7 Health Benefits of Black Tea (and Possible Side Effects)

cup of black tea and black tea leaves

Black tea is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, second to water. There is no doubt black tea has countless health benefits to offer, seeing it has been a part of numerous cultures across the globe for thousands of years. The oxidation process is thought to be a contributor to the many health benefits of black tea. Keep reading to learn more about why black tea is more than just a tasty drink!

What is black tea?

The most well-known and popular tea across the globe, black tea is made of fully oxidized leaves from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Known for its dark rich color, and bold flavors, black tea is the one that is most often referred to in Western culture. 

What are the different types of black tea?

There is a wide variety of black teas on the market, for a wide range of tastes! Below is a list of some of the most well-known black teas, and links to our guides on everything you need to know about each one:

  1. Assam tea
  2. Ceylon tea
  3. Darjeeling tea
  4. Keemun tea
  5. Masala chai
  6. Earl grey tea
  7. English Breakfast tea
  8. Irish Breakfast tea

7 Health Benefits of Black Tea:

1. Rich in antioxidants

Black tea provides an abundance of antioxidants and other compounds which may protect your cells from free radicals, help decrease inflammation, and reduce the risk for certain chronic conditions

2. May improve heart health

Studies have shown that up to 3 cups of black tea a day can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. The polyphenols and flavonoids found in black tea may also help prevent plaque buildup within the arteries and improve cholesterol levels. 

3. May aid oral health

The polyphenols found in black tea may help combat bad breath and even inhibit the growth of oral bacteria! As a natural source of fluoride, black tea may also help to fend off other oral infections, such as cavities and strep throat. 

4. May be anti-inflammatory

If you’re hoping to reduce inflammation, sip a cup of black tea! The brew contains theaflavin, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

5. May help control blood sugar levels

One of the many benefits of black tea includes the potential to lower your blood sugar! In fact, some studies have shown that unsweetened black tea is “a promising anti-diabetic agent for glycemic control”, making it a healthy drink option to reach for. 

6. May help lower cholesterol

It’s no secret that tea is believed to contribute to overall heart health. One of these benefits includes the possibility to lower cholesterol. It is believed that the catechins found in black tea have a cholesterol-lowering effect. In fact, one study showed a “6 to 10 percent reduction in blood lipids in black tea drinkers in just three weeks”!

7. May help reduce stress

While most people find a warm cup of tea relaxing, it turns out that black tea may scientifically be able to help you recover quicker from a stressful day. One study, in particular, showed that after consuming black tea, subjects had lower post-stress cortisol levels and greater subjective relaxation.

Possible Side Effects of Black Tea:

Black tea, when had in moderation, is generally considered safe for most people. However, there are always possible side effects. Some consumers may be more sensitive to things like caffeine than others and may experience caffeine-related side effects. Furthermore, if you have specific health conditions, you may need to avoid beverages such as black tea. Always speak to your doctor or health care provider to clarify it if is safe for your unique situation.

1. Upset Stomach

The caffeine found in black tea may cause digestive issues, upset stomach, and/or nausea for those that are sensitive, or if it is consumed in large quantities. 

2. Trouble Sleeping

It is not advisable to consume black tea before bed, as the caffeine content may cause things like difficulty sleeping, headache, jitteriness, or irregular heartbeat. If you experience any of these symptoms after drinking black tea, refrain from future consumption and contact your healthcare provider.

3. Use caution during pregnancy and while breastfeeding

It is recommended that pregnant and breastfeeding women avoid or limit their consumption of caffeine; discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation. Beware that overconsumption of black tea during pregnancy can lead to complications such as miscarriage. 

4. Use caution if you have heart conditions or high blood pressure.

High levels of caffeine can cause irregular heartbeats and may also increase blood pressure in those with already high blood pressure. If you suffer from any heart conditions or hypertension, use caution and speak with your doctor before adding it to your diet. 

In conclusion, black tea is a popular and delicious beverage with several positive health benefits and may be a great drink option, when consumed in moderation, for many people. 

Disclaimer: The information found in this post is for informational purposes only, and is in no way medical advice. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider for any questions or concerns you have regarding your personal health situation and before introducing something new to your diet, such as black tea. 

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