Spilling the Tea on a Decade of Health for America’s Go-To Hot Bev
It’s no secret that wellness dominated and defined the 2010s, with tea bolstering itself as a better-for-you beverage and household staple that offers more than just a delicious sip. As we enter a new decade and honor the fifth annual National Hot Tea Day on January 12, 2020, the Tea Council of the USA is recapping the notable research findings that made a splash for tea-lovers across America over the last ten years.
Today, the estimated value of the tea industry in the USA is nearly $13 billion – up almost $11 billion since 1990 – and shows no signs of slowing down as the health and wellness industry continues to thrive. From brain and heart health to overall well-being, true teas – black, green, white, dark and oolong – come packed with flavonoids, antioxidants and science-backed healthful properties.
QualiTEA of Life
Frequent oolong and black tea consumption is linked to improved health-related quality of life. Researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from over 5,500 Chinese adults over the age of 60 and found habitual consumption of black or oolong tea was inversely associated with anxiety/depression, pain/discomfort and limited mobility. Consuming tea was also shown to be a characteristic of, if not a track to, healthier beverage consumption patterns.
Early research suggests habitual tea consumption may prevent age-related cognitive decline. Researchers studied the effect of habitual tea drinking on the functional and structural networks in the brain. When compared to non-habitual tea drinkers, routine tea drinkers were found to have greater functional connectivity strength and suppressed hemispheric asymmetry in the structural connectivity network. Although this is the first research of its kind, this study suggests that habitual tea drinking has a protective effective on age-related brain decline.
A recent review in Advances in Nutrition explored tea’s phytonutrients and determined that it should be considered or included as part of a healthy diet, thanks in part to its heart-healthy benefits. Research suggests there is an association between daily tea consumption and reduced risk of heart disease. When compared to non-consumers, those who regularly drank tea (daily or less than daily) had statistically significant fewer cases of ischemic heart disease. In addition, green tea consumption has been linked to decreased stroke risk, in a study of Chinese adults.
“Tea’s popularity continues to grow, based on its naturalness, great flavors and variety and plant-based, healthful aspects. As the new decade begins, we look forward to seeing an increased interest in tea among millennial consumers, starting with the celebration of National Hot Tea Month and Day” says Peter F. Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA.
The Tea Council of the USA is a non-profit association that was formed in 1950 as a joint partnership between tea packers, importers and allied industries within the United States, and the major tea producing countries. It functions as the promotional arm of the tea industry with a primary goal of increasing overall awareness of tea by providing information about its many positive attributes.