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What Can Tea Do For Me?

With so many beverages to choose from it can be easy to forget the importance of tea. However, once we are through telling you the benefits, you may want to forgo your morning mug of coffee for a delicious cup of tea instead.

Firstly, what are we talking about when we refer to tea? There are so many different types and ways to drink it, but the teas that are best for you are those that come from the Camellia sinensis plant (native to China and India): white, green, and black tea, as well as oolong, and pu-erh.

These teas contain polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have various health benefits — green tea in particular, which is the least processed and therefore has the highest amount of polyphenols, including catechin (specifically, EGCG).

Here's what tea can do for you.

Good for your bones: According to Time, green tea has been found to "improve bone mineral density and strength."

Less caffeine than coffee: Tea does have caffeine, however, it has less caffeine than coffee, and will therefore not have adverse effects on your nervous system.Yet it will still help to heighten your mental alertness.

Help with heart attacks or strokes: According to Today, clinical nutrition manager at Magee-Womens Hospital, Anna Ardine, revealed that there is a lot of information about the effect of tea on heart health, and this is one of the health effects of which there is "the strongest evidence."

Help to reduce the risk of cancer: Research on this point is mixed, but some studies claim that the antioxidants in tea can help prevent certain cancers including colon, skin, breast, and stomach. However, it should be noted that tea is not a "miracle cure."

Weight loss: According to Lifehacker, tea can help with weight loss. It does this by assisting the breakdown of starch.

Brain health: The polyphenols in green tea can reportedly help maintain the parts of the brain which controls learning and memory, and this could make it an important factor in the prevention of degenerative diseases.

It's hydrating: While water is the most hydrating to the body, and devoid of caffeine, tea is also hydrating. If drunk without any additions (such as milk, sugar or honey) it's also an extremely low in calories.

Improved health overall: According to MindBodyGreen, research shows that tea drinkers tend to be healthier than their non-tea drinking counterparts and that by drinking 2 to 3 cups a day (unsweetened) can result in improved skin, health, and body composition.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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