Tea does indeed contain substances linked to lower risks of heart disease, cancer, and other health problems that can affect men. If you don’t enjoy tea, do not despair. A healthy lifestyle is the best way to promote your health. Coffee may provide a similar health boost (see “A healthy cup for java addicts, too”).
Assistant professor at Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, says that while green tea may not be the panacea, it can be part of a healthy diet with whole grains and fruits, vegetables, and less processed meat, and more green tea.
What’s in your cup?
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Certain substances in tea are linked to improved health. Polyphenols are chemical compounds that have a major role in improving health, including catechins and epicatechins. Sun explains, “These are enriched teas, particularly green teas.”
Green tea is made from high polyphenols due to the fermentation process. They are also found in red and black teas, but they are much less common and have a weaker link to better health.
What are polyphenols?
They are antioxidants, for one. Antioxidants bind to and neutralize chemicals known as oxidants that cells produce while going about their daily business. High levels of oxidants can lead to serious health problems, such as an attack on artery walls or cardiovascular disease.
Sun states that the effect of antioxidants on humans has not been proven in experiments with rodents or test tubes.
What evidence is there?
Large, long-term studies of nurses and doctors at the Harvard School of Public Health have provided some of the most reliable evidence about tea and health. These include the Female Nurses’ Health Study (female), and the Male Health Professionals Follow Up Study (male).
Researchers found that people who consume tea more often are less likely to develop diabetes if they follow them for a long time. Given the research that polyphenols regulate blood sugar (glucose), this is logical.
Insulin is released from the pancreas when glucose levels rise to signal that the cells are starting to metabolize the glucose. Polyphenols assist this process. Sun explains that polyphenols make cells more sensitive to insulin’s effects.
What is the bottom line?
Regular tea drinking seems to make you more alert.
Better health is associated with tea. It is not clear if the tea is responsible for the improvement and, if so, how. Although the studies exclude the possibility that tea drinkers are simply living healthier lives, it isn’t easy to know.
However, the tea itself seems to be safe. You might get the jitters from too much-caffeinated tea. This tea is perfectly compatible with a healthy lifestyle. If you enjoy tea, don’t stop drinking it.
Green tea is high in polyphenols but has a slightly bitter taste. If you’re used to drinking black tea, a weaker version of green tea may be more appealing.
However, it would help to avoid chai concoctions and sugar-sweetened tea drinks. These teas can be high in calories, and you should not drink more than a few cups of sweetened tea. Sun states that if there are any health benefits from green tea, they will be completely countered by sugar.