The Health Benefits of Tea
Tea is a beverage many seniors enjoy that can also play a role in promoting better health in a variety of ways. Tea has an incredible history and, for many, is associated with comfort and traditions. The act of sitting down with a cup of tea can be relaxing, grounding, and comforting for older adults who have enjoyed the beverage throughout their lives. On top of the positive emotional and calming impacts that drinking tea can have for those who enjoy it, the ingredients can also provide health benefits for the body and mind.
The Benefits of Tea Drinking
Tea can impact the body in many ways, and some of the benefits are specific to particular kinds of tea. Below are some aspects in which tea has been generally shown to create positive impacts for health.
- Calming Effects: Some of the elements contained within the tea plant itself (like the amino acid L-Theanine) have been shown to impact the brain in ways that promote relaxation. Tea can also help to physically relax the tightness and stiffness that often comes with a stressful event. Drinking tea can help both the body and mind unwind and become more relaxed.
- Weight-Loss: Seniors who need to work on regulating their weight to promote health and wellbeing can benefit from integrating tea into their routines. Teas (such as green tea) can help the body metabolize fats, and switching to tea or iced tea in place of processed beverages that are higher in sugar can help seniors consume less sugar and calories.
- Memory and Concentration: Tea has been shown to be helpful for cognitive function and memory, and certain teas (such as green tea) have been studied for their potential ability to slow down the brain’s age-related decline for better efficiency and function. Tea can also help improve concentration and focus without creating the jittery feeling that often comes with coffee.
- Bone Health: Tea drinking can have an impact upon the mineral density of bones and can therefore contribute to lowering the chance of fractures, osteoporosis, and slowing the gradual bone loss that comes with age.
- Heart Health: Drinking tea has been associated with better cholesterol management and reduced incidence of heart attack because of healthy antioxidants.
- Dental Health: Tea can help to prevent bacterial growth on the teeth and has been shown to play a role in decreasing the incidence of tooth-loss in seniors who consume it regularly.
Tea is easy to enjoy and simple to incorporate into seniors’ everyday lives. Older adults who have trouble with caffeine may benefit from trying herbal teas instead (which can be great for sleep, digestion, nausea, and reducing stress). Sitting down with a cup of tea can be incredibly mentally relaxing, and the power of tea itself can have positive effects on the body as well as the mind.
Types of Tea and Their Health Benefits
There is a diverse range of tea types to choose from that offer various health advantages.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants which helps reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. Green is also known to have a positive impact on cognition and digestion while reducing LDL cholesterol, and the risk of stroke and dementia.
Black tea typically contains the highest level of caffeine content for those looking for a little productivity boost. Black tea also has antioxidant properties to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and chronic inflammation.
Chamomile tea is often consumed for its relaxing effects. It contains an antioxidant called apigenin that binds to receptors in the brain to promote sleepiness. It is also known to benefit digestive health and control blood sugar levels.
Another tea widely consumed for its calming effects is peppermint tea. Peppermint oils are known to offer benefits such as relief from stress, nausea, stomach pain, and indigestion.
Somewhere in between black and green tea, oolong tea is known for reducing LDL cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also widely touted for its weight-loss capabilities, reducing blood pressure, and improving sleep.