Home Lifestyle 10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Tea Drinking

10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Tea Drinking

by InvisiblyMe

Black, white, green, oolong, rooibos, flavoured, herbal. Loose leaf or bagged. Milk and sugar or straight up. Tea comes in many varieties and the steps to crafting the perfect cuppa have been hotly debated for years. Black tea is the UK’s most popular type and confers the most benefits, but however you take it, you’ll be glad to know there will be at least a few extra perks besides the comforting taste. Here are x surprising health benefits of drinking tea. Put the kettle on, grab a cuppa and enjoy!

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10 Surprising Health Benefits Of Tea

1. Mood & Sleep Boosting 

All teas contain L-theanine, a unique amino acid thought to help alleviate anxiety and promote calming relaxation. Aside from the obvious caffeine culprit, the likes of decaffeinated or green tea could improve sleep thanks to reducing stress. The act of making and drinking tea itself can be a calming ritual and offer people a moment out of what they’re doing, perhaps indirectly supporting mental health on such occasions. 

A cup of tea and saucer sits on a white table. There are some flowers lying nearby and a little vintage-style sign that says "come let us have some tea and talk about happy things".

2. Happy Arteries

Flavonoids in tea can boost endothelial function, reducing inflammation in the blood vessels and thus dilating them. In turn, this can help with overall arterial health and blood pressure. Studies have shown that short and long term consumption of tea improved the dilation of the brachial artery, effectively reversing endothelial vasomotor dysfunction in individuals with coronary artery disease, whereas water had no such effect.

3. Antioxidant & Anti-Inflammatory Properties

All tea has different flavonoids with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, both of which can reduce free radicals, reduce damage to cells in the body, and help in maintaining good general health. Getting your intake of antioxidants is thought best done through diet, both food and drink, rather than through supplements. 

Polyphenols like thearubigins, catechise and theaflavins are key antioxidants found in black tea. Studies with rats have suggested the latter can reduce both blood sugar levels and cholesterol. 

A research study has even suggested that the antioxidant properties of white tea in particular may help in fighting certain types of cancer. 

4. Soothe Sickness & Indigestion

Ginger tea, much like ginger sweets, can be helpful for nausea or morning sickness. Tea with ginger can also alleviate chronic indigestion. 

5. Benefits Circulation & Cholesterol

Rooibos tea, also known as red tea, bush tea and reddish tea, is made from fermenting leaves of the Aspalathus linearis shrub, which grows in South Africa. Rooibos is high in antioxidants and unique polyphenols like aspalathin. The compounds found in Rooibos are thought to represent damage from free radicals that can contribute to the development of conditions like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. 

Rooibos tea is thought to be good for improving circulation and blood pressure. It has also been linked to boosting up good cholesterol and reducing bad cholesterol levels.

Green tea is also very high in flavonoids, so going green is also a great option for heart health, reducing blood clotting and lowering bad cholesterol.

A woman is pouring a cup of tea, with water from an orange kettle in her kitchen.

6. Brain Protection

Those same antioxidant, anti-inflammatory flavonoids are thought to be “neuroprotective”, meaning they can protect the nerve cells found in the brain and nervous system from deterioration and damage. This may help in reducing cognitive decline related to the ageing process. 

Tea with caffeine can, perhaps rather obviously, help with keeping you awake and mentally alert, which may help you stay focused when you need it. 

Oolong tea contains the amino acid l-theanine, which can increase mental alertness and attention while reducing anxiety. Research suggests l-theanine can also play a role to some degree in the  prevention of cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5986534/

7. Improved Strength & Fitness

Who’d have thought that a cuppa could improve your physical abilities? Well, a research-based paper entitled “Tea for Sport and Fitness: A Scoping Review” covers research that found just that. Men who were given mate tea (a caffeine-rich traditional South American infused tea) experienced an improvement 24 hours after exercise in their strength recovery. Women with muscle wastage who imbibed 350ml of tea per day over 3 months showed improved speeds of walking and muscle mass strength. 

8. Supports Diabetes Management

Studies have shown that the antioxidant aspalathin in rooibos tea could confer so-called “anti diabetic” benefits. An animal study found aspalathin improved glucose intolerance and suppressed the increase in resting glucose levels.

High blood sugar can contribute to vascular inflammation, but aspalathin could reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and vascular inflammation. This is particularly important when considering diabetics are thought to be 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer or even die from heart disease.

It’s not just rooibos that contains aspalathin. Unfermented green tea contains higher levels than red rooibos. 

9. Go Green For Weight Loss

Various studies have suggested that certain teas, particularly matcha green tea, can promote weight loss. One study found that more sedentary women who were given three cups of green tea per day throughout an 8 week period lost weight from around their middle. Another found that four cups during 24 hours led to increased fax oxidation when the tea-drinking volunteers undertook a brisk 30 minute walk. 

A close-up of a box with dividers holding different types of teabags.

10. White Tea For Healthy Teeth

One of the surprising health benefits of tea seems a little contradictory. While tannins in tea can stain our teeth, certain tea could actually help our gnashers. White tea comes from a plant native to India and China, the camellia sinensis. It’s a good source of catechise, tannins and fluoride, which can help to strengthen teeth and increase their acid and sugar resistance, as well as fight plaque.

A man against a grey background is holding up a mug of tea with a moustache on the front of it. It's held up to his face to look like the moustache is on him and he's got an eyebrow up in a quirky appearance.

How Much Tea Do You Need For The Health Benefits?

It has been suggested that both short and long term tea consumption can have benefits, and that four cups a day may be the optimal amount. The exact measure of the cup size isn’t noted, so there may be a difference between a regular mug and the giant mugs I typically use. It seems the majority of the British public consume tea, with 77% drinking it on a regular basis. But tea is an international language, appreciated worldwide as it gives drinkers a moment of warm comfort in their days. 

If you add a dash of milk, you’ll get the benefits of calcium, B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium and more. If you add sugar to sweeten the deal, be mindful that a couple of spoonfuls per cup could add up if you have a particular need for sugar reduction or weight management. 

Sugar-free tea is a good option to maintain adequate hydration each day. Public Health England, alongside health bodies in other countries, typically recommend around 8 drinks per day, or 2L. However, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine suggest 3.7L for men and 2.7L for women. If you’re not sure how much you’re getting, it might be an idea to measure your cups and glasses, then jot down your intake in an average day. It’s good to be aware of the risk, albeit very rare, of fluid intoxication from drinking too much fluid, especially drinking too much too quickly, as it can be incredibly dangerous and potentially life-threatening. 

A quick note on types of tea – Black, green and oolong tea all come from the same plant, the Camellia sinensis, they differ because of how the leaves are processed. Herbal teas can come from various other plants, a mix of flowers, roots, leaves and other plant components. Some potential benefits are more researched and tangible than others. 

A bird's eye photo of a cup of tea being poured from a teapot, with little piles of different tea leaves around the cup on the table. Underneath is the post title: 10 Surprising Health Benefits of Tea Drinking.
A black scroll divider.

How do you like your tea?

Caz  ♥

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Marilee November 27, 2023 - 4:38 pm

Thanks for making this a PERFECT moment to have a healthy and tasty cuppa tea!

InvisiblyMe December 14, 2023 - 5:19 pm

Enjoy! 🫖

Sandee @ CP November 27, 2023 - 5:08 pm

All great points about tea, but the teeth makes me go white tea. Hubby says no and it shows.

Have a blessed day and week, Caz. Hugs. ♥

InvisiblyMe December 14, 2023 - 5:20 pm

The tannin staining is definitely an issue! The cost of simple pleasures 🫖
Hope you’re keeping as well as possible xx

Liz November 27, 2023 - 5:18 pm

I like my tea as you know Caz. I drink different varieties. Mostly without milk.

Interesting post about the benefits of drinking tea.

InvisiblyMe December 14, 2023 - 5:23 pm

You can’t beat a good cuppa, and I’m like you with having it black (though when I was younger I used to drown it in milk) ☕️

Ann Coleman November 27, 2023 - 6:10 pm

I’ve never been a big tea drinker, but now I’m thinking I should start! Thanks for the information, Caz!

InvisiblyMe December 14, 2023 - 5:23 pm

Never say never..! ☕️ xx

George November 27, 2023 - 6:14 pm

We drink tea in the morning, though I frequently drink coffee because it wakes me up better. Interestingly, we bought 72 K-Pods and 50 tea bags this morning. All of it Twinnings. As our temperatures finally drop, we’ll drink it in the afternoons or evenings.

InvisiblyMe December 14, 2023 - 5:41 pm

Aah you’re Pod people! I love the look of some of those neat coffee makers but alas, I hate the taste of cawwfeee. Sounds like you’re well stocked for all your caffeine needs so enjoy every sip in these chillier temps! ☕️ xx

Janet Gogerty November 27, 2023 - 7:49 pm

Happy to see that title1. I never drank tea till I was fifteen and Mum said I would be a social outcast not drinking tea or coffee! I discovered how thirst quenching tea is during a hot Australian summer. It’s certainly more sociable to make tea and sit down with others to drink it some cups of tea are especially memorable after for example the ‘nil by mouth’ for an operation!

InvisiblyMe December 15, 2023 - 12:56 pm

Aw you wouldn’t have been a social outcast, Janet! But I’m glad you got to discover the joy of tea 👍 And you make such a good point on how some are particularly memorable and appreciated, like after an op. How true that is! xx

c.a. November 27, 2023 - 8:56 pm

Well, I’m mostly a coffee addict, not for the caffeine (I can drink either leaded or unleaded), but for the FLAVOR! When I was about eight years old, my dad left a half-empty cup on the counter as he left for work and I woke up reeeeally early that day. Saw the unpolluted coffee there (he drank it black like I do), thought it smelled good and finished his cup. Mom came out and saw me and asked if I wanted another cup!😋 She must’ve loved me!
But we keep a pretty good stock of teas as well, from Earl Grey to Oolong to Jasmine to assorted herbal teas. They’re especially good for snuggling up and watching a movie on these cold nights in Lex.
❤️&🙏, c.a.

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:07 pm

I’m the same with the taste of tea, love it. I detest coffee though and it makes me sad because it smells loooovely. I see all the people having cawwfeee in the cafes and wish it didn’t taste like yuck 😆 Keep yourself well hydrated with your tea and coffee my friend, it’s good for the soul! x

Kymber Hawke November 27, 2023 - 10:58 pm

I love tea on a cold day (like today!). 🙂 Thank you for all this information about tea, Caz. I’m glad to know of all the health benefits tea provides.

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:08 pm

Glad you liked the post – It’s a nice little bonus to know it’s doing you some good if you already enjoy your cuppas! xx

Cheryl Batavia November 27, 2023 - 11:05 pm

I love tea, Caz! My favorite is Earl Grey with half-and-half. I also like green tea with Jasmine. Thanks for the info about the benefits. <3 <3 <3

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:12 pm

Happy to see you’re a fellow tea-lover! Earl Grey is a good one, quite a specific taste as many either love it or hate it. I’ve never tried jasmine in tea, sounds interesting! 😊 xx

TERESA November 28, 2023 - 12:11 am

I love a good cup of tea. After I began drinking it regularly a few months ago, it became a habit. Happy to read all this!

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:30 pm

Aw I’m glad! I find tea comforting and it’s nice if you have it in your routine, gives you a moment to enjoy something throughout the day. Enjoy your cuppas this week! xx

Animalcouriers November 28, 2023 - 3:25 pm

Can’t cope with tea – the tannin sticks to my teeth, like red wine. My wife does drink 8 cups a day so should be very healthy by now 😉

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:34 pm

The tannin is a problem! I can see the stains in my mugs after drinking tea and wonder what my insides must look like 😆 I guess yours will be tea-stain-free! xx

Michael November 30, 2023 - 7:38 am

I knew all these things already but I forgot them. Excellent reminder. Thanks for the post. Cheers

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:34 pm

You’re welcome, glad you liked it! 👍

The Oceanside Animals November 30, 2023 - 3:17 pm

Charlee: “Our Dada usually drinks a couple of cups of tea a day. But they are big cups! Mugs, really! Earl Grey with lavender in the morning and some kind of herbal tea in the afternoon.”
Chaplin: “He used to think he didn’t like tea but it turns out he just doesn’t like tea with sugar or honey in it, he likes it straight up. Which is weird considering he puts sugar in everything else …”

James V Viscosi November 30, 2023 - 3:57 pm

Oh come on, I don’t use THAT much sugar. Just a teaspoon in my coffee and a tablespoon on my Grape-Nuts if I have them!

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:37 pm

Hahaha well, I’m like your dada there as I don’t do sugar in tea (not for the last 15 years anyway) but I probably eat a month’s worth of sugar in one day with all the chocolate & sweets I get through 😆 You are simply putting the sugar most people have in their tea into your cawfee and cereal. It’s not extra sugar, it’s a sugar exchange. xx

Blanca December 5, 2023 - 7:47 pm

I love tea and I knew some of its benefits for health, but not as many as you mention in your post. I used to drink three or four black tea cups per day, but these days I drink decafeinated tea or herbal tea, as it made me go very anxious.

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 4:41 pm

It’s interesting to see how many potential benefits it can have, isn’t it? I hope going decaf has been helpful for you. Caffeine can affect people differently, from calming (like me I think) to boosting energy (not me) or creating agitation & anxiety in some people. Enjoy your decaf & herbal cuppas! ☕️ xx

Carolyn Page December 9, 2023 - 10:01 pm

Caz, yesterday I watched a video from a source I enjoy. They were interviewing another source I rely upon for the nutritional values of foods. To say I found it interesting would be to understate my enjoyment.
One of the topics was in regard to tea, particularly green tea. It is so surprising how valuable some foods are for our health. I’ve never really like green tea. However, for those who do, it’s an ideal sup!
Here’s hoping you are doing good…

InvisiblyMe December 20, 2023 - 5:35 pm

It sounds like an interesting video! I find it fascinating to learn things like this, especially when it’s regarding something we tend to take for granted, like tea. It’s quite nice to think the things we enjoy can be good for us too. How’re you doing lovely? I hope you’re both keeping as well as possible 💜 xx

disturbedByVoices January 25, 2024 - 11:46 pm

Maybe green tea is an acquired taste, coffee was for me too. I’m looking at buying Matcha Green Tea on Amazon as I’ve heard it has a more pleasing taste (glad you mentioned it here too). I hope I like it. Appreciate the informative article.

Silver Screenings February 11, 2024 - 11:12 pm

I’m a big tea drinker, but I didn’t realize ALL the benefits you listed.

Think I”ll make myself a cuppa right now…


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