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From peppermint to oolong: the surprising health benefits of a cup of tea

The Telegraph logo The Telegraph 21/04/2017 By Saffron Alexander

© Provided by The Telegraph Us Brits don't really need more of a reason to drink tea - but today (21 April) is National Tea Day, so there's an added incentive to put the kettle on.

The recent news that  drinking camomile tea  may help women live longer has got us thinking about the health benefits of our morning cuppa.

Here we examine the advantages of regularly drinking various teas.

Coffee leaf tea

In 2013 scientists found that  tea brewed from the leaves of coffee plants  is high in compounds that are good for human health.

Dr Aaron Davies said: “What was surprising was how many antioxidants are in the coffee leaves. They are much higher than those in green tea and normal black tea."

The leaves of arabica coffee plants in particular were found to have high levels of a chemical called 'mangiferin' which is known for its healthy properties. Mangiferin has been found to reduce the risk of diabetes and blood cholestrol, whilst also protecting neurons in the the brain.

Green tea

Green tea is thought to contain powerful antixoidants CREDIT: ALAMY © Provided by The Telegraph Green tea is thought to contain powerful antixoidants CREDIT: ALAMY Green tea has a high concentration of a polyphenol called EGCG which seems to affect human health and disease. The antioxidants in green tea have been suggested to help with breast, lung and stomach cancers, amongst others.

It has also been claimed that a cup of the green stuff can protect against dementia and Alzheimer's as well as improve cholesterol levels.

Black tea

Scientists have found those who drink two or three cups of black tea a day are  50 per cent less likely  to exhibit early early signs of dementia compared to those who did not drink it.

Studies have also suggested that it may reduce the risk of stroke and protect lungs against damage from cigarette smoke.

Peppermint tea

Mint tea is often drank after a meal, to help digestion CREDIT: ALAMY © Provided by The Telegraph Mint tea is often drank after a meal, to help digestion CREDIT: ALAMY Peppermint tea is believed to aid digestion  and combat stress.

The menthol present in the tea acts as a muscle relaxant which helps to reduce the amount of stress and anxiety people suffer from.

Oolong tea

Due to its high levels of antioxidants, drinking oolong tea has been found to  lower cholesterol levels  in a number of studies.

Camomile tea

Camomile tea is thought to be full of health benefits CREDIT: REBECCA GRAY © Provided by The Telegraph Camomile tea is thought to be full of health benefits CREDIT: REBECCA GRAY As well as being linked to longer life for women,  scientists have also claimed drinking camomile tea  could help keep diabetes under control.

Camomile tea is also considered to be  a skincare treatment  due to its cleansing and moisturising properties.

Related: 7 Healthy Reasons to Have a Cup of Green Tea (by Food & Wine)

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