We’ve all heard about the possible improvements that different types of tea can have on our physical health, but how true are they, really?
There have been numerous articles and studies about the implications of green tea on our health, some good news, and some bad news. So, how good is it really, and are the benefits of it true? Personally, I drink a lot of different tea, with green tea being one of them. I have noticed a number of differences in my overall health and wellbeing since consuming more herbal teas, so naturally, wanted to share these with you! (As well as all the sciency bits to prove it!)
Green tea, myth or truth?
Green tea contains caffeine (although not as much as coffee), and a chemical called L-theanine. L-theanine increases the activity of the gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) neurotransmitter, which forms and regulates the communication between the brain and the central nervous system. An increase in this can help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, because it can actively overexcite the neurons in our brain, allowing us to have more control over our reactions to emotions like anxiety and stress. As well as this, when L-theanine is combined with small doses of caffeine, it also has the ability to improve our brain function. The combination of these supplements can lead to an increased concentration, increased mental focus, increased productivity, improved mood, and improved reaction time. If green tea is consumed regularly enough, it can even help to protect your brain function into old age, and reduce the risk of developing brain-related illnesses like dementia and Alzheimer’s. All in all, there is no wonder that people believe in the benefits of green tea.
Although, these aren’t the only health benefits. Green tea has also been proven to boost our metabolic rate, meaning that we are able to burn calories much quicker. As a result of this, it can help you to lose weight, and aid in the process of weight-loss by healthy eating and regular exercise. (Of course, drinking green tea alone isn’t going to have enough of an effect for you to lose weight, without having a balanced diet and lifestyle to go with it!) A final key health benefit of green tea is the antioxidants that it contains. Antioxidants can actively increase your wellbeing, and they are also the chemicals that are released in your body after you participate in exercise. As well as this, the antioxidants can actually protect you from the risks of certain types of cancers. Oxidative damage in the body is a contributor to the production of cancerous cells, so antioxidants work as a ‘protector’ of the cells within the body. So, as well as improving your mental health in terms of stress and anxiety, it can also have huge impacts on your physical health too. For me, it is a total no brainer, and I have noticed the impacts on my overall wellbeing from consuming green tea regularly.
Other teas with mental and physical health benefits.
Another type of herbal tea that I regularly drink is camomile tea. I mostly started drinking camomile because I loved the taste of it, however since then I have read around the benefits of it, and just had to include it in this post! I’m willing to give anything a go that has the ability to increase my physical wellness, mental health, and overall mood, so it was great to find out that camomile tea can do just that!
One of they key benefits for me is the increase in serotonin and melotonin in the body after consuming camomile tea. Like GABA, serotonin and melatonin are both forms of neurotransmitter, that sends signals between the brain and central nervous system. Together, they encourage and regulate sleep behaviour, mood, body temperature, and a number of other different factors. Serotonin is most commonly known for its’ ‘feel good’ reaction, that is most commonly linked with an increased general mood and appetite. As a result of this, increased serotonin in the body can help to alleviate symptoms that are commonly associated with stress, anxiety and depression. Melotonin, however, differs slightly, as it regulates and controls sleep. As well as this, camomile tea is non-caffeinated, meaning that it can also help to aid sleep.
Another key benefit of camomile tea is in its anti-inflammatory properties. It has a number of benefits for stomach issues, such as bloating, IBS and menstrual cramps. It can actively reduce the pain associated with issues such as these, and allow you to lead a happier and more comfortable life. Similarly to this, it helps to boost your immune system through its phenolic compounds, and it fights the bacteria within your body, preventing illnesses. You are able to achieve these benefits if you drink a minimum of 1 mug of camomile tea each day. I would say that I consume at least 2 mugs of camomile tea each day, and I have significantly noticed the improvements in my general wellbeing, and in my stomach pains.
Another of my favourite types of tea is peppermint tea. Like camomile tea, it helps to boost your immune system via its anti-bacterial properties. Peppermint tea contains traces of Vitamin B, potassium and calcium, meaning that by drinking it you are increasing your intake of nutrients, which ultimately help to fight illnesses like the common cold. It can also help with blocked sinuses and congestion, similar to the use of rubbing peppermint oil on your chest when you have a cold. Peppermint tea is also an anti-inflammatory, and it can help to reduce your blood pressure, and body temperature. These changes can lead to a higher state of relaxation, and can allow you to physically unwind and de-stress. As a result of this, this type of tea is often used for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. Peppermint oil is used in aromatherapy for the same reasons as this – it’s calming nature, and positive health properties.
Peppermint tea also helps with physical health. It is known to be a carminative, as such, that helps with relieving flatulence. It actively improves your digestive system, and helps you to control your digestion after food. As well as this, it has also been found to be an analgesic, relieving the pain that is associated with issues with your digestive tract. Overall, it is clear that peppermint tea has a number of properties for physical health that can aid to your overall wellness.
Tea is a great way for me to relax, de-stress and unwind. When I am practicing mindfulness, and taking time out for myself, I always do it accompanied by my favourite mug of tea! How do you relax and unwind? Do you use tea to help you with your mental and/or physical health issues? I’d love to hear all about it below – I’m open to suggestions about anything that could improve my wellness!