The Hidden Benefit of Your Daily Cuppa

Hot tea being poured into a mug with a strainer for tea leaves

A cup of black tea may be just as beneficial to our health as a cup of green tea, reveals a new scientific review in the journal, Nutrition and Food Technology. The little-known polyphenols found in black tea, called thearubigins, can influence 3 main areas of health – gut health, blood pressure, and anti-cancer effects, partly because of their powerful antioxidant potential and anti-inflammatory effects. Whether you’re feeling sad, happy, worried or excited, a piping hot cup of tea to wrap your hands around seems to be the solution for many Brits. Unsurprisingly, Brits have the highest thearubigin intake of more than double the European average of 156 mg and 50 times higher than intakes in Spain.

The recent review was undertaken by the Tea Advisory Panel who examined the results of five human studies and 17 laboratory studies which specifically looked at thearubigins, one of the flavonoid group of polyphenols.

Lead author of the review, Dr Tim Bond, commented: “Research on thearubigins is at an early stage in comparison with the wealth of data we have on the benefits of drinking green and black teas. However, it’s clear from laboratory studies that thearubigins are important antioxidants and appear to have anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as regulating gut function. Thearubigins could be key to understanding the mechanisms behind the well-known health benefits of black tea and the identification of actives that are responsible for these. We now need to build on this work with clinical trials in human populations”.

This is the perfect excuse to pop the kettle on and make a cuppa, it could benefit your health after all!

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Writer, blogger for Bath Mind, and BA Hons Journalism and Publishing student at Bath Spa University.

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