5 Things You May not Know About Tea

5 Things You Never Knew About Tea

Tea has been around for a very long time, in fact, legend has it that the first cup of tea was brewed in 2737 B.C. when dried leaves landed in a boiling cup of water served to the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung from China, and then the idea of "tea" spread throughout the world. It was introduced into the United States in 1650.
There are various types of teas that are used for many purposes such as , relaxation, medicinal, and even for weight loss but, in the following article are 5 facts about tea that you may not even know about.

There Are 5 Main Types Of Tea

There are over 3,000 varieties of tea but the 5 main types are black, green, oolong, puer, and white.They all come from the same plant which is called Camellia Sinensis. It's all in how the leaves of the plant are treated that determines which tea type will be made. For instance Green Tea leaves are un-wilted and unoxidized while Black Tea is wilted, crushed, and fully oxidized. These various treatments of the leaves will determine factors in the teas such as health benefits and caffeine content.

Green Tea Has The Most Health Benefits Of All

Green Tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years and has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer. The reason that Green Tea has more uses and benefits than say, Black Tea, is because of the way it is processed, as mentioned previously, Black Tea leaves are processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas Green Tea leaves are not. As a result, the Green Tea retains all of its antioxidants and polyphenols which are the substances that gives Green Tea all its benefits such as the following:
Green Tea Increases The Metabolism: the polyphenols found in green tea work to intensify fat oxidation and the rate that your body turns your food into calories.

Reduces the risk of certain cancers: Green tea can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer but is also thought to kill all cancer cells in general without damaging healthy tissue around them.

Protects The Brain: Studies show that Green Tea consumption can delay deterioration caused by such diseases as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The studies showed that the green tea protected brain cells from dying and actually restored damaged brain cells as well.

Excessive Tea Drinking Can Actually Be Hazardous

Mainly focusing on Black Tea which has the most caffeine content of all the others, can be harmful especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. The side effects of caffeine can include nervousness, irritability, confusion, headache, sleep difficulties, vomiting, diarrhea, heartburn, ringing in the ears, dizziness, tremor, irregular heartbeat and convulsions, according to certain studies. Drinking black tea and other sources of caffeine regularly can result in psychological dependence. Drinking more than 5 cups per day of black tea can cause side effects such as: irregular heartbeat, skeletal fluorosis (due to the fluoride content in black tea which can be as high as 9 mg per liter studies say), anemia ( tea can prevent iron absorption in the body), overactive bladder, etc.
Then there was the 56 year old man from Arkansas who almost died from drinking to much black tea, this is because he was drinking upwards of 16 glasses per day of the stuff. Black tea is loaded with oxalate, a chemical that is a metabolic byproduct in many plants. If a person is drinking black tea in that excess, oxalate can build up in the kidneys and lead to renal failure. Moderation is key.

Tea Bags Are Not Always The Safest Way To Brew

To prevent paper tea bags from disintegrating or tearing, many are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins that is considered a potential carcinogen (cancer causing agent). Epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide and when it comes in contact with water, it begins to decompose to 3-MCPD, a known carcinogen that has also been linked to in infertility and suppressed immune function. This is an issue considering that tea bags are intended to be completely submerged in water.
Even the plastic mesh tea bags can seep toxins into the water, especially at a higher heat.
The best way to safely enjoy your tea is to either use loose tea or to find a company (which there are many out there) who manufactures their tea bags without the use of epichlorohydrin or any pesticides.

Tea Can Reduce Cortisol Levels

Cortisol is a stress hormone produced in the adrenal cortex that can contribute to increased belly fat and also make your skin age faster when the levels are higher due to constant stressful situations and even lack of sleep. A recent study shows that drinking up to 4 cups of tea per day can make the cortisol levels spike less. After regular consumption of tea on a daily basis for at least 6 weeks, the cortisol levels drop back down to a normal level much faster after a stressful event.
There you have it, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and can be found in almost 80% of all U.S. households. It is commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, and for any occasion.It reaps many benefits and varieties for every taste. Enjoy your cup O' tea and remember that moderation is key in all things food and drink.

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