Tea for health and wellness is nothing new — cultures have been singing its praises for centuries. These days, science is catching up, too. Research shows that regularly drinking tea, including Ceylon tea, can provide some health benefits.The Ceylon tea variety is particularly popular due to its bold flavor, which many people enjoy.
What is Ceylon Tea?
Ceylon tea is a black teagrown in Sri Lanka, which was formerly known as Ceylon. It is also sometimes called Sri Lankan tea. There are seven regions in Sri Lanka that produce this tea, and each type has a slightly different flavor due to variations in elevation and soil types. You can recognize authentic Ceylon tea by the lion logo on the packaging; the country owns this logo and it can only appear on tea grown there.
What Does Ceylon Tea Taste Like?
Most people describe Ceylon tea as having a bold, refreshing flavor with earthy or chocolate-like notes as well as citrus and spice. Some varieties also have a faint floral taste and aroma that can add a lighter note. This type of tea tends to be fairly high in tannins, which means it can taste bitter.
How to Serve Ceylon Tea
One of the benefits of Ceylon tea is that it’s equally delicious served hot or cold. Hot tea should generally be brewed at 194 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. Cold tea can be brewed hot and then chilled, but many people also use Ceylon tea to make sun tea or cold-brewed tea. It can be served plain or flavored with honey, lemon, milk, fruit, or other sweeteners. Some people use it as a base for spiced chai.
Tea and Nutrition
Understanding the health benefits of Ceylon tea means understanding its nutritional profile. Black tea doesn’t contain a significant number of vitamins and minerals. However, it is high in compounds called polyphenols, which have been linked to a number of health benefits due to their high antioxidant content. Ceylon tea is also a popular morning drink because it contains caffeine.
While green tea has long been touted for its weight maintenance properties, black tea wasn’t always seen to offer the same benefits. However, some newer research suggests that black tea may change gut bacteria in a positive way while also increasing energy metabolism in the liver. This could mean that regularly drinking black tea, such as Ceylon tea, could help people maintain a healthy weight — in combination with a healthful diet and physical activity.
The same polyphenols that support healthy gut bacteria may help kill harmful bacteria in the mouth, leading to healthier teeth and gums.Limiting the growth of bacteria that cause plaque and infections means black tea may also help prevent bad breath. Additionally, regular consumption of black tea could help slow down or prevent the progression of oral leukoplakia, a common form of oral cancer.
One of the polyphenols in black tea, ECGC (epigallocatechin gallate), is believed to play a role in reducing overall inflammation. This can potentially help with everything from arthritis pain to heart disease. While Ceylon and other black teas contain lower levels of ECGC than green tea, they can still be a valuable addition to your diet.
The high level of antioxidants in Ceylon tea may also help reduce the risk of cancer or slow its spread. Studies of Japanese people who smoke cigarettes and drink a significant amount of tea show lower rates of lung cancer than smokers in other countries, and antioxidants are known to help fight cancer cells.While drinking tea isn’t a cure for cancer, it may provide some preventative benefits.
Even if you don’t like the taste of tea, Ceylon tea may still offer you some benefits. Its strong antibacterial properties make it a good cleanser for minor cuts and abrasions. Simply brew up a small cup, let it cool, and soak a compress and gently press it against the injured area to soothe swelling and help reduce bacterial growth. It can also treat minor rashes and skin irritation.
Is Tea Safe for Everyone?
Most people can safely drink tea. However, like anything else, it’s best in moderation. Drinking too much tea can lead to sodium imbalances and other issues. In extreme cases, it may even cause renal failure.If you have kidney problems or other underlying health issues, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before adding tea to your regular diet. Very hot drinks have been linked to oral and throat cancers, so consider letting your cup of tea cool a bit before taking a sip.