Black tea is a very common type of tea. It is the most oxidized form compared to oolong, green or white tea and these types of tea is derived from shrub ‘Camellia Sinensis’. Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water. Black tea is popular due to its strong, bold taste, and long shelf life. In ancient times, before tea was considered a beverage, it was used for medicinal purposes and slowly it became popular, not just because of its flavor but for the health benefits it offers. Black tea is considered as a great source of antioxidants that play a crucial role in keeping the body healthy. Black tea and green tea offer somewhat similar benefits, but scientists are explicitly looking at black tea because of its oxidation process.
With that in mind, let’s look at the nutritional facts, benefits, and health recipes the beverage has to offer.
Nutritional Value of Black Tea
Usually, black tea is served with milk, but consuming it with water is said to be the most beneficial. Since it is the most oxidized of all the tea types, it provides a unique color and flavor that tastes savory to sweet and has amber to dark brown texture. Many people drink black tea for energy, alertness, and for increasing metabolism before workout and thanks to the caffeine content It also contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from DNA damage. Studies hint that antioxidants in black tea may help lessen the risk of atherosclerosis, which is clogged arteries, particularly in women.
With that said, let’s put some light into the nutritional value of black tea to better understand its health benefits.
1 cup black tea contains:
- Calories – 2.4
- Carbohydrates – 0.4 grams
- Fiber – 0.1 grams
- Fats – 0.0. Grams
- Proteins – 0.1 grams
Looking at the above nutrients, black tea is undoubtedly a healthy beverage that incorporates all the essential nutrients and minerals. The best part about black tea is its bold flavors that make for a satisfying drink, which you can enjoy any time of the day.
Black Tea for Weight Loss
People have found a new reason to drink black tea – weight loss! A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition stated that black tea works as a prebiotic that aids the digestive process. The flavonoids unique to the black tea help when it comes to shedding those extra pounds, according to health experts.
The molecules of black tea are larger than the other tea types. This means the black tea molecules spend more time in the small intestine. Scientists believe that the presence of these molecules in the small intestine helps in increasing the population of good bacteria and microorganisms in the gut microbiome. As a result, the liver tissues burn fat deposits more efficiently.
On the other hand, the reason why black tea is considered a weight loss beverage is that it contains the highest concentration of caffeine among all the tea categories. A cup of black tea contains about 47 milligrams of caffeine. Caffeine is known for boosting energy and increasing metabolic rate. Drinking black tea before your workout may help your body to perform better and shed pounds faster. Caffeine works in a way that it raises the body temperature, also known as ‘thermogenesis.’ When the temperature increases, it triggers reactions in the body that results in improved metabolism of nutrients and vitamins, and ultimately, fat burning.
If you look at the nutrition table, you will see that the calorie count in black tea is almost negligible. Replacing high calorie beverages and drinks like juice and soda with black tea can help lose weight quickly. Moreover, drinking black tea is a tastier alternative. Since black tea is packed with flavonoids, it can help improve fat distribution and thus, lead to a healthier weight loss.
Scientists and researchers are still experimenting with the properties of black tea to find more solid evidence regarding weight loss. Nevertheless, you can include black tea in your daily diet and enjoy the overall health benefits it offers.
Black Tea Health Benefits
The health benefits of black tea are immense. From a healthy heart to improved digestive health, lowering the chances of diabetes, and more, there is a whole list of health benefits offered by black tea.
1. Reduces the risk of diabetes
According to studies, long-term intake of black tea can help in lowering the fasting blood glucose levels and thereby reducing the rates of type-2 diabetes. Polyphenols like flavonoids are found in abundance in black tea that helps in reducing the glycemic index. An experiment conducted on older adults showed that those who were drinking black tea for a prolonged period had 70% low chances of experiencing a spike in blood sugar levels. That means they had lesser chances of developing type-2 diabetes.
2. May help in preventing cancer
Black tea is high in theaflavins, which is an antioxidant that can help destroy abnormal cells in the body. The free radicals present in our body can create major damage by turning the normal body cells into cancerous cells. The antioxidant content in black tea is so high that it keeps the free radicals at bay and plays a significant role in the prevention of significant types of cancers like skin cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and stomach cancer. It is also found that drinking black tea helps in increasing the level of globulin hormones in women during the menstrual cycle.
3. Helps improve heart functions
Numerous studies have shown that drinking black tea lowers the chances of stroke in adults. According to research, people who consume three or more cups of black tea in a day lowers the chances of stroke by 21%. Black tea is rich in theaflavins, flavonols, gallic acid, and flavan-3-ols that restore the coronary artery dysfunction in heart patients. These nutrients also repair the blood vessels and arteries that prevent strokes, atherosclerosis, and other cardiovascular problems. In conclusion, it can be said that people who consume black tea on a daily basis are less prone to developing cardiovascular conditions.
4. Helps in relieving stress
Drinking black tea reduces the production of cortisol, which is a stress hormone, and helps in normalizing it. On the other hand, black tea is rich in an amino acid called I-theanine that promotes relaxation by easing stress. Those who are going through rough times mentally are advised to drink three or more cups of black tea in a day as it helps in speedy recovery from stress. Stress can cause chronic illness like coronary heart disease and other mental disorders if not treated early. Drinking black tea also helps in soothing your mind and allows you to concentrate.
5. Protects against bad bacteria
The flavonoids and polyphenols found in black tea have antibacterial properties. According to several studies, consumption of black tea helps in lowering the risk of helicobacter pylori infection, which is a bacterial infection that affects the stomach. Moreover, it also prevents unnecessary sweating, which is also a sign of bacterial infection. Doctors and health professionals say that applying chilled black tea bags to razor bumps, burns, itchiness, and redness can provide deep comfort.
6. Improves digestive health
Black tea contains tannins in high amounts along with other chemicals that have a positive and relaxing effect on digestive health. The anti-inflammatory properties in black tea help in curing digestive problems. They help in combating stomach ulcers, boost the immune system health, and provide a therapeutic effect on the gastric and intestinal illness as well. Black tea aids the growth of good gut bacteria, thereby improving gut health.
7. Stronger bones
The flavonoids present in the black tea helps in keeping the bones healthy, therefore preventing fractures. Minerals like potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous keep the bones stronger and reduce the chances of developing arthritis and other joint issues. On the other hand, the phytochemicals help in reducing inflammation in the muscles, especially in the joints that allows for easy mobility.
8. Beneficial for good oral health
Oral problems like bleeding gums, bad breath, plaque formation, and more can affect both your health and self-esteem. Polyphenols like flavonoids, tannins, and catechins in black tea possess anti-microbial properties that help in keeping your oral health intact. Black tea promotes the production of salivary enzymes, and if consumed regularly, it can lower inflammation, prevent cavities, and stop the growth of bacteria. Doctors recommend drinking a cup or two of unsweetened black tea with water as it helps in destroying and surpassing bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decays.
How to Make Black Tea
Making black tea is probably one of the easiest tasks in the kitchen. However, it is all about precision and timing, and if you miss anything, it can alter the taste. But don’t worry! In this section, we are going to teach you how to make tasty, refreshing types of black tea at home, like a pro.
Lemon Black Tea Recipe
- Loose leaf black tea – 2 tablespoons (teabag also works fine)
- Water – 1 cup
- Lemon – optional
- Take a saucepan, add water, and cook on a medium flame for a couple of minutes
- When the water comes to boil, add the loose tea leaves while stirring (make sure you bring the stove to medium heat)
- Boil the mixture on low flame and let the water infuse all the elements of black tea
- Strain the leaves, add lemon juice and and serve hot.
Iced Black tea recipe
- Loose leaf black tea – 2 tsp. (teabag also works fine)
- Crushed cardamom pods-3
- Fresh Mint- 3-4 leaves
- Rose water – 1 tsp
- Honey- 1 tbsp
- Brew tea by adding water in a pan, and allow it to cool, then add tea powder, cardamom and let the flavors infuse. (Let it simmer).
- Filter the tea, and add honey, rose water, mint leaves and serve cold or hot.
Side Effects of Black Tea
While black tea is all good for your health, you should know that everything in this world has limitations. If there are pros, there will be cons as well. The same goes for black tea. Here are the potential side effects of black tea that you should know.
- Reduced iron absorption
- Increased anxiety and restlessness
- Poor sleep
- Pregnancy complications
- Caffeine dependence
Black tea is best when consumed plain. Adding milk, sugar, cream, and syrups will increase the calorie content and possibly reduce its health benefits. Moreover, you should also refrain from ready-to-drink teas and iced teas if you are health conscious. These tea beverages are considered to be less healthy. As mentioned above, black tea has many health benefits from controlling diabetes to reducing the risk of heart disease, and more. However, moderate consumption is advised because of its adverse side effects. Consult your doctor before including black tea in your diet.