According to Chinese legends, a Chinese Emperor Shen Nong first discovered tea leaves in the year 2737 B.C.E when a leaf from a wild tea leaf accidentally fell into his boiling pot of water. Intrigued by the delicious flavour of the leaves, he conducted further research and discovered its medicinal properties. In recent times, a new study from China suggests drinking tea can be linked with living a long and healthy life with reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases. According to the data collected by researchers, it was concluded that Tea contains several components which are extremely beneficial to human health. These fabulous components have been discussed in detail below:
- Catechins –
Catechins are a type of polyphenols found in tea. They are also the chief source of astringency in tea. The primary examples of catechins found in tea include – epicatechin, Epigallocatechin, Epicatechin gallate, Epigallocatechin gallate. These components change colour on oxidisation which gives tea their unique reddish orangish hue that is a treat for the eyes!
Catechins contain anti-oxidants which has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties. It enhances the body’s natural defence system and helps it fight against diseases like common cold, influenza etc. The anti-oxidants present in tea also reduces blood pressure and helps in maintaining good heart health. According to a study, regular tea drinkers show 20% less chance of dying from cardiovascular diseases compared to those who only drink tea occasionally.
Furthermore, findings from the research show that catechins can also prevent cancer by reducing the growth of tumours and protecting against harmful UV rays. The anti-microbial properties of tea play a significant part in facilitating the growth of good bacteria and killing disease, causing ones such as salmonella thereby encouraging improved digestion.
- Vitamins –
Green tea also contains large concentrations of vital vitamins which are also good for the body. The primary vitamins present in tea include – vitamin C, Vitamin B2, Folic acid, vitamin E etc. Vitamin C, E and B2 promote clear skin and collagen formation. Additionally, vitamin E and C are also anti-oxidants.
On the other hand, folic acid facilitates the formation of red blood cells as such doctors advise pregnant women to consume folic acid to prevent fetal neural tube defects. Furthermore, it also plays a significant role in preventing major diseases like arterial sclerosis, colon cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease etc.
- Theanine –
The sweet and full-bodied rich flavour of Assam tea can be attributed to a component present in tea called L – theanine, which is a naturally occurring amino acid. Comprehensive research has revealed that L-theanine promotes relaxation. Moreover, theanine regulates the stimulating effect of caffeine present in tea which results in very moderate stimulation.
Thus, drinking tea will enable an individual to enjoy all the benefits of caffeine, such as increased alertness and stamina without any of its harmful side-effects. One can choose from a wide range of teas such as green tea, white tea, black tea, oolong tea. Those who prefer rich and robust flavours can opt for black tea. Whereas those who like fresh flavours can go for green or white tea. Beginners can try oolong tea which has a smooth yet complex flavour profile.
A cup of tea not only helps us to relax after a long tiring day but also promotes healthy living!