The signs are clear.
Singaporeans love tea and the beverage is without a doubt picking up steam in the Republic.
And the industry is responding in kind to the hype, with new entrants such as local brand Kittea and international brands Kusmi Tea (from France) and Newby Teas (from London) recently joining the Republic’s F&B scene.
Adding to the brew, there is now even a festival solely for tea lovers.
Organized by retailer The 1872 Clipper Tea Co, the inaugural Singapore Tea Festival, which took place in July of this year, offered attendees the opportunity to sample a wide variety of tea, as well as partake in tea-related workshops and talks.
And unlike most promotional efforts for health trends, which can sometimes be medically unfounded, tea lovers may be on to something here.
According to a recent study, the drink is not only delicious, it can even change a person’s DNA and in doing do, “may play a role in suppressing tumor progression, decreasing inflammation and lowering estrogen levels in women”.
While further research is needed to solidify these findings, there is no doubt that tea is an incredibly healthy beverage.
And to pay homage to this amazing drink, here are 8 reasons why tea can vastly improve your health:
1. Prevent heart attack
Heart attack is a deadly killer. In 2014, the out-of-hospital survival rate for heart attack sufferers in Singapore was only 13.8 per cent, a far cry from some of the better performing cities such as Gothenburg (Sweden) and Seattle (USA), which boast a survival rate of 40 per cent.
And here is where tea comes in.
According to the Harvard Health Letter, their researchers found that those who drink as little as one cup of tea a day were able to lower their risk of heart attacks by a whopping 35 per cent, when compared to non-drinkers.
It is well known that antioxidants provide heaps of health benefits. It can slow down aging and help one’s body cells repair and regenerate.
That being said, tea of all varieties is packed full of polyphenol antioxidants, which can do all of the above and more.
There is also plenty of evidence to suggest that said antioxidants can help keep skin acne-free, with some research claiming that the drink works just as well as benzoyl peroxide, a comparatively harsher substance found in many acne creams.
3. Keep bones strong
While dairy foods such as cheese and milk are great for bones, do not discount the mighty tea just yet.
As opposed to conventional belief, one does not have to add milk in tea to enjoy the advantages of healthy bones. According to research, it was found that tea drinkers have stronger bones; this has been attributed to the phytochemicals in the drink.
On this note, the beverage can also prevent arthritis; with research showing that older female tea drinkers (in their sixties and above) are less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Lower stress levels
After a hard day of work, kicking back in a comfy couch with a hot cuppa in hand would probably be the way to go for most people.
While the feelings of peace and calm might be attributed to the welcoming environment of home, believe it or not, there are other tea-related factors at play too.
Tea is known to lower stress. Black tea, for example, has been proven to cause a drop in cortisol, a type of stress hormone. That being said, one could also try other calming alternatives such as chamomile and peppermint.
5. Prevent bad breath
Speaking of long days at work, a busy day of fast-paced and strenuous activities can sometimes cause the dragon breath to seep out.
To prevent air pollution in your immediate area or sending your colleagues into a comatose state, downing some tea (such as black tea or green tea) is great for weeding out the nasties in your mouth.
Several studies have suggested that the polyphenols in tea can help keep bacteria that cause halitosis in check.
6. Prevent cancer
Cancer is one of the deadliest killers in the world. In Singapore, certain conditions, such as breast and prostate cancer, have been increasing rapidly.
The good news is that those who frequently and consistently consume tea will have a lower chance of contracting said cancers.
While the key here is ‘help prevent’, as there is no surefire way of stopping the deadly condition, sipping your favourite cuppa once a day is definitely worth the preventive benefits.
7. Increase metabolism rate
We have all been there. After months of procrastination, you finally pluck up the courage to weigh yourself. Alas, upon looking down at the weighing scale, the number that greets you looks like a weird version of your IC number.
Well, as most weight loss experts would tell you, eating well is only one half of the battle. The other half is exercise – a crucial activity that can increase your metabolism rate.
However, on some long awaited cheat days, you can compensate the lack of physical activities with some tea.
Drinking green tea regularly, for example, can help you burn around 70 to 80 calories a day. While this might not seem like much, every bit counts and in the long run, burning small amounts of calories every day eventually adds up.
8. Relieve nasal congestion
On some days, the energies of the universe just don’t gel well.
It could be an important presentation you have been hard at work preparing for or it’s the first day of the yearly vacay, but as luck would have it, you are struck with the flu.
But before you throw in the towel (or in this case, the large amounts of used tissue), try adding some freshly squeezed lemon into your tea.
It has been widely proven that the aforementioned combination can effectively relieve blocked noses and help you get on the move sooner.
Everything in moderation
While tea is great for overall health and has many benefits, it is important to note that moderation is key.
After all, drinking too much can cause some dehydration, for example. So while the beverage may be comforting and convenient to reach for, limiting yourself to a cup or two daily should be more than enough to get the bodily engines going.