(ORDO NEWS) — Tea has many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer, notes Dr. Erk. “However, in order to really benefit from this drink, when buying and using it, you need to pay attention to some points,” the expert adds.
As one of the most popular beverages in our country, tea has numerous benefits for the overall health of the body. Moreover, they are proven by scientific research… So what should be paid attention to when drinking tea, what mistakes should be avoided? Here are the explanations of the specialist in internal medicine, Prof. Dr. Osman Erk.
What is in the tea?
Tea contains flavonoids, which are polyphenols, which are known to be powerful antioxidants and are famous for their benefits in the prevention of many diseases. The most important flavonoids are catechins. And the most important of the catechins are epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin-3-gallate (ECG).
These compounds have high antioxidant properties. Another important ingredient in tea is caffeine. This substance, which is abundant in coffee beans, is present in varying amounts in various types of tea. White and green teas contain vitamins C and K, as well as an amino acid called theine, which is good for the brain.
The production stage is very important
The process of processing, the climatic characteristics of the growing region, the altitude that causes exposure to radiation, the type of soil, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation determine the quality and benefits of tea. As with coffee, large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides can also be used in pre-harvest tea production.
Chemical fertilizers expose the tea to heavy metals, which have a toxic effect. And pesticides are carcinogens. In Turkey, tea production uses more chemical fertilizers than pesticides. Therefore, in Turkey, whenever possible, it is useful to consume organic and locally produced teas. In addition, the conditions for storing the collected tea are extremely important.
How to use?
Tea during brewing or after it should not be exposed to high temperatures. Theine and tannins in the composition of tea after prolonged boiling can lose their properties and even have a carcinogenic effect. The presence of a bitter taste indicates that the tea is stale. On the other hand, in Turkey the drink is drunk very hot. Especially in regions such as Erzurum, Ardahan, Kars, esophageal cancer is common, resulting from drinking very hot tea. Refined sugar and other sweeteners should not be added to tea. The only thing that can be added is lemon juice, which boosts the antioxidant activity of the tea and makes it a healthier drink. Tea should not be drunk during or immediately after a meal. With such a problem as anemia, weak tea with lemon is useful an hour after eating.
Difference from herbal teas
Black, white, green, and oolong teas are all made from the leaves of the same plant, known as camellia sinensis. And herbal teas are prepared by brewing any plant in hot water, except for tea. They have medicinal properties, but they lack the polyphenols that make tea tea.
Protects the heart and blood vessels
Properly consumed, tea protects the health of blood vessels by supporting the function of the endothelial cells that line the vessels from the inside and increasing blood flow. In this regard, the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases is reduced. According to scientific studies, drinking just one cup of black or green tea a day reduces the risk of a heart attack.
The positive effect of tea on blood vessels is due to antioxidant catechins. Many Japanese studies show that tea can lower bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, as well as blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Reduces the risk of diabetes and cancer
The polyphenols contained in tea have a preventive effect against many types of cancer. In particular, green tea is said to protect against breast, skin, prostate, oral, and ovarian cancers. Drinking green tea is one of the reasons why breast cancer – the most common type of cancer among women worldwide – is much less common in Asian women than in European and American women.
Tea also reduces the risk of developing diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels due to the components it contains. Polyphenols and caffeine contribute to the acceleration of the basic metabolism, activation of the sympathetic nervous system and fat burning. Tea is the only drink that can do this without adding a single calorie to the body. Among women, who drink tea regularly every day, less risk of osteoporosis and younger bone age. It has been established that polyphenols, acting as a prebiotic, support the intestinal microflora.
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