Even though the month of National Hot Tea Month ends tomorrow, you can reap the many health benefits of this hot beverage all year.
Originally used for medicinal purposes, hot tea has been consumed for thousands of centuries. We now know that hot tea does, in fact, provide a myriad of health benefits.
Benefits of Hot Tea
Hot tea contains antioxidants called flavonoids, perhaps the most well-known and potent of which is ECGC. These flavonoids help protect our cells from free radical damage, which can cause cancer, heart disease, dementia and aging. Plus, caffeinated tea can give us a little mental boost.
- Green tea contains the highest amount of ECGC. Green tea has been shown to help prevent cancer cell growth, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s, improve cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
- Black tea tends to contain the highest levels of caffeine, and may help reduce the risk of stroke.
- White tea tends to be the least processed and, therefore, often contains the highest antioxidant properties.
- Herbal tea contains no caffeine and and the lowest antioxidant levels, but has been shown to possibly protect against colds and improve sleep.
Hot Tea and Kindness
Regardless of which type of tea is your go-to, this health benefit of hot beverages is possibly my favorite one of all. A study out of University of Colorado at Boulder found that even just holding a hot beverage may prompt us to see people in a kinder, gentler light. Researchers found that participants who held warm beverage “judged a target person as having a ‘warmer’ personality (generous, caring).” Experts suspect this response could be because warm beverages elicit similar feelings as being hugged. Or, perhaps it’s a womb thing.
I personally love hot tea. I drink several cups a day. And, I don’t know about you, but I totally get the hot-tea-as-a-hug concept. Holding–and drinking–hot tea forces me to slow down, be patient (or get burned!) and, sometimes, even smile.