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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages

In China, its country of origin, throughout the East, in central Europe and in fact around the world, tea is a much-loved drink. On the one hand, people simply enjoy the taste, but there’s also the stimulating effect. As with coffee, this wake-you-up effect comes from the caffeine in tea (which used to be called teein). Depending on the type of tea and the way it was brewed, a cup of tea is likely to contain only around half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. The type of tea with the highest caffeine content is Darjeeling, while green tea, Japan Bancha for example, has a far lower caffeine content.

Caffeine and theanine boost
the feel-good factor

L-theanine, another substance found in tea, has a soothing and relaxing effect just the opposite of caffeine. This pairing is responsible for the apparently contradictory effects that tea can have – simultaneously stimulating and soothing. A number of studies indicate that L-theanine reacts with messenger substances in the brain and, in conjunction with caffeine produces a state of calm alertness. Green and black teas also contain other health-promoting substances. In this respect, there’s basically no difference between the two types of tea. Noteworthy is the high fluoride content which helps to strengthen tooth enamel and thus prevent tooth decay. A litre of tea supplies around half of the recommended daily intake of fluoride for an adult.

Health benefits from tea

Polyphenols are another group of substances in green and black tea that have positive health benefits. They have a calming effect on the stomach and intestines. Black tea, allowed to draw for at least ten minutes, is one of the most popular home treatments for digestive problems. Polyphenols are antioxidants and help to protect the body against cell damage, which is why people who regularly drink green and black tea seem to have a lower risk of heart and circulatory disease. There are several studies that indicate there’s a correlation. This effect is attributed to catechins in tea because they are capable of suppressing inflammation in the walls of blood vessels.


Does tea fight cancer?

Animal studies show that green tea above all has an inhibitory effect on the growth of some cancers. Unfortunately, it hasn’t so far been possible to replicate the effect in people.

Source: Jürgen Beckhoff, www.aid.de