In this article we will be looking at the properties and health benefits of black tea. When it comes to nutrition, we tend to follow trends, however it's much better to follow scientific criteria and investigation... This is what happens with black tea; it may not currently be the most popular, but drinking it has a series of benefits that you should know about in order to take much better care of your body. Let’s take a look at them:
TYPES OF TEA.
The first thing you need to know when you go to your preferred health food shop is that you aren't going to find only one type of tea. Classified by colours, you will find the following:
· White tea - has the lowest amount of caffeine (11 mg per 100 grams)
· Red tea - highly recommended to reduce levels of bad cholesterol.
· Green tea - a powerful cocktail of natural antioxidants.
And last but not least, black tea, which we will be talking about in this article.
Black tea is just fermented green tea, meaning it has been transformed in to a more simple organic substance. We previously stated that green tea is an antioxidant, and that is because it's rich in polyphenol. Once fermented, it loses these components and generates new ones: theaflavins. These are the substances that give lack tea it’s antioxidant benefits and are the reason we are bringing it to our blog.
A recent study made by investigators at IFAPA (Scientists at the area for Investigation and Health connected to the Junta de Andalucía) has found that the intestine absorbs 94% of these beneficial substances (theaflavins) during digestion. You may be wondering: if antioxidants are the main thing black tea offers, wouldn't we already have that with green tea? However, it is worth mentioning that the investigators also found black tea contains properties that can help to prevent diseases such as cancer, organism infections, diabetes and heart disease...
However, just drinking black tea isn't enough to ensure the full benefits of it. Of course it's healthy for everyone, but not in the same measure. Why? Because in order to enter the bloodstream, the theaflavins need to break down into simpler substances (smaller molecules) and to do this they need the "ecosystem of the bacteria that live in our intestine." These bacteria will be in charge of breaking down the theaflavins into smaller substances that are available to be used by the body.
The thing is, we don't all have a microbiota (group of microscopic organisms) that’s in good condition. This will be determined by factors such as diet, lifestyle, age... Those who have the greatest balance of these factors will make the most of black tea. Basically, it gives us an extra boost if we already take care of ourselves and the more our health improves, the greater the benefits of the tea.
We specially recommend taking care of your intestinal flora. To do this, you must include foods rich in prebiotics into your diet: asparagus, leek, banana etc because they stimulate the growth of these bacteria. Probiotics found in yoghurt and olives regenerate and maintain the balance of the microbiota and are therefore just as interesting.
HOW TO CORRECTLY PREPARE YOUR BLACK TEA
To prepare black tea in good condition, heat up the water but remove it from the heat once it starts to boil. After doing this, add a spoonful or a little bag
of black tea to your cup. No more than that, mainly because of the caffeine concentration. Let it stand for 3 or 4 minutes (depending on the intensity of
flavour you prefer). We recommend you don't add any sugar. It's good to accept and get used to natural flavours. Keep in mind that sugar,
in the long run, will harm our microbiota and we have already learned how important it is in this case. Honey and cinnamon are natural and
alternative sweeteners if you don't want a strong taste. Some people add mint or lemon, which are also a good combination. The addition of non-dairy milk such as oatmeal, rice etc can refine the taste.
Lastly; some black tea can contain high levels of caffeine so avoid drinking too many cups a day and separate it from coffee by at least 3 hours, because the excess of caffeine, like everything in excess, isn't good for you.
Click on the link below if you would like to try our Himalayan Black Tea, imported from India, which is very low in caffeine and can even be drunk in the evening without affecting sleep patterns: