|Did You Know?
It is believed that the recipe for making this tea was handed over to Earl Charles Grey in 1830, by a mandarin when he visited China. He had received the tea along with the recipe as a gesture of gratitude for saving the life of the Chinese mandarin.
Quintessentially a British tea, Earl Grey tea is popular for its fragrant flavor throughout the world. Integral to English breakfast, this tea is a blend of black tea leaves complemented with oil extracted from the rind of bergamot orange. The bold citrus flavor of the tea is due to the presence of bergamot, which makes it highly refreshing. This scented and flavored tea is also low in caffeine, with a cup containing around 14 to 61 mg of coffee. Comparatively, a regular cup of coffee contains at least 95 mg of coffee. The following are some important benefits of Earl Grey tea.
1. High in Antioxidants
Early Grey tea can deliver an antioxidant boost, that can promote overall health. Its superior antioxidant content makes it ideal for slowing down the aging process. For instance, the concentration of catechins (type of disease-fighting antioxidants) is pretty high in this tea. Moreover, the tea is blended with bergamot essential oil, which also exhibits potent antioxidant activity. So, drinking this tea that is offering high levels of antioxidants can boost immunity and neutralize free radicals, in turn reducing the risk of dreaded diseases like cancer.
2. Promotes Dental Health
For healthy and strong teeth, we are often advised to brush with fluoridated toothpaste. However, did you know that Earl Grey tea naturally contains a great deal of fluoride, which too can contribute to keep your pearly whites healthy, free from tooth decay and cavities. Moreover, the tea is also rich in catechins - antioxidants that can also positively affect dental health. Catechins display antibacterial activity, and can also be helpful in combating a wide range of dental problems. So, regularly drinking this tea can go a long way in keeping your dental health at its best.
3. Good for Hydration
With the caffeine content considerably low, but containing high amount of potassium, Earl Grey tea can be helpful for hydrating the body. As we all know, the electrolyte potassium plays a crucial role in maintaining proper fluid balance in the body. Hence, increasing potassium intake through herbal teas like this one can certainly contribute to one staying hydrated.
4. Boosts the Mood
Bergamot essential oil, an important constituent of this tea, helps calm and relieve stress. The essential oil is relaxing and mood uplifting. So, having this tea may benefit in 'diffusing' tension and anxiety associated with one's day-to-day routine.
A study reported in the 2012 issue of Preventive Medicine observed that, subjects who were drinking 3 cups of black tea (no sugar or milk) everyday for a period of 12 weeks showed a noticeable drop in blood triglycerides (unhealthy fats) and sugar levels, and moreover, there was an increase in good cholesterol levels that promote cardiovascular health. As black leaves are an essential component of Earl Grey tea, drinking it daily would assist in keeping your heart healthy.
An animal study published in the Journal of Functional Foods found that certain enzymes (hydroxy methyl glutaryl flavonones) (HMGF) present in bergamot (one of the ingredients used for flavoring the tea) reduced bad cholesterol in a group of rats. In the study, the rats were put on a high cholesterol diet for 21 days, and were fed either with a pure extract of bergamot (HMGF) or simvastatin (cholesterol-lowering medicine). The result showed that HMGF displayed cholesterol-lowering activity that was akin to that of simvastatin. This study also suggests that having Earl Grey tea regularly may protect heart health.
An important point to note here is that, the aforementioned study is just a preliminary research, and the result, though encouraging, does not mean that one can substitute statins for a cup of Earl Grey tea. This is a wrong interpretation of the result, and carries significant health risk. One may supplement statin therapy with a cup of this tea for better control of cholesterol levels.
6. Energy Booster
Feeling more tired during the day? Scouting for ways to remain energetic throughout the day? Well, as simple as incorporating Earl Grey tea into your diet can leave you feeling energized, revitalized, and more refreshed. Although its caffeine content is low, it does produce energy-enhancing effects that are similar to coffee.
7. Improves Digestion
Drinking a cup of this tea can also help support digestive health. Adding it to your diet can help in taming tummy troubles. For instance, it can soothe an upset stomach and make one feel better. It is one of the best herbal teas for nausea and indigestion. So, for smooth functioning of the digestive system, this can be a good option.
8. Aids Weight Loss
Bergamot extracts added in bergamot are reportedly found to be helpful in losing weight. It is believed that bergamot helps speed up the burning of calories through various metabolic processes, which may contribute to losing weight.
9. Relieves Common Respiratory Infections
Earl Grey tea is considered a natural remedy for common cold and flu-like symptoms. Bergamot extracts used in the tea is said to have high antioxidant value, which can help strengthen the immune system and combat infections, and even relieve fever. In fact, drinking this tea regularly can guard one against these viral infections.
Although good for health, too much consumption of Earl Grey tea can cause excess caffeine intake, which may lead to difficulty in sleeping, heart palpitations, anxiety, and even headaches. As such, make sure you have this tea in moderation, to reap its benefits.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.