The struggle is real when the clock is ticking and you need to get out of your bed for the busy day ahead, but your eyes won’t just open. Caffeinated beverages have made life easier for most of us who need a morning booster to start the day, and black tea is one of the most loved morning beverages in the world. Black tea has developed a cult following with its strong, earthy flavour and hydrating effect.
However, whatever is consumed regularly must be closely scrutinized for its impact on health. Black tea, one of the most consumed beverages worldwide, has been studied extensively for its health benefits and adverse effects.
What is so special about black tea?
There are several types of teas- green, oolong, yellow, white and black. All come from the same plant - Camelia Sinensis.
Black tea goes through an oxidation process which gives it a distinct flavour and effect. Oxidation refers to the process of exposing tea leaves to the oxygen-rich air for an extended period of time. It breaks down the enzymes that give the black tea its colour and smell.
Nutrients of black tea:
Before jumping to the pros and cons, it is essential to understand the nutrients of black tea. Best black tea contains the below-mentioned nutrients:
- Alkaloids like caffeine, theophylline and theobromine
- Amino acids
- Minerals and trace elements
- Other organic compounds that determine its taste and smell
Here are some evidence-backed health benefits of black tea:
Helps control blood pressure:
Fast and high-fat food has become a routine part of our day-to-day life. Research suggests that high-fat meals can disturb the body’s blood pressure which further impacts the heart’s function. It is commonly known as hypertension.
Black tea contains a rich compound called catechin. It relaxes the muscles lining the blood vessels. As a result, blood pressure levels reduce.
Prevents arteries from clogging:
Due to several reasons, our arteries might clog with plaque. This condition is called atherosclerosis. It can result in chronic kidney diseases or cardiovascular issues. There is sufficient evidence that suggests that drinking black tea prevents atherosclerosis. It helps keep our arteries ‘clean’ and significantly reduces the chances of strokes or heart attacks.
Improves gut health:
Digestion profoundly impacts our overall health, immunity and wellbeing. Organic black tea has antimicrobial properties that wonderfully promote the growth of ‘good bacteria’ while obstructing harmful gut bacteria.
You might have heard many times that Darjeeling black tea is good for immunity. Polyphenols are the reason why it is called one of the most potent immunity boosters.
Here is one more reason to stick to your ginger black tea.
Those who regularly drink black tea have to worry less about their oral health. Modern dentistry acknowledges that black tea may fight cavities. Black tea powder is a natural source of fluoride. When it interacts with tannic acids in the tea, it strengthens the tooth enamel and creates a natural defence against cavities.
Excellent source of antioxidants:
Natural processes and environmental pressures create unstable molecules in our bodies- known as free radicals. If not controlled, free radicals can damage or change cells, further resulting in health conditions like atherosclerosis and even cancers. Therefore, health fanatics advocate foods and drinks with antioxidants in sumptuous quantities. Black tea is one of the best sources of antioxidants. The oxidation process makes the antioxidants of black tea even more powerful. It is converted into powerful thearubigins, theaflavins and flavonols.
Reduces the risk of cancer:
Studies have found that black tea may lower the risk of tumour growth. In addition, black tea is considered beneficial in skin, breast, lung and prostate cancers. However, more research is required on this front.
Moderation is the key:
It is said that excess of anything is poison. Black tea is good for health. However, it should be consumed in moderation for optimum benefit. Otherwise, it may contribute to the below-mentioned health conditions:
1. Weak digestion:
Black tea contains high amounts of tannins, and overconsumption of this content may adversely impact digestion.
2. Should be avoided during pregnancy:
The ‘kick’ that the black tea provides is because of the 2 to 4% of caffeine content. It directly impacts our brain function and improves alertness. However, the same content might create health complications during pregnancy. Therefore, pregnant women are advised not to consume more than two cups of black tea daily.
Caffeine is good for the brain to some extent, but it can overstimulate the brain to the extent that it might disturb your sleep patterns. Therefore, health experts advise that it should not be consumed before going to bed. Especially people with problems like anxiety and insomnia should drink black tea in little proportion.
Several studies indicate that tannins, an active compound in black tea that gives the tea its astringent flavour, may hinder iron absorption in the body, leading to anaemia. That is why doctors advise stopping black tea consumption two-three weeks before surgery.
Black tea is packed with powerful nutrients and has multiple health benefits. A person with no health complications can consume up to two-three cups of black tea every day.