, which has a nice added side effect of clearing your skin and helping it to glow. And jasmine tea in particular actually has antibacterial properties. In fact, you can treat skin conditions such as acne and eczema with jasmine tea, because it helps reduce oil production and balances your hormones.
Worried about sun damage and aging of your skin? Drink more green tea. The EGCG antioxidant catechins that are so abundant in green tea promote the formation of new cells. This means they can prevent wrinkles from forming and minimize skin damage. And one study even showed that sun-induced inflammatory changes to skin cells were slightly lowered by consumption of tea. (11)
Benefits of Green Tea
Did you know that green tea is considered to be the healthiest drink in the world, right after water? It’s true!
As mentioned above, the catechins in green tea are proven to aid in reduction of body fat and LDL cholesterol. And since green tea contains not only these amazing catechins, but also caffeine, these two elements work together to boost your metabolic rate and ability to burn fat.
In fact, one study showed that your daily calorie expenditure could increase by up to 4% by drinking green tea. (12) When that increase is happening on a daily basis, it makes more of a difference than you’d think!
The green tea catechins are also potent antioxidants, which are thought to protect the body from cellular damage and inflammation. And don’t forget what we mentioned above about green tea affecting your ghrelin levels, so you’ll definitely want to grab a cup anytime you’re struggling with hunger pangs or cravings.
Benefits of Black Tea
Fun fact: black tea and green tea are derived from the exact same plant! The only difference is in how the tea leaves are processed. Black tea leaves are fermented, while green tea leaves are not.
While green tea has continually claimed all the attention of the health world, black tea is finally starting to get the recognition it is due, particularly because of its fermented properties. Most people don’t realize that black tea is a very potent prebiotic, excellent for promoting balanced gut health!
The fermentation process means that black tea provides slightly less antioxidants than green tea, but it also means that black tea provides more caffeine.
The compounds found in black tea have been linked to increased heart health, plus improved digestion and detoxification, and even reduced stress levels. Black tea contains something called methyl xanthine, which boosts your serotonin levels. Increased serotonin leads to improved mood and relaxation.
Benefits of Herbal Tea
The main reason many people drink herbal tea is because, unlike black and green teas, herbal teas do not have caffeine. Herbals teas provide a calming mix of ingredients that are not only good to de-stress, but can also aid in digestion and sleep.
Rooibos tea has long been recognized as a potent detoxification elixir. Legend has it that Cleopatra drank rooibos tea regularly for clear and glowing skin. She was on to something, because rooibos does indeed help the body fight off toxins and improve circulation.
Even better, rooibos also supports your liver in processing fats and clearing them from the body. One study showed that rooibos caused existing fat to be metabolized faster and prevented new fat cells from forming. (15)
How Much Tea Do I Need to Drink to Benefit?
So can you just add a cup of tea to your daily intake and reap these incredible benefits? Not quite.
Harvard doctors recommend a minimum of 3 cups per day in order to experience health benefits. This advice is based on the fact that clinical studies concluded that a minimum to 300-500mg of catechins per day are necessary to see any results. That actually translates to 3-5 cups of tea per day.
Did you know that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world? It’s true! In the Far East, people drink tea instead of water, routinely consuming 8-10 cups of tea each day.
How To Get More Tea Into Your DietIf the thought of sitting down with several cups of straight tea per day is not super appealing to you, that’s okay! You might be surprised to see just how many different ways there are to get your tea infusion.
For example, you can make an easy coffee replacement such as a Keto Earl Grey Latte or add tea to your morning smoothie. You can also make your overnight oats with an Earl Grey or English Breakfast infusion -- yum!
Looking for some inspiration? Check out more of our delicious tea-based recipes here.