This article originally appeared on Easy Health Options®.
While the foods I eat on the paleo diet have provided me with enormous health benefits, it’s important not to forget that what you drink with your foods is also crucially important for your body’s well-being. I have discovered that one beverage that I imbibe every day has so many remarkable health effects, I have a hard time grasping them all.
During the past 30 years, research into the physiological power of tea means it can help prevent heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Added to that, it has been shown to help you lose weight and keep your weight at a proper level.
As for your brain, tea may also support your attention span, mood and problem-solving abilities.
Tea For Too Many Pounds
Tea contains natural chemicals called polyphenols that, along with caffeine, help your body produce extra energy and oxidize fat. When scientists analyzed a series of studies on tea, they found that tea can help you burn off an extra 100 calories a day. Another review showed that adding green tea to people’s diets and making no other dietary changes helped them lose an average of about three pounds in three months.
A test of tea’s effects on using up body fat showed that it increased fat oxidation by 16 percent.
The polyphenols in tea can also hold off certain cancers. One study showed that supplementing with 600 mg a day with green tea polyphenols called catechins, significantly slowed the growth of prostate cancer.
A long list of studies has shown that the natural substances in various types of tea perform anti-cancer duties when you drink these beverages. They take action against lung cancer, cancers of the digestive tract, skin cancer and breast cancer.
Tea’s natural chemicals perform their anti-cancer magic by being antioxidants, improving the effects of chemotherapy and inhibiting growth factor signaling (actions that would otherwise promote cancer).
A Friend Of The Heart
There is no shortage of studies that also show tea reduces blood pressure, lowers the risk of heart disease, cuts your chances of a heart attack, reduces your risk of a stroke and keeps your cardiovascular system operating normally.
In one study, black tea was found to drop blood pressure, keep fatty meals from driving you toward hypertension and kept the blood in blood vessels flowing more effectively.
“Our studies build on previous work to clearly show that drinking as little as one cup of tea per day supports healthy arterial function and blood pressure. These results suggest that on a population scale, drinking tea could help reduce significantly the incidence of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases,” says researcher Claudio Ferri, M.D., who is with the University L’Aquila, Italy.
Tea even improves your bone strength. One experiment discovered that if you drink tea and you are more than 50 years old, you can reduce your chances of a hip fracture by about 30 percent. Another study showed that postmenopausal women taking a green tea extraction of 500 mg a day (about what’s found in 5 cups a day), upped their bone formation, dropped their harmful inflammation and improved their muscle strength.
Tea Fits Your Brain To A ‘T’
If you want a better brain, studies show that tea goes to your head. A study on attention span showed that tea boosts attention and helps you focus on mentally demanding tasks. Researchers have found that tea’s amino acid theanine and caffeine help tea provide intellectual help.
All of this research confirms tea as a dependable paleo drink that helps keep your body in shape.
As noted by Jeffrey Blumberg, a nutrition professor with Tufts, “Humans have been drinking tea for some 5,000 years, dating back to the Paleolithic period. Modern research is providing the proof that there are real health benefits to gain from enjoying this ancient beverage.”