The English may be the smartest people in the world, for hundreds of years they have specifically set aside a certain amount of time each day for the drinking of tea. ‘Tea Time’ they call it. Although this is mostly a social time and a cultural thing there may be some great health advantages to this daily routine they follow. Maybe we in North America should be learning something from our forefathers. The main type of tea they seem to be drinking is almost always what we would consider simply ‘tea’, the normal black tea that is often also sipped by Canadians and Americans. A lot of people enjoy a nice cup of tea in North America too but they may not be aware that this black tea they are drinking is actually healthy for them. We have been exposed to the idea that green tea has health benefits and we should drink it when we are sick and all of that but the concept of good black tea has not become widespread. Through this article maybe we can start to educate people a little more. Black tea is not just tasty; it is good for you too.
Black tea, just like all teas, comes from one special plant, the Camellia Sinensis. It is important to note that not all black teas are the same. The local conditions of the different tea-growing regions in the world determine the characteristics of different teas. The different tea types can be quite different from other types in their colour, flavour, body, and aroma. When it comes to black teas, the differences are noted from their names. These names are based on the different districts where the black tea can be found being grown in different countries. The major tea growing countries of the world have growing conditions that are high in elevation; countries like China, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, and East Africa for example.
Black tea has a lot of benefits to offer its drinkers:
Yes, there is caffeine in tea. This is a question that is often raised; however, this amount of caffeine is lower than that found in coffee. This low amount promotes blood flow in the brain without resulting in the over stimulation of the heart. This caffeine in black tea helps to sharpen ones mental focus and ability to concentrate. Fluoride, a trace element that is also found in the tea, helps to inhibit tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel. Black tea also contains an abundant amount of tannins (astringent chemicals that help create proteins), which have a great soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the digestive tract.
Throughout history, long before it became a breakfast staple, forms of black tea have been used for medical purposes. Black tea has been shown to relieve diarrhea and to lower your body’s LDL (= bad cholesterol) cholesterol levels. Black tea has a special therapeutic effect on gastric/intestinal discomforts because of the tannins mentioned above. These tannins work to decrease intestinal activity and release an antidiarrheal effect on the tract that helps to ease these pains. If you are experiencing diarrhea, or can feel this terrible infliction coming on, than the best way to prevent this using tea is to let your black tea steep for a full fifteen minutes because this will release the maximum amount of tannins and you should also drink it unsweetened.
There is another important element found in black tea that provides the body with certain health benefits. This is theophylline, which is a stimulant often used to help fight respiratory diseases such as asthma because it works to expand the airway, making breathing easier. This chemical also works to improve your circulation and it is what allows tea to improve your cholesterol levels. By actually drinking two cups of black tea everyday for three weeks it will work to open your capillaries, increasing blood flow and helping to maintain normal blood pressure. These are just some of the known benefits of drinking black tea. So know that when you sip this great drink that not only does it taste good and maybe calm you down, it can also work to make you healthier.
Remember next time you order your tea to order it black, just like you would your coffee.