The health benefits of black tea were well known to my great grandma. This little Russian lady swore by black tea for all ailments, and I think that she may have been right. She lived to the age of 107 years old. Her black tea drinking mother died at the age of 110 years old, and we should perhaps pay attention to these two ladies diet.
Apart from a serious amount of walking, they drank 8 – 10 cups of black tea every day. Black tea was always present in our household, but it wasn’t until many years later, scientists discovered that it is packed with flavonoids. They are anti-oxidants which can help us to fight cancer and heart disease. The main flavonoid in black tea is called quercetin. This is one of the most powerful anti-oxidants in the world. There is little wonder that both ladies stayed so healthy and active into old age. Along with a diet rich in home made yogurt, apples from the garden, cruciferous vegetables such as kale and plenty of water, they had a very health lifestyle apart from the odd tipple of Vodka.
The gift of black tea
We now know that black tea can help us lower heart disease, and reduce inflammation. The only problem is that it is very high in caffeine, but the health benefits seem to outweigh the negatives. Black tea can help to reduce cholesterol, and interestingly enough it does so much more effectively in men. That doesn’t mean that you have to drink 8 – 10 cups per day. My two nans drank small cups, two or three mugs of black tea will not do you any harm.
The trick to drinking black tea is to start your day off with a hot steaming mug. Drinking black tea on an empty stomach will kick start to liver, and it will now keep working more effectively for the rest of the day. Drink another mug of black tea before your lunch and another with your dinner. That’s it, it is as easy as that!
The good news is that the caffeine will probably be absorbed by the food that you eat, and this is why so many drinkers of black tea say that they don’t experience a caffeine high. I drink black tea very day and have never experienced what I call a coffee high. I only get that from coffee.
My crazy great grandma used black tea for other things as well. Our home baked bread was full of it, and we even had to suffer it in our tea bread. Lots of Russian tea breads are made using dried fruits and black tea. It is a delicious combination, and brings out the flavor of the dried fruit.
What else can black tea do for you?
Well, my two nans did not suffer from heart disease nor did they suffer from arthritis. We are learning more and more about the magic of quercetin, and we know it can help to reduce inflammation. I recently recommended black tea to a friend of mine who suffers with arthritis in her knees.
At first, she wasn’t very keen on the idea, but after a week, she found that the pain had gone away. Two weeks later she was swimming and walking her dog. She is still drinking the tea but at the same time she has added a quercetin supplement. So, if black tea can cure arthritis of the knees, it can cure other inflammation in the body as well. Pain is more than often a sign of inflammation somewhere in the body. The thing is that inflammation always seem to respond better to natural products such as black tea.
Quercetin can also be found in apples, berries such as strawberries and even beer containing hoops. The herb Gingko biloba is packed with it as well. You can take quercetin as a stand alone supplements, but it seems to work better together with other flavonoids. As fruit, and black tea, contain many other health ingredients, it could be a better idea to include them in your diet instead.
If you do want to take a quercetin supplement, you should always do so in the morning before you have anything to eat. But why not enjoy the many health benefits of black tea instead.