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Tea of all types are great sources of antioxidants, particularly polyphenols and flavonoids. These antioxidants reduce the risk of damage caused by free radicals, which are molecules containing oxygen that have an unpaired electron, causing the molecule to be highly reactive with nearby molecules.
When a free radical molecule steals an electron from another molecule, the next molecule becomes unstable. This causes a chain reaction of unstable molecule interactions, which is responsible for a variety of long-term health related issues, such as skin (inside and out) degradation, damage to DNA, and reduction of bone density.
Antioxidants found in black tea reduce the damage of free radicals by offering electrons to unstable molecules, halting chain reactions or preventing them from happening.
Uncontrollable and unstable cell division and growth are the primary characteristics of cancer. This process can be deterred by the availability of theaflavins, a type of polyphenol found in black tea.
A study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has revealed the effectiveness of black tea theaflavins against cancer development for ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, and mammary cancer specifically, though there is a clear connection between black tea consumption and reduced tumor growth generally.
Though there is more research on the roll of green tea as a defender of DNA health, black tea shares many of the same chemopreventive mechanisms. Once again, it eventually comes back to the antioxidants, which prevent oxidative stress (free radical damage) that ends up harming cellular DNA structures.
Damage to DNA strands usually results in minor code errors (mutations) that the body can restore and repair, but more serious breaks in the code can cause your body to repair the damage mistakenly, causing your body additional stress and possibly shortening your lifespan.
Research into the benefits of black tea on the cardiovascular system is ongoing (and probably will be for a long time), but some patterns are emerging that suggest the high level of manganese in black tea can maintain heart muscle health to a degree that prevents hypertension and heart attack.
It is also becoming evident that flavonoids have a positive impact on the lining of the walls of blood and lymphatic vessels. Since the breakdown of these vessels has long been considered an indicator of future heart disease, it is safe to say that black tea can do your heart a favor later down the road.
Thanks to the presence of L-Theanine, a calming and soothing protein, drinkers of black tea can experience improved visual and auditory alertness, memory, cognitive performance, and mood. This trend is well documented in people of all ages, though elderly black tea drinkers reveal the most dramatic improvement.
Tea consumptions has been proved to correlate with more balanced blood pressure, despite the presence of caffeine, which lowers the force of blood being pushed through the cardiovascular system. This reduction in pressure maintains healthy vessels and prevents abnormal strain and wear on the heart.
Black tea is not a miracle drug - it would be dishonest to portray it as so - but there are plenty of health-related reasons to enjoy it. Just remember that these benefits come about in full from consistent enjoyment of black tea. While a cup or two every couple weeks may do some good, the best results are the result of multiple cups per week.
If you’d like to explore the flavor landscapes and health benefits of black tea, I invite you to check out our fresh and premium tea subscription. Try a sample - you’ll wonder why you ever wasted your time with low quality tea.
Happy brewing and good health to you!
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