5 Health Benefits of Drinking Tea

Steaming pot of tea sits next to a cup filled with tea on a wooden table.

Drinking tea appropriately can be very healthy. (Image: Cammeraydave via Dreamstime)

Chinese people have been in the habit of drinking tea since ancient times. Tea contains a variety of health-improving substances, such as folic acid, vitamins, protein, and minerals. Drinking tea appropriately can be beneficial to your health.

Drinking tea has 5 major health benefits

1. Contributes to anti-oxidation

Tea polyphenols have antioxidant properties that act as scavengers of free radicals in the human body. There are more polyphenols in green tea than in other teas such as black tea. Be aware that the temperature of the water is important. If using boiling water to brew fresh green tea, the tea will be overdone. Using water that is 175°F (80°C) will preserve more of the nutritional value of fresh green tea and maintain its delicate taste.

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Drinking green tea is great for the oxidation of free radicals
Green tea is great for the oxidation of free radicals. (Image: Minipig5188 via Dreamstime)

2. Helps prevent and treat radiation damage

Tea polyphenols have the ability to absorb radioactive substances. Clinical experiments have confirmed that for mild radiation sickness for cancer patients caused by radiotherapy, a tea extract treatment can have more than a 90 percent effective rate, and it has a good effect on the treatment of leukopenia caused by radiation.

3. Refreshing

The caffeine in tea can stimulate the body’s central nervous system, increase the excitement process of the cerebral cortex, invigorate people, and enhance thinking and memory.

4. Helps diuresis and relieves fatigue

The caffeine in tea can stimulate the kidneys to excrete urine quickly, increase the filtration rate of the kidneys, and reduce the retention time of harmful substances in the kidneys. Caffeine can also eliminate excess lactic acid in urine and help relieve fatigue.

5. Adjusts lipids to help digestion

The caffeine, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin C in tea can increase the secretion of gastric juice, help digestion, and enhance the ability to break down fat.

5 tips for drinking tea

Drinking 'new' tea is not beneficial to one's health.
Drinking “new” tea is not beneficial to one’s health. (Image: Craig Hanson via Dreamstime)

1. Drinking tea that is very ‘new’ is not beneficial

New tea refers to tea leaves that were picked less than a month ago. Because these tea leaves have not been cured for a period of time, some substances that have adverse effects — such as alcohols, and aldehydes — have not been completely oxidized. People with a weak spleen and stomach functions may experience uncomfortable reactions, such as diarrhea and abdominal distension, after drinking new tea.

2. Don’t drink very strong tea

Strong tea will increase excitability and adversely affect the cardiovascular system and nervous system. People with cardiovascular disease should avoid drinking strong tea, as it may cause a fast heartbeat or even arrhythmia.

Avoid drinking tea that is very strong.
Avoid drinking tea that is very strong. (Image: Nikolai Sorokin via Dreamstime)

3. Don’t drink tea that has been steeped overnight

Drinking tea that has been steeped overnight will have a larger amount of theophylline, which may have the effect of “decalcifying” the body. Additionally, such tea is more likely to be dusty.

4. Do not drink tea after drinking alcohol

After drinking alcohol, the ethanol in the liquor enters the blood through the gastrointestinal tract. Ethanol is converted into acetaldehyde in the liver and then converted into acetic acid, which is decomposed into carbon dioxide and water and discharged from the body. If you drink tea after drinking alcohol, the theophylline in the tea can quickly play a diuretic effect on the kidneys, which allows the acetaldehyde to enter the kidneys before it is decomposed. That acetaldehyde will stimulate the kidneys to a certain extent.

5. Do not drink tea during meals

Because tea excites the nerves, relieves fatigue, aids in digestion, and eliminates greasiness, it is best to drink it before or after a meal. Drinking tea with meals will impact the absorption of some minerals, such as calcium, iron, and zinc.

See more tips for drinking tea here!

The writer of this story is not a medical professional, and the information that is in this story has been collected from reliable sources — every precaution has been taken to ensure its accuracy. The information provided is for general information purposes only, and should not be substituted for professional health care.

Translated by Patty Zhang

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