What happens to your body if you drink tea every day?

Find out what happens when you start drinking tea every day, from heart-healthy benefits to cancer-fighting properties.

Drinking a cup of tea while reading this will support just about every organ in your body. Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. “Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Toledo, Ohio. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”

So pinkies up; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea.

Drinking tea: your risk of certain cancers decreases

The antioxidants and compounds in tea have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. “Benefits have been found in skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancers,” says Uma Naidoo, MD, director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and the faculty of Harvard Medical School. “Different teas affect different cancers.” Drinking tea is just one of the simple ways to prevent cancer.

Drinking Tea: Lowering Your Diabetes Risk

Drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by controlling your blood sugar levels after meals. According to a study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutritionblack tea can lower your blood sugar after eating foods containing sucrose. If you’re ready to do more, don’t miss these 71 Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes.

Drinking tea: your teeth become stronger

While drinking tea during the day can stain your teeth a little, it may be worth it. According to a study in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial PathologyGreen tea has an antibacterial effect that can reduce cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. Drinking green tea every day can also make cavities less severe. (Check out these teeth whitening foods and several to avoid.)

Drinking tea: your heart will thank you

Tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can keep your blood vessels relaxed, putting less strain on your heart, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition. “Catechins reduce inflammation, thereby inhibiting plaque build-up in vital arteries,” says Dr. couri. dr. Naidoo recommends drinking three cups of black tea per day to achieve the heart benefits.

Drinking tea: your risk of Alzheimer’s disease may decrease

The thought of you or a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is terrifying. It’s important to know the early warning signs and do what you can to prevent it. “Green tea can help you develop resistance to stress and possibly Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. naidoo. “The polyphenols protect cells from damage.” Olive leaf tea has similar benefits, with the added immunity-boosting properties and no caffeine.

Drinking tea: your sleep can improve

If you spend your nights tossing and turning, try relaxing with a cup of herbal tea before bed – no caffeine, of course. “East Asian medicinal tea may improve insomnia,” says Dr. naidoo. According to a study in Integrative medical researchdrinking tea may help improve sleep and quality of life in people with mild to moderate insomnia.

Drinking tea: your attention span can improve

The caffeine in tea can improve your attention and alertness. “Theanine is an amino acid that is virtually unique to tea (aside from the Bay bolete fungus),” explains Dr. Naidoo out. “It can also improve attention by relaxing the brain but stimulating it when it’s time to focus.” If you ever find yourself having trouble focusing or concentrating, try brewing a hot cup of tea just before work or consider these other foods that can help you focus.

Drinking tea: speeds up your metabolism

“The caffeine in tea helps improve mental acuity and increases metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day),” says Dr. couri. Just be sure not to overdo it in the caffeine department. A cup of green tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and Dr. Kouri recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams. Before you start sipping, don’t miss what you need to know about drinking tea during intermittent fasting.

Drinking tea: you may not be absorbing enough iron

The catechins in tea can alter your body’s ability to absorb iron. This means that even if you eat enough iron-rich foods, you won’t get the benefits and could become anemic. “While most healthy people are not affected by this, those with iron deficiency or anemia should abstain from large amounts of green tea,” recommends Dr. Kouri on. This includes children, pregnant women, and anyone with a history of kidney disease.

Drinking Tea: You May Be at Higher Risk of Bleeding

Drinking a large amount of tea every day puts you at risk of bleeding from a small cut or bump. “It makes you more prone to bruising, explains Michelle Lee, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, Calif. “I require all my patients to stop drinking tea two to three weeks before surgery.”

Drinking tea: your medication may not be working

While the benefits of tea seem limitless, talk to your doctor and pharmacist before brewing a pot every day. “Catechins can interfere with some heart and blood pressure medications,” warns Dr. couri. “It’s important to discuss this with your doctor.”

How much tea should you drink?

Studies vary on the number of cups of tea you should drink per day. You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. “To get the maximum health benefits from green tea, it is most effective to drink three to five cups of green tea per day,” recommends Dr. Kouri on.

Which tea is the healthiest?

When choosing a tea, make sure it is unsweetened. Even if some flavored teas have no calories, they may still contain artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Choose to make your own tea instead of buying it already prepared. “The more tea leaves are processed, the less effective the catechins become, explains Dr. Kouri. “Green tea is minimally processed and has the greatest health benefits of any tea available.” However, remember that all teas contain powerful antioxidants. So you would rather keep sipping a different kind of tea. Here are health benefits of green tea that you may not have heard of.

Pour a cup today

While you can always have too much of a good thing, tea is a healthy choice for the vast majority of healthy adults. “In general, those who drink green tea regularly are healthier than those who don’t,” says Dr. couri. “It is very safe to drink and only has drawbacks if consumed in very large amounts.” So claim those health benefits and start tucking in today. Read on to find out what happens to your body when you drink coffee regularly.

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