Top Benefits of Hot Tea: Healthy Herbal Teas You Need to Try
After water, tea is the most-consumed beverage in the world. In fact, more than 2 billion people drink it every day. Some people can’t even picture their day without a cup of tea.
We all know this is not a trend. People have been drinking tea for thousands of centuries. And there is a good reason why!
Many studies have proved that drinking hot tea can enhance your health. Unsweetened teas are relaxing and free of calories, making them suitable for those on a weight loss or diabetic diet. So, grab a cup of comforting hot tea and check out some of these benefits.
Types of tea
To start, it’s important to remember that there are different types of tea. Essentially, there are six types of true teas. These teas are brewed from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis shrub and are categorized by the processing of the leaves:
- Black Tea: The leaves are wilted, crushed, and completely oxidized.
- Green Tea: Green leaves are collected and then heated to prevent them from discoloring.
- Yellow Tea: The leaves are allowed to wither and yellow after being collected and are later dried.
- White Tea: Young leaf buds are picked while they still have silvery or white hairs on them and rapidly dried.
- Oolong tea: The leaves are wilted in the sun, bruised, and partially oxidized.
- Post-fermented Tea: It’s made from fermented green tea.
On the other hand, herbal teas are made from different plants by infusing herbs, spices, flowers, and other parts of plants into tea bags.
Benefits of drinking hot tea
Tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, disease-preventing nutrients, and health-promoting compounds. Besides, it does not contain any substantial number of calories or macronutrients.
The benefits of drinking hot tea differ according to the type of tea, so it is worth carefully considering the variety chosen.
Which type would be the most suitable for you? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of black, green, and herbal teas, as they are the most studied varieties.
According to research, unsweetened green and black teas can:
- Help prevent certain cancers. The ingestion of black tea is linked with a 21% decreased risk of dying from cancer in general. Also, drinking 1 cup of green tea daily is associated with an 11% reduced risk of endometrial cancer.
- Protect your bones. Recent studies suggest that green tea may prevent bone loss.
- Lower the risk of heart disease. Consumption of 2 cups of tea per day can reduce the chances of developing heart disease, and 3 cups of green tea per day might reduce the risk of cardiac death by 26%.
- Lower blood pressure. Frequent tea drinking can decrease blood pressure. Studies have shown that drinking only a half-cup of antioxidant-rich green or oolong tea daily may reduce high blood pressure risk by almost 50%.
- Reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes can be reduced by 10% with 4 cups of tea per day.
- Avoid obesity. Drinking tea is associated with lower body fat. Green tea may help improve metabolism. On the other hand, black tea can help prevent obesity.
- Increase brain health. Tea ingestion can lower the risk of depression and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, research suggests that the minimally-processed green tea leaves can improve cognitive functioning, including working memory.
- Lower your risk of stroke. The ingestion of no less than 3 cups of green or black tea per day can result in a reduced risk of stroke by 21%.
A range of herbal teas is also associated with many health gains. Here are some examples of herbal teas and their key benefits.
This is made from the beautiful dandelion flower (considered by many to be a pesty weed). It contains various vitamins and minerals and is best when made from scratch.
- Cleanses the liver.
- Eases constipation.
- Aids digestion.
- Decreases fluid retention in the body.
- Eases arthritis pain.
- Good for the skin (when added to a bath).
Cinnamon tea is a prevalent herbal tea that is easy to make. Packed with many health benefits, this herbal tea can be combined with other herbs and spices to boost its power in the body. Cinnamon tea with honey is a powerful combo for your health.
- It helps in warding off viruses from the body.
- Effective in calming stomach upsets.
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels.
- Aids in shedding weight.
- It acts as a menstrual cramp reliever.
Peppermint is an undeniable remedy for coughs and colds. It is easy to grow and has an attractive fragrance. Peppermint tea is not advisable for people with certain conditions, such as hiatal hernia.
- It helps in unblocking a stuffed nose.
- It soothes and prevents the throat from soreness.
- Fights against colds.
- Relieves stomach pain.
- It makes you feel warm and cozy.
Chamomile is one of the most popular herbs in tea making.
An estimated 1 million cups of chamomile tea are enjoyed around the globe daily! It is commonly referred to as the “healing herbal tea” for its health, cosmetic and topical benefits. It also has a lovely fragrance.
- Eases body pain and aches.
- It can be used cosmetically to cure acne and improve the skin.
- Promotes sleep and relaxation.
- Fights against skin irritation.
- It improves your digestion, constituting a good remedy for gas, indigestion, and constipation, among other digestive issues.
Ginger! The spice that makes everything feel better and warmer! Ginger tea has so many essential health benefits that it is highly recommended to support overall health.
- It fights against chills and treats colds.
- Effectively brings nausea to a halt.
- Great for treating arthritis and rheumatism.
- Lowers cholesterol in the body.
- Facilitates weight loss.
More than just a pretty flower, this herbal tea has been the savior of many, health-wise. The tea is made mainly from the calyces of the plant and has various health benefits.
- Contains a high amount of Vitamin C.
- It is an excellent antioxidant.
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Calms the body and mind.
- It fights insomnia and promotes relaxation.
- It wards off free radicals.
To sum up, some of the benefits most associated with the consumption of herbal teas are:
- Better sleep.
- Relief of menstrual cramps.
- Relief of menopause symptoms.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Stress relief.
What are some broad health benefits of tea?
Now that we’ve seen some benefits of drinking hot tea according to each type, let’s explore some broad health benefits of drinking it in general. Trust us, the beverage's temperature can have more significant effects than you think.
- Increased eye health and protection against glaucoma
Drinking tea can enhance your eye health and help prevent severe eye-related complications like cataracts or glaucoma.
Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that remain the primary cause of irreversible blindness in the world. Research has shown an association between the consumption of hot tea and a lower incidence of glaucoma. In fact, investigators concluded that drinking a minimum of 1 cup of hot tea daily results in a 74% lower risk of developing glaucoma.
- It can improve your mental health
Hot tea is associated with a 30% reduced risk of depression. Also, it may influence the brain by decreasing inflammation, acting on neural pathways, and regulating mood-affecting hormones, such as dopamine.
Additionally, it is known for its psychological benefits, particularly mental clarity or relaxation. It is also believed that preparing and drinking tea can be an enjoyable experience with positive effects on the mood. Preparing and enjoying a cup makes us slow down, sit, and relax, protecting us against stress and anxiety. If you want to take maximum advantage of this benefit, choose caffeine-free teas.
- It might help you stay warm.
The ingestion of a hot beverage, such as tea, can influence the human body’s response to temperatures. This can be helpful if you work or exercise in chilly conditions.
- It can assist you in weight management.
Research has discovered that people who frequently drank hot tea had lower waist circumferences and body mass indexes.
- Prevents tooth decay
Consumption of 1 cup of black tea per day may decrease the possibility of cavities and gum disease since it can avoid plaque formation and bacteria on teeth and gums.
- It helps boost your immune system.
Drinking tea regularly can help fight colds, and flu, among other diseases.
- It helps keep you young.
Antioxidants help slow the skin's aging process, keeping us young and protecting us from pollution damage. A good tea option loaded with antioxidants is white tea. Because it is less processed than black or green tea, it retains more beneficial antioxidants.
- It hydrates your body.
Tea is a no-calorie alternative to water, being very versatile in terms of flavor.
- It’s an excellent alternative to coffee.
True teas have less than half of the caffeine that generally exists in coffee, and herbal teas have no caffeine, being a good alternative for those who want to limit their caffeine intake.
What should you avoid when drinking hot tea?
- Tea that is too hot increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Research shows that drinking tea overly hot is associated with the development of esophageal cancer, particularly in individuals who drink alcohol or smoke. It appears that tea hotter than 140–149°F (60–65°C) leaves the cells of the esophagus more susceptible to damage from cancer-causing substances. However, tea would have to be ingested almost as soon as when removed from a heat source to be consumed at this temperature. Let your tea cool for a few minutes before drinking to prevent scalding your mouth and throat. It is highly recommended to let it cool to below 140°F (60°C) before consuming.
- Hot tea can cause burns. Tea is generally prepared with boiling water, implying that if spilled, it can result in substantial burns. Young children and the elderly are particularly at risk of these burns due to thinner skin and smaller body sizes. This way, always be cautious when preparing tea and let it cool before serving.
- Many teas contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant naturally present in many plants. It can have a positive or negative effect on well-being, depending on the person, the source, and the amount. For an average adult, caffeine intake should be limited to 400 mg daily. Above this quantity, caffeine may lead to adverse outcomes, such as restlessness, anxiety, gut illnesses, muscle tremors, irritability, and variations in heart rhythm. The quantity of caffeine present in a cup of tea depends on its type. If you prefer to avoid caffeine, you can select decaffeinated and herbal teas, which are naturally caffeine-free.
Questioning if you should reduce or avoid the ingestion of caffeine? According to science, the groups of individuals who should limit their intake are those who:
- Are sensitive to caffeine.
- Have liver or heart diseases.
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Are teenagers or children.
- Detox teas as they often come mixed with laxatives. These laxatives can be damaging to your health.
- Elaborated tea lattes and drinks that can be loaded with sugar. These can be more harmful than good for your well-being.
- Many herbal teas contain distinct types of fruits, spices, and flowers that certain individuals are allergic to. If you have allergies, always look at the ingredients on the package before consuming a herbal tea.
- Ensure to investigate any specific precautions with particular herbs you plan to use. They are potent plants and can be problematic with certain medical conditions or medications.
- Ginger is a hot spice, which can easily cause heartburn, especially for those suffering from ulcers. So please take the time to get to know herbs before using them.
Teas are much better than flavored teas or soda drinks, which add no value to your health. Besides, they also contain disease-preventing nutrients and several benefits when ingested hot. So, we highly recommend trying the discussed types if you haven’t already.
A good cup of hot tea is perfect for warming up on cold days, chatting with friends and family, or slowing down on stressful days.
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