What’s the tea on tea?

Well, there’s more to this warm beverage than keeping you warm and giving you that feel-good vibe. Tea may help you stave off disease, maintain a healthy weight, ease physical discomfort, and so much more.

Regardless of the variety of teas available at your local supermarket, all "true" teas are derived from the camellia sinensis plant, also known as the tea camellia tree.

The manufacturing process, which includes the time the leaves were harvested, how they were allowed to wither and how long the leaves were oxidised or browned, is what gives each type of true tea its distinct colour and flavour.

Each step in the process has an impact on the appearance and flavour of the tea, while also triggering chemical reactions that alter the micronutrient substance of the leaves.

The good news is that tea contains nutrients that may support a healthy diet. For example:

  • Polyphenols are antioxidants that help fight against free radicals that cause cell damage.
  • Methylxanthine is a stimulant, the most well known of which is caffeine.
  • L-theanine is the amino acid that ensures tea does not make you as jittery as coffee. It keeps you awake, but also relaxes you.

Fill up that cup!

Green tea is high in catechin, an antioxidant compound found in tea leaves. It’s been sipped for centuries and can protect your cells from the damage caused by free radicals. It can also help to:

  • prevent cancer
  • fight heart disease
  • lower blood pressure
  • treat inflammation
  • boost weight loss
  • lower cholesterol

Ginger tea is excellent for gut health and naturally combats nausea, making it a go-to remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy. Ginger also has proven digestive benefits, helping your body move food from your stomach to the rest of your digestive tract. Accelerating that process helps to relieve indigestion and stomach distress.

Herbal tea contains anti-inflammatory properties that help loosen airways constricted from conditions like asthma. To help keep the air flowing, sip herbal teas infused with turmeric, cinnamon, or ginger. A hot cup of herbal tea can also help clear congestion.

Peppermint tea tastes great, smells great and is soothing when you’re down with a cold or flu. It contains menthol, which can help relax sore throat muscles, relieve nasal congestion, and even lower a fever. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties that will help you stay healthy.

Chamomile tea is famous for good reason. It’s long been used as a sleep aid thanks to apigenin, an antioxidant compound and sleep inducer. This antioxidant also helps reduce anxiety and induce a peaceful calm that leads to drowsiness. Chamomile is essentially a mild sedative.

Good to know

There's so much to learn about tea. Each brand and variety have their own distinct flavour profiles and health benefits, but keep in mind that there isn't enough evidence to say that any tea will have a definitive impact on your physical health.


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.