FitFactor: Toast for Good Health…with Tea!

Now that winter is in full swing and the cold weather is upon us, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated. However, just because you don’t feel thirsty, doesn’t meant your body has as much water as it needs. An easy way to hydrate (and to warm up) is by drinking tea. It doesn’t have added sugar like hot chocolate or the amount of caffeine (if any) that coffee has. Not only does tea hydrate you, but much research has been done to show that tea may improve your health in a variety of ways, including helping your body fight bacteria and viruses and combatting inflammation.
green_tea_fit_factor-jpgNew evidence is out that tea can help boost your immune system by improving your T cells’ ability to fight off diseases. Black, oolong, green and white teas are full of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols which may protect again certain diseases. In fact, these four types of tea come from the same plant but are processed in different ways giving them varying flavors. Green and white teas seem to have the highest polyphenol levels, probably due to the fact that they made from unfermented leaves and therefore are less process than black tea. (1) In addition to boosting your immune system, green tea is shown to have anti-inflammatory properties from a substance called EGCG, which blocks cells from damaging cartilage. (2) Because of this substance, green tea could potentially improve the mobility and comfort of inflamed joints caused by a bleed.
Plenty of other studies have been done surrounding the various health benefits of tea. Some researchers surmise that drinking tea may improve bone strength, protect the brain, rejuvenate skin cells, fight cancer and improve cardiovascular and metabolic health. (2) However, most of this data was collected with other factors at play so the conclusions drawn cannot prove causality. (3)
As we are waiting until the jury is in regarding the rest of these health benefits, a cup of tea is always a great way to warm up, stay hydrated and give a little boost to your immune system.