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The Healthy Benefits of Black Tea

The Healthy Benefits of Black Tea

In the film Green Tea, a woman named Wu Fang (played by Zhao Wei) orders a cup of green tea on every date, hoping that by reading the tea leaves she’ll be able to predict her future with each man she meets. Unfortunately she’s never able to get a fix on anyone’s character and goes from one disastrous encounter to the next. Although green tea is tasty and packed with well-established health benefits, maybe she should have tried ordering black tea instead!

Lab research published in the European Journal of Nutrition shows that decaffeinated black tea is great for your inner life. It works as a powerful prebiotic and promotes weight loss, even when eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet, by decreasing the percentage of gut bacteria associated with obesity and increasing bacteria associated with lean body mass.

Decaf green tea also promotes healthy gut bacteria and weight loss, and previous research asserted green tea delivered more health benefits than black. But the researchers say their new findings suggest that, “through a specific mechanism in the gut microbiome, [black tea] may also contribute to good health and weight loss in humans.”

Since caffeine isn’t required to get health benefits from tea, you can always sip an after-dinner cup. Enjoy what researchers in a study in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition say are the brews’ “anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anticarcinogenic, antihypertensive, neuroprotective, cholesterol-lowering and thermogenic properties” that help prevent a wide range of diseases. Now that’s a mouthful.

Medically reviewed in February 2020.

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