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Time for tea

Time for tea
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If you’re sipping a cup of tea while reading this, you’re supporting just about every organ in your body. Unsweetened tea is rich in antioxidants, which prevent chronic diseases and help repair cells in the body. “Tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, which contains antioxidants known as catechins, most importantly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG),” says Anthony Kouri, MD, an orthopedic surgeon. “These eliminate free radicals in the body and reduce inflammation.”

So pinkies up; it’s time to learn about the amazing benefits (and just a few risks) of drinking tea.

Learn more about the different types of tea. 

Your risk of certain cancers goes down

Your risk of certain cancers goes down
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The antioxidants and compounds found in tea have been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers. “Beneficial effects have been found in skin, prostate, lung, and breast cancers,” says Uma Naidoo, MD, Director of Nutritional and Lifestyle Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Faculty at Harvard Medical School. “Different types of tea impact different cancers.”

Learn which 20 jobs could increase your risk of cancer. 

Your skin will be healthier

Your skin will be healthier
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Drinking black tea regularly can significantly reduce your risk of skin cancer. Interestingly, how you prepare it makes a difference. “Hot black tea is helpful for squamous carcinoma of the skin,” says Dr. Naidoo. Hot tea has been found to be more beneficial than the iced alternative and brewing time matters.

Learn about 10 sneaky places you can get skin cancer (that aren’t on your skin).

Your risk of diabetes decreases

Your risk of diabetes decreases
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Drinking black tea every day can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by helping to control your blood sugar after meals. According to a study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, black tea can lower your blood sugar after eating foods containing sucrose.

Along with tea, these are the drinks that will help you lose weight. 

Your teeth will be stronger

Your teeth will be stronger
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While sipping tea throughout the day could slightly stain your teeth, it may be worth it. According to a study in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, green tea has an antibacterial effect that could reduce cavity-forming bacteria in your mouth. Drinking green tea every day could also make cavities less severe.

Follow these additional tips for strong, healthy teeth. 

Your heart will thank you

Your heart will thank you
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Tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can keep your blood vessels relaxed and clear, putting less stress on your heart. “Catechins reduce inflammation and thus inhibit plaque formation in vital arteries,” says Dr. Kouri. Dr. Naidoo recommends drinking three cups of black tea per day to achieve the heart benefits.

Here are 45 things heart doctors do to look after their hearts. 

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Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease could decrease

Your risk of Alzheimer’s disease could decrease
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The thought of you or a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease is frightening. It’s important to know the early warning signs and do what you can to prevent it. “Green tea can help you develop resistance against stress, and potentially Alzheimer’s disease,” says Dr. Naidoo. “The polyphenols protect cells from damage.”

Find out what 15 things neurologists do to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. 

Your sleep could improve

Your sleep could improve
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If you spend your nights tossing and turning, try winding down with a cup of tea before bed. “East-Asian medicinal tea can improve insomnia,” says Dr. Naidoo. According to a study in Integrative Medicine Research, drinking tea can help improve sleep and quality of life in those with mild-to-moderate insomnia.

You could also try these 16 bedtime snacks to help you sleep better. 

Your attention span may improve

Your attention span may improve
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The caffeine in tea can improve your attention and alertness. “Theanine is an amino acid that is virtually unique to tea (apart from the fungus Bay bolete),” explains Dr. Naidoo. “It may also improve attention by relaxing the brain, but stimulating it when it is time to focus.” If you ever find yourself having difficulty with focus or concentration, try steeping a warm cup of tea just before it’s time to work.

Your metabolism speeds up

Your metabolism speeds up
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Ready to speed up your metabolism while sitting at your kitchen bench? “The caffeine in tea helps to improve mental acuity as well as increase metabolism and fat burning (up to 100 calories per day),” says Dr. Kouri. Just be sure you’re not overdoing it in the caffeine department. One cup of green tea contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, and Dr. Kouri recommends limiting your daily caffeine intake to no more than 300 to 400 milligrams.

Here are 50 more ways to boost your metabolism. 

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