The health benefits of black tea
In this article we will be looking at the properties and health benefits of black tea. When it comes to nutrition, like anything else, we tend to follow trends. However, it’s much better to follow scientific criteria. This is what happens with black tea; it may not currently be the most popular option, but drinking it has a series of benefits that we want to share with you, to help you take better care of your body.
TYPES OF TEA.
As you probably know, when you go to any supermarket or health food shop, there can be a very extensive, and sometimes quite baffling, range of tea. Classified by colours, you will likely find the following:
· White tea – has the lowest amount of caffeine (11 mg per 100 grams)
· Red tea – highly recommended to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol.
· Green tea – a powerful cocktail of natural antioxidants.
And last but not least, black tea:
Black tea is just fermented green tea, meaning it has been transformed in to a more simple organic substance. We previously stated that green tea is an antioxidant, and that is because it’s rich in polyphenol. Once fermented, it loses these components and generates new ones: theaflavins. These are the substances that give lack tea it’s antioxidant benefits.
A recent study made by investigators at IFAPA in Spain, found that the intestine absorbs 94% of these beneficial substances (theaflavins) during digestion. You may be wondering: if antioxidants are the main thing black tea offers, wouldn’t we already have that with green tea? Well, that is true, but the investigators also found that black tea contains properties that can help to prevent diseases such as cancer, organism infections, diabetes and heart disease.
However, just drinking black tea isn’t enough to ensure the full benefits of it. Of course it’s healthy for everyone, but not in the same measure. Why? Because in order to enter the bloodstream, the theaflavins need to be broken down into simpler substances (smaller molecules) and to do this they need the “ecosystem of the bacteria that live in our intestine.” These bacteria will be in charge of breaking down the theaflavins into smaller substances that are available to be used by the body.
The thing is, we don’t all have a microbiota (group of microscopic organisms) that’s in good condition. This will be determined by factors such as diet, lifestyle, age… Those who have the greatest balance of these factors will get the most benefit from black tea. Simply put, it gives us an extra boost if we already take care of ourselves and the more our health improves, the greater the benefits of the tea.
We specially recommend taking care of your intestinal flora. To do this, you must include foods rich in prebiotics into your diet: asparagus, leek, banana etc because they stimulate the growth of these bacteria. Probiotics found in yoghurt and olives regenerate and maintain the balance of the microbiota and are therefore just as interesting.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR BLACK TEA
The best way to prepare black tea, is to heat up the water but remove it from the heat once it starts to boil. After doing this, add a spoonful or a little bag
of black tea to your cup. No more than that, mainly because of the caffeine concentration. Let it stand for 3 or 4 minutes (depending on your preferred intensity of flavour). We recommend that you don’t add any sugar. It’s good to accept and get used to natural flavours and keep in mind that sugar, in the long run, will harm your microbiota, and therefore possibly harm your general wellbeing. Honey and cinnamon are natural, alternative sweeteners if you don’t want a strong taste. Some people add mint or lemon, which are also a good combination. The addition of non-dairy milk such as oatmeal or soya can also refine the taste.
Lastly, be aware that some black teas can contain high levels of caffeine so we recommend you avoid drinking too many cups a day and separate it from coffee by at least 3 hours, because the excess of caffeine, like everything in excess, isn’t good for you.
Click here to try our organic Himalayan Black Tea, imported from India. This particular tea is very low in caffeine and can even be drunk in the evening without disturbing your sleep patterns.