In China, where they have a tea history of over one thousand years, people enjoy endless cups of steaming hot tea at home and bring a thermos of hot tea with them wherever they go.
They believe that tea helps digestion and sharpens the mind. Monks are known to have relied on the power of green tea, to stay awake and focused during long hours of meditation. It is no wonder that tea drinking has become an indispensable part of their daily life.
In mythology the Emperor of the Five Grains, Shennong, laid the foundation for Traditional Chinese Medicine by identifying hundreds of medicinal herbs. Legend has it that he personally tested their properties and his favorite method of detox was through drinking tea!
Today, science is revealing more secrets about the health benefits of tea. Here are five you may not have known:
Green tea is a wonderful source of special antioxidants called catechins that help fight back against the aging process. The antioxidant catechins do this by decreasing oxidative stress, the underlying cause of aging.
Green tea has polyphenols that can increase the number of "regulatory T cells" that are important for immune function.
Tea is also found to have the potential to boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. Researchers in the Netherlands discovered that tea can help you burn fat. What's more, they found that people who drink tea regularly have less body fat and lower Body Mass Indexes (BMIs) than people who don't drink tea.
4. Mood-boosting (and focus-enhancing!)
Tea can help us stay focused and improve our performance. Drinking tea has been linked to psychological benefits such as enhanced creativity and improved work performance.
Tea may be protective against osteoporosis, according to an in-depth review from Texas Tech University. Tea and its polyphenols have been shown to help build stronger bones by increasing bone mass and bone formation. The Texas researchers found that tea drinking was linked to 30% reduced risk in hip fractures for those over 50.
As we undergo our daily work in this fast paced world, some of us may want to grab a processed tea drink. But that could impact some of the benefits of tea. Research done at the Chinese University in Hong Kong reveals that traditionally brewed green tea may be the best, because they found brewed tea to be higher in beneficial catechins than bottled green tea products.
So why not make your own favorite tea?
Brewing The Perfect Cup Of Detoxifying Tea
There are three major kinds of tea. Mature tea leaves, fermented and aged, are made into black tea. Green tea comes from young tea leaves that are dried and not fermented. And Oolong tea is a traditional Chinese tea variety that is partially fermented. Making that perfect cup of tea is easy. Here's how:
1. Select the finest loose leaf tea or the best tea bags available. Put a pinch of tea leaves in your cup. Bring some pure, fresh water to a rolling boil and pour it over your favorite naked tea leaves.
2. Brew the tea for 3 to 5 minutes to allow the polyphenols to fully infuse the tea.
How To Brew Decaf
1. Brew the tea for 30 seconds and drain it away. This removes most of the caffeine. Add more hot water and brew the tea for 3 to 5 minutes.