Tea is the most widely used beverage in the world. It is produced by steeping in freshly boiled water the young leaves and leaf buds of the tea plant, Camellia sinensis.
The hazards of taking tea
Tea contains certain constituents that can reduce mineral absorption in the body, so you might face mineral deficiencies in your body. This article highlights the importance of the time at which you can enjoy taking the most benefits from your tea. Taking tea immediately after having food would be unhealthy because it contains a constituent called “tannic acid,” which makes complexes with some minerals found in the food. Research shows that the tannins in tea reduce the absorption of calcium, zinc, iron, and copper.
Role of tannins
Tannins have been reported to be responsible for decreases in feed intake, growth rate, feed efficiency, net metabolizable energy, and protein digestibility in experimental animals. Therefore, foods rich in tannins are considered to be of low nutritional value. However, recent findings indicate that the major effect of tannins was not due to their inhibition of food consumption or digestion but rather the decreased efficiency in converting the absorbed nutrients to new body substances.
Role of minerals
Calcium is the most important mineral for a healthy body”s internal environment, specifically for the sustainability of the bones. A balanced level of calcium also helps with good muscle function. But it is possible, only when, a steady and continuous supply of calcium is provided in the diet. Calcium is also very important for your dental care. Having a healthy diet may help you with chewing food and churning it into small, fine pieces, from which the nutrients can be absorbed easily.
Zinc is a good antiviral mineral. Zinc deficiency impairs physical and neuropsychological development and the prevalence of gastrointestinal and respiratory infections in multiple communities. Its deficiency will make people more prone to infections who already have a compromised immune system.
Iron is important for healthy hemoglobin levels in the body because the red blood cells are made every 4 months and that requires a balanced iron supply. Hemoglobin, a red blood cell constituent involved in carrying oxygen to the body parts, will help RBCs have a balanced supply of oxygen in the body and thereby prevent anemia.
Sufficient copper in the human body promotes the production of white blood cells that are essential for fighting disease-causing germs. A low amount of copper in the human body may lead to a reduction in the number of WBCs in the body, causing a condition called neutropenia.
Benefits of tea
Interestingly, many reports indicate a negative association between tea consumption and incidences of cancer. Tea polyphenols and many tannin components were suggested to be anticarcinogenic. Many tannin molecules have also been shown to reduce the mutagenic (cancer-causing) activity of a number of mutagens. Many carcinogens and/or mutagens produce oxygen-free radicals for interaction with cellular macromolecules. The anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic potential of tannins may be related to their antioxidative property, which is important in protecting cellular oxidative damage, including lipid peroxidation. The generation of superoxide radicals has been reported to be inhibited by tannins and related compounds.
Tea also helps increase the metabolism of the body. That’s why people take tea to feel fresh, and active and sometimes consider it the best option with lemon and honey for weight loss or management.
The antimicrobial activities of tannins are well documented. The growth of many fungi, yeasts, bacteria, and viruses is inhibited by tannins. Their antimicrobial properties seemed to be associated with the hydrolysis of ester linkages between gallic acid and polyols hydrolyzed after-ripening of many edible fruits. Tannins in these fruits thus serve as a natural defense mechanism against microbial infections.
The kind of tannin and dosage are critical to these effects. Tea has no calories, so it’s a good decision to include tea as a part of your diet.
This article highlights the use of black tea and green tea. Beware of the ads that claim green tea has multiple flavors. These actually don’t contain the flavor; else they contain the other herb. For example, you see an ad on your television, and a certain ad claims green tea with a lemon flavor, but actually, it is lemongrass. No doubt lemongrass has its own benefits, like apple and other jasmine herbs do, but definitely, green tea has a number of health benefits and competes with the other herbs if you are considering weight loss and a healthy lifestyle then do check for the non-flavor green tea as the flavored one does not contain green tea rather they contain the other herbs. Like if you see the jasmine flavor, means you are actually having jasmine flowers which will be infused in the form of tea.
Black tea has a characteristic aroma and taste and is the most widely preferred tea in the world, but green tea also has many antioxidants that help you scavenge the harmful chemicals formed inside the body. Most of us are taking foods that have less nutritional value, like fast foods, that are actually creating harmful chemicals inside us that needs to be scavenged or neutralized from time to time in order to have a healthy body, because as the old saying narrates, ” a healthy body has a healthy mind.”
Tea tannins reduce the absorption of these minerals, but tea has many other benefits. So quitting tea may not be an option, but you can change the time for taking tea. You should not take tea immediately after eating, as most people take it after breakfast. Instead, you can add a gap of two to three hours between your food consumption and tea. This would not interfere with your mineral absorption from the GIT so that you can enjoy the taste and other health benefits associated with your tea.
So to summarize, there are 3 guides from which you can get the most benefits out of your tea.
3 tips for getting the most benefits out of your tea
- Do not take tea immediately after eating food.
- Do not take tea on an empty stomach.
- Do not add too many spices to your tea.