What are the health benefits of tea?
When I was in hospital with liver disease I was taken aback by the benefits of coffee for protecting the liver. However, what are the health benefits of tea? Any good for liver disease?
What about an alternative to alcohol? Can you do social drinking with tea, maybe maybe not!
I have talked a lot on my blog about making the switch to alcohol free drinks but with tea I was never totally convinced.
So I am not saying move over to tea and never drink an alcohol free beer or wine again but tea could be a good bet especially if you are wary of your health specifically about the liver.
Always check with your medical professional but at the end of the day if it can provide a protective measure for your liver and other organs its certainly worth a go.
So if I can build coffee into my routine a bit, what about a nice cup of tea!
Here are my top ten thoughts on why tea is a healthy option !
1 Tea contains antioxidants.
This is not like drinking some diet soda. Far from it!
We know that tea is full of antioxidants.
If you think about it we are surrounded by pollution which damages our bodies never mind what we are eating and drinking. It’s one of the reasons we grow to look old.
Tea can really protect us from all that polluted atmosphere.
I know all teas are supposed to be good and healthy but white tea is the best as it is less manufactured than other teas according to the tea gurus.
So next time you are tempted to have a beer, wine or low calories soda, maybe just make it a nice cup of tea!
2. Tea has less caffeine than coffee.
One of the issues with over drinking is that it can cause a really bad hangover. This can cause all sorts of anxiety and even brain fog which is not ideal.
Ever has the shakes after over indulgence on alcohol?
It is not a nice experience and can lead to panic attacks. So here is one flag about coffee.
- Coffee can make it worse with its high caffeine levels. The good news is there is an alternative.
- If you are going for herbal teas such as peppermint blends they have no caffeine.
- You could just drink water
- What my mum calls “not fancy tea” has around 50% caffeine of your typical cup of coffee.
And cutting your caffeine in half could really help those panicky moments in the middle of a hangover.
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3. Tea might actually reduce your personal risk in terms of a heart attack or even a stroke
In various studies across the world it has been mentioned that regular drinking of tea can help with our health including the reducing the risk of a heart attack.
And even some studies say it could actually reduce of the chances of a stroke. Now there are other factors involved of course as we are human with everything that balance brings and that we find so hard to get sometimes.
This is especially true if your tea choice was green tea. Not my favorite but for a cup it is certainly doable if you have a box conveniently placed where you know it’s easy to get and you build it into a habit.
It is also said to lower LDL cholesterol levels which is not good to have in our bodies at a high level.
Now you do have to remember lots of cups the tea will send you running to the toilet or bathroom but it’s a good chance to check the color of your pee.
The color of your pee is important and one I ignored just before being diagnosed with liver disease.
Now you may need to drink lots of ordinary tea to make up for 1 cup of green tea but at the end of day if tea is beneficial it is a good thing to do regardless of the amount.
But remember it does have less caffeine than coffee.
I remember once getting the shakes. It had nothing to do with alcohol but everything to do with coffee and together with my gym protein bar my doctor’s message was cut back on the caffeine.
It can actually be dangerous in large quantities.
4. The Tea Diet
Now don’t get me started on fad diets as they are never a good thing and especially if you are trying to cut back on alcohol.
I am often asked about alcohol free and tea when it comes to watching our bellies and hips. What is true that a carefully balanced diet will without doubt help especially combined with alcohol free drinks.
Alcohol free beers and wines do have some calories but less than full on alcohol beverages in most cases.
However, tea has no calories whatsoever. So if it’s a mix and match then that team is a perfect addition to any so called “tea diet”, just avoid fad diets as they may put more pressure on your liver.
I know for certain being low carb was not good for me while I was still drinking wine as there is nothing to absorb the alcohol so I tend to stay away from any fad diets and this is true of anything labeling a “tea diet”.
5. You are not stuck with just “ordinary tea”.
Years ago if you asked for a fruit tea you may be stared at as much as I when I ask for an alcoholic wine or beer.
You can’t always win at the alcohol free game and that includes tea!
From fruit teas, peppermint, white, green, black tea, chai tea, the varieties are now endless!
One word of caution though with fruit tea just be aware of a Japanese expert that said tea is great for the enamel and mouth health. That may be the case with ordinary tea but I know from my dentist that fruit teas like anything of this nature can erode your enamel.
So great mouth hygiene is crucial as I know it did affect my enamel then I was drinking of a lot of fruit teas. The same goes for lots of fruit so it’s common sense really.
It is still better than drinking lots of alcohol .
6- Pubs and Cafe now serve all sorts of tea brands
It is true that there was a day that you were frowned on if you asked for a tea in a pub or bar but that has now changed. Except in one of those pubs where it goes quiet when you walk in but less said about that better.
Think “An American Werewolf in London” but even they served tea!
I always say to people going for an alcohol free lifestyle never be afraid to ask for what you want.
Forget social pressure and what people may say behind the bar. You are the consumer and it is up to you to want what you want whether that is alcohol free or a nice cup of herbal tea.
Pay no attention to the queue behind you, its not your problem!
The amount of coffee shops now serve a great selection of herbal and other teas that are now clearly displayed thank goodness.
Ask for what you want !
7. Tea may boost the immune system
Certainly practitioners especially with a spiritual bias have said that tea and the immune system goes hand in hand. It has been linked to antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so that’s a good thing but of course as ever more research needs to be done!
There is always the placebo effect I guess although tea is not alcohol and its sugar free so that is good news for all of us.
8. Ginger tea is calming for the stomach
I know from experience that alcohol can really have a real effect on our stomach including extra acid. I know since I was diagnosed with liver disease I am on acid suppressors for the rest of my life.
For your stomach natural ginger tea is a great help is calming the stomach and making you feel less sick. I actually love ginger in all sorts of food and there is something special about a cup of ginger tea on a very cold day.
Some brands also include a dose of both ginger and chamomile, something natural with very calming properties.
9 Tea- Alcohol and calorie free
The good news is tea is alcohol and sugar free and even if its a bit of a change from alternative drinks this has to be a good thing.
Most of the time you don’t need to check the labels although I always do as you never know where the next variety tea is going to come from.
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With fruit teas just make sure you keep an eye on your enamel as I have had it from more than one source including the dentist that it can erode your enamel so plenty of brushing before bedtime!
Its the same with anything fruit based before you go into a frenzy about your smile.
10 – What about my liver health and tea?
I am always dubious about studies on the liver as I know by and large my liver disease cannot be reversed. However, while in hospital I read quite a bit on the protective benefits of coffee.
Now I was not a massive coffee drinker, a more social wine drinker! Not anymore.
Maybe I should have had more coffee with my lunch. Now this research I always look at with a cynical eye and the same goes for tea. However, there was a study in the journal of hepatology which I pay more attention to nowadays.
I can’t think why! Liver disease anyone?
This included over 2000 people from Holland who were aged 45 or over. This was not for people who already had liver disease or who were are at an advanced stage.
However, if you are looking at your alcohol, coffee and tea drinking habits this may be food for thought!
Something to note.
- The people in this survey did not have liver disease
- They did have liver scans to check its health
- The researchers looked at their food and drink intake including tea, coffee and other soft drinks
- The tea brands they looked at were herbal, green or the good old fashion black tea.
- Depending on their habits they were divided into three groups.
What did they find?
The coffee guzzlers had significantly less so called “ liver stiffness” and the scarring was noticeably lower. Scarring is a key component of liver disease.
The herbal tea and coffee drinkers seemed to have developed a preventative effect in terms of damage to the liver which of course could prevent the advancement of liver disease.
In the Journal of Hepatology their press release said:
“Examining accessible and inexpensive lifestyle strategies that have potential health benefits, such as coffee and tea consumption, is a viable approach to finding ways to halt the rapid increase of liver disease in developed countries,”
Now this is not the answer to advance liver disease and I am not a medical expert but I do have lots of experience as a patient and living with the condition. Anything that might help others not go through the same life changing experience as me can only be a good thing!
However, I will take anything natural that is good for my liver.
So get drinking tea!
So overall it seems that tea is a good thing.
What are the health benefits of tea for those who add it into an alcohol free lifestyle or just a reduction in drinking? Good news it does not seem to do any harm. Always check with your doctor though is you are worried or have any symptoms.
However, as an alternative to alcohol, alcohol free and other soft drinks it must get a thumbs up and with more choice than ever in the tea ranges and that can only be a good thing.
I would love to know your drinking habits and I mean tea here! Would you order a tea in a bar or would you still go for an alcohol free alternative?
I don’t really blame you its a big ask ! However, you take into account the potential benefits it is worth a punt.
I hope these thoughts on the question of what are the health benefits of tea will help next time you are in a pub! Leave you comments below and always respond.