For centuries, tea has been known not just for drinking purposes but also for its medicinal properties and usage in healing from different ailments. In the past couple of years, people have become much more aware of the health benefits that are associated with tea. After all, there has been so much of research on this and the subsequent findings have further confirmed the health benefits of tea.
In honour of World Cancer Day on the 4th of February, we highlight some of the ways in which tea prevents cancer.
1. Green Tea
All the marketing campaigns and research have finally borne fruit
It is common knowledge that all teas originate from the same plant. What makes green tea the top dog amongst teas when it comes to cancer fighting properties, is the manufacturing style. Green tea is a completely unfermented tea and that is the chief reason why it retains 40% of polyphenols in weight once it is dry. The most powerful catechin (attributed with tea’s health benefits) is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) which contains 50-70% of catechins in green tea. It has the ability to stem the growth of cancer cells. When compared to the antioxidant properties of Vitamin C and Vitamin E, surprisingly, EGCG has a much more potent effect. Food for thought they say!
2. Black Tea
The most popular variety of tea in the world has an ace up its sleeve
The health benefits associated with black tea is probably one of the most researched and studied topics. Reports in the past have shown that some chemicals like flavonols and flavonoids which are present in black tea reduce the chances of ovarian cancer. It was found that drinking a couple of cups of black tea reduced the risk of endothelial ovarian cancer by a massive 31%. Another major anti-cancer benefit of black tea is that it hinders the growth and formation of malignant tumors.
3. Chamomile Tea
This stress reliever seems to further reduce stress due to its hidden talent
A major chunk of its reputation may be built on the fact that most people drink chamomile in order to feel relaxed and bring about sleep. A little known fact is that this type of tea has a chemical called apigenin which has major anti-inflammatory properties and has been known to prevent cancer cells from spreading. Being caffeine free, what better way to beat cancer than while catching up on some shut-eye.
4. White Tea
Boost your energy with this rarity while staving off a deadly illness
One of the lesser known facts is that white tea contains the most amount of polyphenols amongst all types of tea. It also has similar levels of EGCG compared to green tea. So, it does not come as a surprise that researchers found that white tea is as effective as the prescription drug ‘sulindac’ when it comes to preventing colon tumors. While this type of tea is deemed luxurious, it’s health benefits also seem to complement that tag. The nominal amounts of caffeine in this semi-fermented tea is also the perfect answer to an energy kick.
5. Dandelion Tea
This common weed which inhabits most gardens is not as worthless as most think
While this would seem like a surprise to a lot of people, truth is, dandelion has been used in China for a long time due to its medicinal purposes. Various parts of this common weed have benefitted people for ages and is being linked to cancer prevention of late. Dandelion contains potassium, magnesium, folic acid, calcium, riboflavin, thiamin and a host of vitamins (A/C/B6/K). Reports in the past have shown that dandelion has had effects on cancerous cells in as little as 48 hours. The roots are said to have properties that boost immunity.
Tea drinking has been one of the most loved things across the planet for ages. Some health benefits of tea have had to take a back seat due to pharmaceutical drugs in the past. But, as we look towards the future, it seems scientists around the world have gone back to looking at some of the more natural ways in which tea prevents cancer.