4 Surprising Reasons To Add Black Tea To Your Diet


Published: November 17, 2015

Black tea is one of the world’s most consumed beverages. Not to be confused with tea drunk without additives like cream, milk and/or sweetener, the term “black” in tea actually refers to the type of leaf used and the amount of browning (oxidation) it is allowed to go through before drying.

The longer tea leaves are allowed to oxidize, the stronger the flavor and aroma of the beverage. Black tea is oxidized longer than teas like white, oolong and green which often receive little to no oxidation. Herbal teas on the other hand are classified differently as they come from herbal plants and not the Camellia sinens plant from which tea originates.

Despite the recent increased popularity of herbal and green tea in Nigeria, black tea remains one of the most popular beverages.

In addition to being a low calorie, thirst quenching drink that can lift your spirits, black tea has some amazing benefits you probably did not know about. Depending on the variety of tea , non-black teas may or may not possess these benefits.

1. Black tea is great for strong teeth and bones.

Black tea is a great source of polyphenols and fluoride which play a role in bone and teeth formation and strength. The Mediterranean Osteoporosis study associated tea drinking with a 30% reduction in hip fracture risk in both women and men over 50 years of age. In addition to strengthening the enamel (outer covering) of teeth, a brewed cup of tea also contains compounds that are capable of fighting decay causing bacteria. Watch the sweeteners though, adding excess sweeteners like sugar and honey packs on calories and negates tea’s tooth decay fighting properties.

2. Black tea improves blood sugars

A 2009 study published in the journal Diabetologia suggested that drinking 3 cups of black tea daily decreased the risk of diabetes by 40%. This is because the polyphenols in tea enhance insulin’s ability to lower blood glucose (sugar) levels. As with oral health, adding sugar negates this benefit and some studies suggest that adding milk, nondairy cream and soymilk may also have a negative effect on insulin response. Lemon however had no effect and may be a flavoring for tea.

3. Black tea protects the heart

The flavonoids found in tea have been demonstrated to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and blood clotting factors known to cause stroke. Researchers in the Netherlands followed study participants for 13 years and concluded that people who drank 3-6 cups of tea per day were 45 % less likely to die from heart disease than those who drank less than one cup.

4. Black tea may prevent cancer

Although research on tea for cancer prevention in humans is inconclusive, the National Cancer Institute, (USA), states that regular consumption of tea may reduce an individual’s chances of developing cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, prostrate and lung. The inconclusive data may be due to differences in factors such as the type of tea brewing methods, production, concentration and personal lifestyle choices that impact cancer risk like smoking, dietary habits and physical activity.

Bottom Line
Tea is an excellent addition to any diet. In addition to being a low calorie beverage, it can have excellent health benefits. To maximize upon these benefits:

  1. Drink at least 3-6 cups per day
  2. Avoided added sugar and calorific sweeteners
  3. To improve blood sugars, limit use of milk, creamers and soy and choose lemon instead.

Here’s to your health!

Like what you're reading? Sign up for our free newsletter and never miss a post! Plus get a FREE digital version of our Issue No.10 with sign up.


About Cordialis Msora-Kasago

Cordialis Msora-Kasago is a Registered Dietitian (R.D) and a pioneer in the discussion of modern day healthy lifestyles in Africa. She is the founder of The African Pot Nutrition - an organization that improves the health of African people through sustainable diet and lifestyle programs. Follow her on twitter @africadietitian.

Visit My Website
View All Posts
Shop Now

Leave a Comment