7 Benefits of Drinking Black Tea

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Start your day with an energizing cup of black tea. Black tea is high in antioxidants and so good for the body.

Black tea in a white mug.

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What Is Black Tea?

Camellia sinesis is a shrub that’s used to make black tea, green tea, oolong tea, and white tea. The leaves from the plant are plucked and processed to make tea.

The type of tea depends on how the leaves are prepared. For black tea, leaves from the Camellia sinesis plant are withered, rolled, oxidized, and dried.

When the dried leaves are steeped in hot water, the result is black tea. The drink has a dark red color and deep, brisk flavor. Since the tea plant contains caffeine, black tea is a caffeinated drink.

English breakfast tea, Earl Grey tea, and Assam are all black teas.

RELATED: How to Brew Black Tea Properly

7 Black Tea Health Benefits

1. Boosts Energy

If you need a pick-me-up, make a cup of black tea. It contains caffeine, a compound that increases alertness and energy.

Caffeine works by stimulating the nervous system. It also promotes the production of adrenaline, a hormone that increases your blood pressure. This helps more blood and oxygen reach your organs and brain, helping you feel more awake.

Black tea is a great alternative to coffee if you’re trying to cut back on caffeine. An 8-ounce serving of black tea has 47 milligrams of caffeine, while the same amount of coffee has 96 milligrams.

The black tea will still give you a boost, but it won’t be as intense as the effects of coffee.

2. Reduces Oxidative Stress

Free radicals are molecules that harm healthy cells. There are many things that can increase free radicals in the body, including pollution, poor diet, and emotional stress.

When free radicals build up, it can eventually lead to a process called oxidative stress. The result is a higher risk of chronic conditions, such as cancer and brain disease.

However, antioxidants can control oxidative stress by reducing free radicals. You can get antioxidants by regularly drinking black tea.

Examples of antioxidants in black tea include polyphenols, flavonoids, theaflavins, and catechins. The drink also has vitamin C, a nutrient with antioxidant properties.

3. Combats Inflammation

Your body uses inflammation to protect itself. Specifically, it helps your immune system fight dangerous substances, like bacteria. But it’s possible to have too much inflammation. When this happens, it can become long-term and increase the risk of disease.

The antioxidants in black tea fight inflammation. They work by reducing oxidative stress, a process that increases inflammation. Black tea antioxidants lower levels of inflammatory proteins too. This is good for preventing inflammatory conditions, pain, and swelling.

4. Improves Immune Function

Drinking black tea will naturally support your immune system. It’s due to the antioxidants, which protect your healthy cells.

Polyphenols, which are found in black tea, help white blood cells find and destroy germs. White blood cells are part of the immune system.

Black tea has vitamin C and like polyphenols, white blood cells rely on vitamin C to properly work and kill germs.

Additionally, vitamin C is needed for proper skin healing. This prevents germs from entering the body when you get a cut or wound.

5. Lowers Heart Disease Risk

If you want to protect your heart, drink black tea. The beverage can reduce the risk of heart disease, one of the most common chronic conditions in the U.S.

Black tea antioxidants protect cells, including the ones in the blood vessels. This is key because blood vessels carry blood to and from your heart.

The antioxidants also reduce inflammation in the cells of your heart. Too much inflammation can raise the risk of heart disease, so it’s important to control.

Black tea antioxidants can decrease high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. High blood pressure and cholesterol are the top risk factors for heart disease, so reducing them is helpful.

6. Supports Brain Health

Regularly drinking black tea can protect your brain. It’s linked to a lower risk of cognitive disorders, or diseases that affect memory, learning, and attention.

This is especially crucial as you get older, because the brain naturally declines over time. That’s why cognitive disorders are more common with age. Oxidative stress and inflammation damages brain cells, but black tea antioxidants reduce this.

As a source of caffeine, black tea increases attention and concentration. That’s because caffeine stimulates the nervous system and body.

7. Controls Blood Sugar

Another health benefit of black tea involves blood sugar. This is the amount of sugar, or glucose, that’s in your blood. The body uses blood sugar for energy. But if your levels are too high, it can lead to type 2 diabetes.

Over time, type 2 diabetes can cause other health issues, like nerve damage and heart disease. So it’s important to keep it under control.

Black tea helps because it manages high blood sugar. It also improves how insulin, the hormone that controls blood sugar, works in the body.

Side Effects

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, use caution with black tea. Even a small amount can cause side effects like difficulty sleeping and jitters.

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