Black tea has long been touted as being beneficial for a variety of reasons. Many people just enjoy the taste, while others drink it to help cut back on coffee. Even if you’ve never tried it, you’ve probably heard that it is beneficial. But exactly how does it provide us with benefit? Here is a quick overview of the many benefits of black tea.
Black tea is made from the leaves of the same plant we get green tea from. With green tea, the leaves are dried. In black tea, the leaves are dried and fermented. The fermentation process is what gives it the bolder flavor and darker black color. The longer you let it brew, the darker it will get. An average cup of coffee will have around 150-200 mg of caffeine. The black tea caffeine content in a strong cup will vary between 50-75 mg of caffeine. This is enough to perk most people up without making them jittery. Those who are trying to cut back on their coffee intake can still get a bold flavor and enough caffeine to wake them up by drinking black tea.
Black Tea Antioxidants
In the past few decades the importance of antioxidants has been brought to light. Antioxidants can slow down or stop the oxidation of cells in the body. As cells oxidize, free radicals are released. Free radicals create a chain reaction, causing more cells to oxidize. This process is necessary for life, but we can slow it down. Slowing it down can help keep our skin young, and may help prevent other issues that can present with cell death. Tea companies are realizing this and making more tea blends with tea that is rich in antioxidants. Black tea is rich in antioxidants that help to fight free radicals.
Potential Cardiovascular Benefits
Studies on this have yielded very mixed results. However, some studies have found that black tea does have benefits in this area. It’s possible that drinking several cups of this everyday can reduce the risk of stroke by more than 20%. The effects are still being studied, but so far it looks to have a positive impact in this respect.
Black tea actually can help those with diabetes. There are components in black tea that help slow down sugar absorption. If you are in a high risk category for diabetes, drinking a few cups each day regularly can help decrease the your chances of becoming diabetic. Of course, you can’t expect this to work as a substitute for a good diet, but it can help if you are already being healthy.
Types of Black Tea
Not everyone is fond of the flavor of plain black tea. There are several variations that may suit you. Earl grey tea is simply black tea that has been blended with bergamot oil The flavor is still strong, the bergamot gives it a slightly smoother finish and a more complex flavor. English black tea is popular as a breakfast blend. The full-bodied tea is bold enough to use instead of coffee, and it can be blended with milk and sugar nicely. Flavored black tea is also available for those who want something a little different. You can find fruit flavored black teas, as well as black teas blended with fragrant herbs such as lavender. You can experiment with different fragrance teas at home. Simply add a pinch of your favorite fragranced herb in with the tea before you brew it. Ginger, lavender, chamomile, and peppermint all work well with black tea.