6 Teas With Antioxidants That May Help Strongly Fight Diseases Caused By Free Radical Damage!
Teas with antioxidants are gradually becoming very popular across wide sections of the populace in many parts of the globe. Antioxidants in tea and other herbal drinks are the veritable "secret ingredients" that make these popular drinks so highly valued the world over. These compounds and substances are the agents that enable these beverages to impart their positive health benefits to their drinkers.
Antioxidants are compounds that may help fight and counter the damages caused by free radicals in the body. What are free radicals? Well, these are the harmful by-products and side effects generated by the normal everyday bodily processes that involve oxygen. Since the body requires oxygen at all times to fully function, the body is similarly exposed to the dangerous free radicals produced by the interaction of oxygen with different extraneous variables like bad diet, impure environment, tobacco, and adverse physiological & psychological factors.
When these free radicals are unleashed in the body, they have the potential to wreak havoc on the different organs, tissues and parts of the body by causing conditions that may impair and impede their proper functioning.
To counteract the disastrous effect of these oxidants or free radicals, individuals need to introduce antioxidants to their bodies. These can usually be found in the foods and drinks that people consume through their meals. Since these antioxidants are largely found in plants and crops, diets that are quite heavy on vegetables and greens are more likely to impart these substances to eaters than those that eat a lot of meats and starches.
Teas and herbal tisanes are great sources of antioxidants as they are derived from herbs and plants that are rich in these healthy compounds and substances. Here are a few teas with antioxidants:
Green tea and white tea
Teas have always been included in lists of so-called superfoods or health foods due to their high complement of antioxidants. All true teas come from a single plant - the camellia sinensis plant - which grows in many parts of Asia like China , Japan , India , Sri Lanka and Taiwan. From this plant come several tea varieties. These teas are green tea, white tea, black tea and oolong tea.
Of these, it is believed that white tea and green tea have the greatest concentration of antioxidants due to their having undergone the least amount of oxidation. Less oxidation means that they retain most of the naturally-occurring healthy chemical compounds in them.
EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate is the most dominant form of antioxidant polyphenol found in green tea and white tea. Many studies and researches have been conducted on the possible therapeutic applications of the EGCG antioxidant. Consequently, there have been a lot of promising findings on the potentials of the EGCG antioxidant as a nutritional supplement for fighting a host of ailments and diseases such as cancer, atherosclerosis, diabetes, HIV infection, and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease.
The Chinese and Japanese people have also largely linked green tea to longevity and rejuvenation. White tea, while less known than green tea, have always been popular in certain areas in China and are now getting recognition in wider areas of the globe.
Hibiscus tea is a tart and tangy herbal infusion made from the bright red hibiscus flowers that grow in many tropical countries the world over. This tea is typically drunk either hot or cold.
This herbal drink is believed to contain a host of flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds, mucilage, and anthocyanins that impart a wide variety of health benefits to its drinkers. A recent Taiwanese study conducted in the Chung Shan Medical University has found that these antioxidant compounds were associated with lowering the oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL), also known as bad cholesterol, which is related to increased risk for heart and cardiovascular diseases.
Furthermore, a 2008 USDA study showed that consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults. Data gathered therein support the idea that drinking hibiscus tea in an amount readily incorporated into the diet may play a role in controlling blood pressure, although more research is required.
Hibiscus tea was also observed to possess astringent, antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that may help with strengthening the resistance to harmful foreign bodies that cause many ailments and diseases.
This herbal tisane also contains a good amount of vitamin C and other health food nutrients. These compounds along with the aforementioned antioxidant substances were found to impart the hibiscus tea benefits that help stimulate vasodilation, improve the flow of blood and promote urine excretion in individuals who drink this.
Bilberry tea is derived from the perennial shrub that's a relative of blueberry, cranberry and huckleberry. Growing to a height of about 16 inches, the bilberry has sharp edged leaves, green branches and black wrinkled berries. The bilberry fruit has the taste and appearance of its cousin, the blueberry.
Bilberry contains antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanosides. These are actually plant pigments that give the fruit its dark blue hue. Anthocyanosides scavenge the free radicals strewn across the body, thus helping prevent or reverse cell damage. Vitamin C is also present in bilberry fruit, itself another antioxidant.
The anthocyanosides are said to be useful for people with vision problems such as night blindness. Anthocyanidins apparently boost the production of rhodopsin, a pigment that improves night vision and helps the eye adapt to light changes. Bilberry has also been suggested as a treatment for retinopathy (damage to the retina) as well as cataracts, but studies are still lacking in these areas.
Antioxidants in bilberry tea have also been shown to help prevent a number of long term illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and an eye disorder called macular degeneration. These compounds help build strong blood vessels and improve circulation to all areas of the body. They also prevent blood platelets from clumping together (helping to reduce the risk of blood clots), and they have antioxidant properties (preventing or reducing damage to cells from free radicals). Bilberry fruit is also rich in tannins, a substance that acts as an astringent. The tannins have anti-inflammatory properties and may help control diarrhea.
Turmeric tea comes from the spice most popularly used on the Indian subcontinent. It is a yellow-colored spice with a mellow, mildly spicy, and somewhat earthy flavoring.
Turmeric's primary active component is a molecule called curcumin. While it is responsible for giving the spice its bright yellow color, it is also a potent antioxidant that acts as a scavenger of free radicals. It is also believed to help inhibit the peroxidation of lipids, as well as to disrupt the progress of aberrant inflammation. It is also thought to help diffuse the deposition of plaque in various circulatory passageways and in vital organs of the body.
Consequently, turmeric tea may help fight a host of serious ailments such as cancers, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer's Disease, ulcerative colitis, arthritis, diarrhea and many more.
Turmeric tea also has anti-fungal and general antiobiotic properties that make it a valuable fighter in warding off diseases caused by viruses, bacteria and microbes.
Rooibos tea is a fruity and pleasant-tasting drink that comes from the leaves and stems of the plant Aspalathus linearis which is indigenous to South Africa. Rooibos tea is also known as 'red bush' tea and typically grows on high altitudes.
Of late, rooibos tea has been gaining a lot of attention for a variety of medicinal and clinical purposes. These have largely been attributed to its considerable antioxidant content.
Rooibos tea contains many different antioxidant compounds. The main flavonoids in rooibos tea are aspalathin, rutin, orientin, quercetin, luteolin, and nothofagin. There are also bioactive phenolic compounds such as dihydrochalcones, flavonols, flavanones, flavones, and flavanols. There is also the chrysoeriol flavonoid (luteolin 3'-methyl ether) which is believed to posses its anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties. It is also a source of Superoxide Dismutase or SOD, which is another potent blocker of oxidative damage.
Aside from its abundance of antioxidants, rooibos tea is also popular among health-conscious individuals for its lack of caffeine and its low tannin levels.
Consequently, rooibos tea is believed to be a helpful partner in preventing and fighting against various cancers, cardiovascular ailments, as well as digestive and neural disorders. It has also been widely used to help alleviate infantile colic, allergies, asthma and dermatological problems.
It may thus be a wise decision to regularly drink teas with antioxidants. There are a lot of health benefits that can be derived by taking these teas. And if people want to gain a much healthier body, it would be best to start drinking them now.
So the next time you feel like having a drink of soda or coffee, you might want to go for teas with antioxidants like the ones mentioned above. With these brews, you are virtually assured of getting a refreshing drink, as well as a healthier body.
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