The fantastic health benefits of tea – find brews that are good for your skin, digestion and mood

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  • There’s nothing quite like a good brew. Whether it’s part of your morning ritual, keeps you going through the mid-afternoon slump or it's something you look forward to sharing over gossip with friends or alone with a great magazine and slice of cake.

    But your cup of tea could be more than a quick pick me up. Putting the kettle on could be working wonders for your health. We take a look at the main benefits of tea…

    The benefits of tea

    People who drink tea three or more times a week may live longer and have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than their non-tea drinking counterparts, according to a recent study published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Preventive Cardiology (Jan 2020).

    And worldwide research suggests benefits of tea might include:

    • enhance cognition and memory, and cut your risk of dementia, according to studies from America and Singapore.
    • reduce depression and anxiety say researchers from the same Singapore study.
    • reduce blood pressure – one Taiwanese study found drinking black tea could have a 10% effect, while green tea might reduce hypertension risk by 46%.
    • protect eyesight, reducing your risk of glaucoma and cataracts according to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
    • protect your bones, reducing your risk of bone-thinning osteoporosis say US and Chinese researchers.

    The link between tea and weight loss

    Some American research suggests one of the benefits of tea could be weight loss. Studies have found that tea’s catechin content helps you feel full and triggers positive changes in the gut bacteria. Studies from China and Thailand suggest it can help cut the risk of type 2 diabetes.

    READ MORE: 5 bedtime drinks that help weight loss

    The benefits of herbal teas

    Herbal teas, too, are surging in popularity. They date back thousands of years and were used for medicinal purposes in ancient China and Egypt. But which ones are best for what? Medical Nutritionist, Dr Naomi Newman-Beinart, explains:

    Best herbal tea for lifting energy and mood

    Try: Tulsi tea

    Tulsi, also commonly known as holy basil (a plant with adaptogenic properties), is thought to work by relaxing the central nervous system, thus calming nervous tension whilst also helping mental clarity. This means that Tulsi tea can be great option if you feel like you need a boost in mood and energy, but without adding to your daily caffeine intake.

    Best herbal tea for calming a busy mind

    Try: Chamomile tea

    It’s no surprise that chamomile tea is on my list to boost health. This popular wonder-tea is known for its relaxing qualities and many of us have tried and tested it with great results. In fact, authors of a recent book discussing research on the chamomile plant found that over one million cups of chamomile tea are consumed worldwide every day. As well as relaxing the nervous system and relieving tension, chamomile tea has also been found to relieve bloating and indigestion – ideal if you have overindulged a little too much on rich and fatty foods

    Best herbal tea for great skin

    Try: Nettle tea

    The constant changes in temperature during winter can wreak havoc on your skin, especially if you already suffer from issues, such as, dryness or oiliness. Nettle is one of my favourite ‘nutritional’ herbs for the skin as it contains vitamins A and C and minerals, including iron, calcium and magnesium. Not only that, but nettle is said to be anti-inflammatory and is also a natural diuretic, making it a great tea to help beautify your skin and bring out that inner radiance.

    Best herbal tea for a sluggish digestion

    Try: Aniseed and Fennel tea

    Bloating is the main symptom of sluggish digestion. In this modern age, we are all faced with many social events that tend to include delicious meals and lots of alcohol. Try Pukka’s organic Feel New tea, £2.80 for 20 teabags available from Tesco and other leading supermarkets. It’s a naturally supportive digestive tea that contains aniseed, fennel, and cardamom which help to reduce gas and bloating and relieve other digestive discomforts. They’re wrapped individually so pop a few in your bag to drink before and after a meal when you are out”.

    Best herbal tea for immunity

    Try: Elderberry tea

    Elderberries contain vitamins A and C, anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are antioxidants that protect your body from damage caused by free radicals. This wonder-berry has been shown to reduce the symptoms and length of a cold, so it’s well worth taking in its many forms.