Black tea is rich in antioxidants that may provide benefits including improved heart and gut health, lowered “bad” LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
Aside from water, black tea is one of the most consumedTrusted Source beverages in the world.
It comes from the Camellia sinensis plant and is often blended with other plants for different flavors, such as Earl Grey or chai.
It’s stronger in flavor and contains more caffeine than other teas, but less caffeine than coffee.
Black tea also offers a variety of health benefits because it contains antioxidants and compounds that may help reduce inflammation in the body.
Benefits of black tea
Here are 10 health benefits of black tea, all supported by science.
1. Has antioxidant properties
Antioxidants are known to provide a host of health benefits.
Consuming them can help remove free radicals and decrease cell damage in the body. This ultimately may help decrease the risk of chronic disease (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).
Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant found in certain foods and beverages, including black tea.
Groups of polyphenols, including catechins, theaflavins, and thearubigins, are the main sources of antioxidants in black tea and may promote overall health (3Trusted Source).
In fact, one study in rats examined the role of theaflavins and thearubigins in black tea and the risk of diabetes, obesity, and elevated cholesterol. Results showed that theaflavins and thearubigins reduced cholesterol and blood sugar levels (4Trusted Source).
An older study examined the role of catechins from oolong tea on body weight. It found that those who consumed 690 mg of catechins from tea on a daily basis for 12 weeks showed a decrease in body fat (5Trusted Source).
While many supplements contain antioxidants, the best way to consume them is through food and beverages. In fact, some research has found that taking antioxidants in supplement form may harm your health (6Trusted Source).
Black tea contains a group of polyphenols that have antioxidant properties. Consuming antioxidants may help decrease the risk of chronic disease and improve your overall health.
2. May boost heart health
Black tea contains another group of antioxidants called flavonoids, which benefit heart health.
Along with tea, flavonoids can be found in vegetables, fruits, red wine, and dark chocolate.
Consuming them on a regular basis may help reduce many risk factors for heart disease, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated triglyceride levels, and obesity (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
One large review of studies found that for every cup of tea consumed daily, there was a 4% lower risk of death from heart disease, 2% lower risk of heart attack and other cardiovascular events, a 4% lower risk of stroke, and a 1.5% lower risk of death from all causes (9Trusted Source).
Another large prospective study found that people who drank tea daily had an 8% reduced risk of heart disease and a 10% reduced risk of major cardiac events, like heart attack, compared to those who had not drunk tea in the previous 12 months (10Trusted Source).
Adding black tea to your daily routine is an easy way to incorporate antioxidants into your diet and potentially reduce your risk of future health complications.
Black tea contains flavonoids, which are beneficial for heart health. Studies have found that regularly drinking black tea may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
3. May lower “bad” LDL cholesterol
The body contains two lipoproteins that transport cholesterol throughout the body.
One is low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and the other is high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
LDL is considered the “bad” lipoprotein because it transports cholesterol to cells throughout the body. Meanwhile, HDL is considered the “good” lipoprotein because it transports cholesterol away from your cells and to the liver to be removed from the bloodstream.
When there is too much LDL in the body, it can build up in the arteries and cause waxy deposits called plaques. This can lead to problems like heart failure or stroke.
Fortunately, some studies have found that consuming tea may help reduce LDL cholesterol.
One review of well-designed studies found that drinking black tea significantly reduced LDL cholesterol by 4.64mg/dL (11Trusted Source). This effect was more pronounced in people with higher cardiovascular risk.
However, in another well-designed study, drinking five cups of black tea daily did not significantly change levels of total, HDL, or LDL cholesterol in people with borderline-high cholesterol compared to a placebo (12Trusted Source).
LDL and HDL are two types of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol throughout the body. Too much LDL in the body can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. Studies have found that black tea may help reduce LDL levels, but results are mixed.
4. May improve gut health
Studies have found that the type of bacteria in your gut may play a significant role in your health.
While some of the bacteria in your gut are beneficial for your health, some are not.
In fact, some studies have suggested that the type of bacteria in your gut may play an important role in reducing the risk of certain health conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and even cancer (13Trusted Source).
The polyphenols found in black tea may help maintain a healthy gut by promoting the growth of good bacteria and inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria (14Trusted Source).
In addition, black tea may contain antimicrobial properties that kill off harmful substances and improve gut bacteria and immunity by helping repair the lining of the digestive tract.
However, further research is needed before a strong conclusion can be made regarding the role of black tea and immune function (15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source).
The gut houses trillions of bacteria and the majority of your immune system. Polyphenols and antimicrobial properties found in black tea may help improve gut health and immunity.
5. May help reduce blood pressure
High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart and kidney failure, stroke, vision loss, and heart attacks. Fortunately, changes in your diet and lifestyle can lower your blood pressure (17Trusted Source).
One review of well-designed studies looked at the effects of drinking tea on blood pressure in people with hypertension, or high blood pressure.
The review found that regular tea intake helped lower systolic blood pressure by 4.81 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.98 mm Hg in people with hypertension (18Trusted Source). Further, those who drank tea regularly for longer than three months experienced even greater decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Another review of studies looking at the effects of black tea on blood pressure found that drinking black tea significantly reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure compared to control (19Trusted Source). The effects were more pronounced for men and people who drank black tea for longer than seven days.
Drinking black tea on a daily basis, as well as incorporating other lifestyle modifications like stress management strategies, may benefit those with high blood pressure.
High blood pressure can cause many health complications. Drinking black tea on a regular basis may help decrease systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
6. May help reduce the risk of stroke
A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain is either blocked or ruptures. It’s the second leading cause of death worldwide (20Trusted Source).
Fortunately, 80% of strokes are preventable. For example, managing your diet, physical activity, blood pressure, and not smoking can help reduce the risk of stroke (21Trusted Source).
Interestingly, studies have found that drinking black tea may also help reduce the risk of stroke.
One prospective study of 365,682 people looked at the association between drinking tea or coffee and the risk of stroke, dementia, and post-stroke dementia.
After following participants for over 11 years, the study found that those who drank at least two cups of tea had a 16% lower risk of ischemic stroke compared to those who did not drink tea (22Trusted Source).
Another study used genetic predictors associated with tea consumption to determine the association between drinking tea and stroke risk.
The study found that if you are genetically predisposed to drinking more tea per day, you also have a lower risk of stroke (23Trusted Source).
Stroke is the second leading cause of death globally. Fortunately, in many cases, it can be prevented. Studies have found that black tea may help reduce the risk of stroke.
Source -: https://www.healthline.com/