We all love our cuppa chai, whether it's white, green, or black. Some drink it because it wakes them up, others drink it because it's an addiction and some because it helps in digestion. While we all have our personal reasons, one reason to include tea in your diet is because it strengthens bones.
According to Quartz, studies have shown that tea consumption increases bone density in women, especially premenopausal women.
The research was conducted on a global scale and suggested that there are certain compounds in tea that help build bones. Such compounds are found in plants called flavonoids.
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Some flavonoids simulate estrogen, a key component in good bone health. The natural production of estrogen drops during menopause. Therefore, flavonoids fill in for estrogen, performing roles like inhibiting osteoclasts, the cells that break down bones and can contribute to osteoporosis.
The researchers reviewed epidemiological studies from all over the world, finding a correlation between tea consumption and higher bone mineral density (BMD) - a measure of calcium and other minerals in bones - in postmenopausal women in Canada and England, as well as women in Taiwan, Iran, Japan, and Australia.
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The results from England showed that the postmenopausal women consuming tea had approximately 5% higher BMD than those who were not tea-drinkers. It also found that there was no difference in BMD rates for those who consumed one to three cups versus four or more cups each day, and that adding milk to the tea did not change the correlation.
PHOTO: DANIAL SHAH
“There’s some very good data here,” says Taylor C Wallace, senior director of science policy and government relations at the National Osteoporosis Foundation.
However, Wallace cautions, “that doesn’t necessarily mean to drink a tea with 20 grams of sugar with it.” While the NOF doesn’t take a specific stance on tea, he says, it does recommend eating plenty of fruits and vegetables because they contain bioactive compounds like flavonoids.
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So now you know when you make yourself a cup of tea you are actually strengthening your bones and overall health.