Tea has found its way into our culture. Did you know that tea was born a very long time ago in Chinese monasteries? Then, japanese buddhist monks adapted it to their taste. Now tea is everywhere and many popular beliefs make you wonder its health benefits.
Indeed, there are so many tea choices now: it can be black, green, white and in tea bags or loose leaves… It can be a bit overwhelming when you’re in front of the tea section at the supermarket.
Well, don’t worry, we’ve heard you! You’ll see below the most popular ideas received about tea and the final truth about all of them.
If you have any questions about this article, or other ideas received you would like us to talk about, don’t hesitate to drop us a comment below 🙂
#1: Theine and Caffeine Are Basically the Same
Theine and caffeine are similar alkaloids, however tea only contains a small amount of theine (about 40mg per cup). For instance, you’ll need to drink 2 cups of 150ml of tea to get the same amount of 1 cup of coffee.
Also, there is not only theine that has a stimulant effect but also threanine, which is an amino acid specific of tea.
These 2 substances make tea a soft stimulating drink.
#2: Tea Blocks Iron Absorption
Never drink tea during or straight after your meals. It will block or decrease your iron absorption from food of plant origin, such as cereals, fresh and dried vegetables. So better is to wait a few hours after the end of your meal to take a good cup of tea, especially if you’re iron needs are high (children, vegetarians, pregnant women).
If you do drink tea during your meals, prefer to take it with meats, fish and poultry. The inhibitory effect of flavonoids contained in tea can be offset by these foods.
In order for iron to be absorbed at its most, eat some foods which are high in vitamin C, such as citrus or berries for instance.
#3: Infused and Darker Tea Are More Stimulant Than Light One
And that is wrong! Indeed, theine is diffused in hot water and then comes the tannins. A dark tea is usually loaded with tannins, which stop the absorption of theine in the guts. That’s why a less infused tea is more stimulating than a dark one.
Everything depends on how long you infuse your tea. It has to be infused long enough for the theine to be diffused and not too long for the tannins. If you only drop for a few seconds your tea bag in hot water, you won’t get any theine or tannins. You have to wait a few minutes so that the theine slowly diffused.
If you want to learn how to take tea to a whole new level, check out our article on The Japanese Tea Ceremony!
#4: Drinking Tea Makes You Lose Weight
Tea contains theobromine and alkaloids that stimulate kidneys and improve blood circulation. Basically, tea will make you have a flat stomach by draining extracellular liquids.
Note that some studies on green tea show that it help you lose weight and burn more calories. However, these researches are based on strong concentrate green tea. Be careful on what’s written and marketed as no study actually proved today that the tea that is sold will make you lose weight.
#5: Tea Is Loaded with Antioxidants
One cup of green tea or dark infused tea contains between 150 to 200 mg of flavonoids. Green tea is loaded with catechins and black one with theaflavins and thearulins. Note that black tea doesn’t contain catechins at all as they have been destroyed during the drying process.
Loose green tea contains 5 times more catechins than other teas. That’s the one with the highest level of antioxidants.
Either green and black tea have many benefits on your health. They prevent from coronary diseases and stomach and skin cancers. Flavonoids help to enhance your immune system and protect your teeth.
Note that even if tea is a natural source of antioxidant, it should not replace the consumption fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants, vitamins and other essential nutrients.
#6: Green Tea Is Better for Health Than Black Tea
Did you know that all the teas, green and black, come from the same plant? The only difference is the nature of polyphenols. However, their antioxidants activities are about the same, as well as their benefits on health.
There are no major difference between green tea and black tea: it’s only a question of taste!
#7: Red Tea Does Not Contain Any Theine
Red team comes from a south african plant which doesn’t contain any theine. You can drink it anytime, even at night.
It has about half less antioxidants than other ones. However, its compounds are less known than the ones of normal tea. It’s hard to know exactly which health benefits red tea have.
Note that chinese red tea actually is western black tea. Chinese called it red because it’s dark red once it’s infused.
#8: Tea Has Anticancer Properties
As said in the #5 Idea Received, tea do prevent from cancers. Studies show that tea leaves are extremely high in anticancer agents thanks to catechins molecules. These substances can block vascularisation, and the growth of tumours.
#8: Adding Milk or Lemon Badly Affect Active Properties of Tea
✅ True …
Milk can indeed affect the antioxidant properties of tea.
❌ and False!
However, lemon, which is high in vitamin C, actually improves your iron absorption.