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Discover the Health Benefits of Black Tea

Did you know that we Brits drink a staggering 165million cups of tea each and every single day? Here we want to share some of the health benefits of these many cups of tea!

The Tea Advisory Panel are a specialist group of Scientists, Doctors and Nutritionists, who’s objective is to provide informed ‘advice’ about the role that tea can play as part of a healthy lifestyle. The group regularly commission studies and market research into the well-being benefits of tea and to help set the record straight on other ‘myths’ associated with tea.

The anti-microbial and anti-bacterial effects of black tea

All tea contains polyphenols (anti-oxidants) which have been shown by scientists to reduce the effects of the types of common bugs that we are exposed to which cause colds, flus and infections.
(Dr Carrie Ruxton, an Independent Nutritionist on the Tea Advisory Panel)

Whilst what a lot of people don’t realise is that black tea can have anti-bacterial properties in the mouth too. Catechins (another type of anti-oxidant found in tea) can still be found in the mouth an hour after rinsing. Further polyphenols are thought to work by inhibiting bacteria, by causing the bacterium cell wall to thicken thus inhibiting its growth. Studies have also shown that polyphenols can aid the action of antibiotics too, in that they work better with the polyphenols around. (Dr Catherine Hood, a General Practitioner on the Tea Advisory Panel)

Weight management and tea

There has been so much interest as to whether drinking tea can help you to lose weight. However there have only been a few studies that have been published in this area and the majority of these studies have used green tea as opposed to black tea. Green and black tea are a particularly good source of catechins and it is thought that catechins:

  • May help to stop the absorption of sugar and fat into the body.
  • May help to boost metabolism.
  • May help to stop producing fat in the body.

The very few studies that have been conducted in this area do seem to suggest that green tea may be beneficial in weight loss but the effect is very small.

On a more basic level, black tea without any added sugar, is calorie free. Even if you enjoy a cup of tea with semi-skimmed milk, this still only has an average of 13 calories per cup. Therefore if you were to swap your daily latte made with semi-skimmed milk for tea made with semi-skimmed milk, over the course of the year you could end up losing 8lbs in weight! Whether you prefer green tea or black tea, even with semi-skimmed milk they are both low calorie drinks that you can enjoy when you are watching your weight.
(Dr Lynne Garton, an Independent Nutritionist on the Tea Advisory Panel)

Mental function and tea

There are two components in tea that could have an effect on cognitive function, concentration and alertness;

  • Caffeine, which boosts alertness and mental processing.
  • Delphinium, an amino acid which can calm you down and improve your mood.

Both of these have effects independently but when combined it has been proven that delphinium boosts some of the effects that caffeine has, thus certainly having an effect on cognitive functioning.
(Dr Carrie Ruxton, an Independent Nutritionist on the Tea Advisory Panel)

So there you have it! Not that you needed an excuse to enjoy your tea – but by making tea a part of your daily diet could bring you some of the many health benefits that tea has to offer too!

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