- Black tea may help stave off health issues like heart disease and stroke, new study suggests.
- Drinking 2 or more cups of black tea daily was linked to lower risk of early death in UK residents.
- Plant compounds in the tea can boost your health, even if you add milk and sugar, researchers found.
A daily habit of drinking tea could help you live a longer, healthier life, particularly if you drink two cups or more, suggests a study published August 29 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health looked at data from nearly 500,000 UK residents, aged 40 to 60, to compare tea habits with mortality rates from all causes.
They found that people who drank at least two cups of black tea per day were 9-13% less likely to die over about 11 years of follow-up than their peers who didn’t drink tea. Drinking more tea was also linked to lower risk of heart disease or stroke.
The benefits held true even for tea drinkers who added milk, sugar, or both to their daily brew, according to data. Researchers also found that the temperature of the tea didn’t seem to matter, contrary to prior concerns about very hot beverages linked to some cancers.
Previous research linking tea to health benefits has focused on green tea, but black tea is a common daily habit in the UK, with 85% of the study participants drinking at least some tea regularly.
The findings suggest your daily cup could be a healthy habit to stave off chronic disease, no matter how you take your tea, according to the researchers.
Black tea is good for you because it’s rich in plant-based nutrients called polyphenols, evidence suggests
The researchers in the most recent study hypothesized that the benefits of tea drinking are linked to chemicals in the plant called polyphenols and flavonoids, which can help lower inflammation. A specific type of polyphenols called catechins have an antioxidant effect inside the body, reducing stress on the cells and helping to reduce risk of disease.
Green tea is similarly healthy and rich in polyphenols. The difference is that black tea is prepared by exposing the tea leaves to oxygen, creating the distinctive darker color and flavor profile.
Black tea, like green tea or coffee, also contains caffeine. Drinking too much caffeine can have side effects, especially in a short period of time, including anxiety, rapid heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and digestive issues. Caffeine in tea or coffee is generally considered safe and even has benefits for a healthy metabolism, energy levels, mental focus, and athletic performance, according to previous research.