The Surprising Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea
What is earl grey tea?
Before we move on to the benefits of Earl Grey tea, let’s first find out more about it.
Delicate, aromatic and calorie free, Earl Grey is without doubt a sophisticated tea.
This world renowned black tea has at its core, a blend of the Camellia Sinensis plant flavored with oil of bergamot.
Traditionally, Earl Grey was made from black teas such as Chinese keemun, and therefore intended to be drunk without milk.
However as fashion and taste began to change, stronger teas that were better suited to milk and cream were introduced.
The slight acidic flavor of the citrus fruit bergamot made the tea stand out among traditional herbal infusions.
Bergamot oranges are grown in Calabria, Italy, and some regions of France and the bergamot essential oil or rind is added to give a distinctive twist on the traditional tea taste.
It is believed that the bergamot tree is a hybrid of orange tea native to Seville and lime tree native to Southeast Asia.
History of Earl Grey tea
The name ‘Earl Grey’ is derived from the former British prime minister, Charles Grey, also known as the 2nd Earl of Grey.
However the reasoning for doing so is still unclear, there are is one story that talks of a Chinese blender, working in the Grey’s household that began mixing bergamot with black tea to counteract the heavy lime content in the water.
In that origin story, the Grey family began to enjoy the taste of the new tea and gave it their name.
Others believe that the Earl of Grey was presented with this uniquely flavored drink as a diplomatic gift.
Word soon spread of this exotic new drink and it didn’t take long for ‘Earl Grey tea’ to start being consumed by royals, elites, and in high-class meetings across the country.
Lady Grey delighted in the sophisticated herbal tea being served to guests in political and diplomatic meetings at both national and international levels.
Naturally it’s popularity spread once it became accepted by high society, but it remained a firm favorite of the upper classes right through to the modern day.
How do you prepare Earl Grey tea?
There is no specific recipe to make Earl Grey as every tea brand has its own manufacturing method.
Due to this, you will notice a slight difference in the taste of this herbal tea from different tea brands albeit they will all be similar.
After drying, rolling, and wilting black tea leaves, they are then oxidized and coated or sprayed with bergamot essential oil to impart citrus flavor.
In some cases, dried bergamot rinds are mixed with oxidized dried leaves for infusion in water.
To get the full impact from your Earl Grey it is better to use loose tea rather than teabags as these can be infused to a greater extent.
12 Surprising Health benefits of Earl Grey tea
As well as a unique taste, your favorite Earl Grey blend will bring you numerous health benefits.
Loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, essential vitamins, and polyphenols, Earl Grey tea is great for your heart, digestion, oral health and energy levels.
Here are the 12 leading benefits of drinking Earl Grey that you need to know about…
1. Improves digestion
The citrus flavor herbal infusion is great for treating gastric ailments and stimulating the digestive process.
Earl Grey locks in the beneficial substances that help eliminate the harmful bacteria from the digestive tract.
Animal studies show that black tea leaves contain theaflavins that help cure and prevent stomach ulcers.
The anti-inflammatory properties of bergamot extract will help cure upset stomach, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, and other various intestinal infections.
2. Reduces stress
Drinkers of Earl Grey tea will be delighted to know that a cup a day has stress and anxiety-relieving benefits.
The tea leaves contained in Earl Grey and other herbal teas have a calming effect on your body, mind, and soul.
A study conducted in Japan showed that bergamot oil is linked to reducing stress symptoms.
It was also demonstrated that consuming Earl Grey tea stimulates the brain to release the ‘happy hormones:’ dopamine, and serotonin.
These help ward off mood disorders and keep you tension-free in the same way as a massage or exercise.
3. Improves dental hygiene
Make a habit of consuming Earl Grey on a regular basis to improve your oral health.
The antioxidants it contains such as catechins and fluoride help prevent oral infections and tooth decay.
Fluoride is an essential compound needed to maintain healthy teeth, it is present in toothpaste and mouthwashes to protect your teeth against enamel damage and cavities.
The daily dose of fluoride you get through this tasty beverage is a great option to gain improved oral health and keep your dentist at bay!
4. Maintains a Healthy heart
A few weekly cups of Earl Grey can ward off LDL cholesterol, lower blood pressure and create a barrier against heart diseases.
The antioxidants in Earl Grey tea help you ward off heart disease by removing the excess plaque from the arteries, thus reducing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and atherosclerosis.
Daily consumption of Earl Grey will lower bad cholesterol levels and increase the proportion of good cholesterol (HDL cholesterol).
The high potassium content in citrus flavored tea helps in lowering high blood pressure therefore, reducing the risk factors associated with causing heart disease.
5. Stimulates proper immune function
As we all know, citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C which is the leading nutrient to support healthy immune function.
Bergamot fruit in Earl Grey does exactly the same, providing enough vitamin c to help maintain a healthy immune system.
With a strong immune system your body is in the best position to fight against foreign particles that cause illnesses such as the common cold and flu.
Drinking your favorite Earl Grey blends can really reduce the risk of several ailments, what other excuse for a cup do you need?
In addition, the antioxidants in Earl Grey will further help reduce oxidative stress by fighting free radicals- molecules that cause damage to healthy tissues and cause chronic diseases.
- Check out how Ginger Shots can enhance your immune system
6. A Great Energy booster
As Earl Grey tea is made from black tea leaves, it holds a small amount of caffeine which as we all know helps to give you an energy boost.
Here is where Earl Grey is a better option than a shot of coffee if you want an energy boost without the come down afterwards.
The low caffeine content in this herbal tea will help to inhibit a spike in blood glucose levels and also prevents the jittery effect you get from too much coffee.
Drinking Earl Grey tea is ideal for individuals who want to limit caffeine consumption and protect themselves from the side effects of a high dose of caffeine.
Take 2 or 3 cups of Earl Grey tea daily to give yourself the energy you need to power through the day.
7. Aids in Weight loss
One of the significant and effective benefits of Earl Grey tea is its promotion of weight loss.
Citrus fruits are known to increase the metabolic rate and burn off layers of unwanted fats.
Bergamot fruit will help in the quick breakdown of food, thus encouraging easy and speedy digestion.
Moreover, the polyphenols in black tea help to burn extra calories.
Earl Grey tea is a delicious yet healthy beverage for people who are looking for an effective weight loss strategy.
- Red Rooibos Tea is another great tea for aiding weight loss goals
8. Protection against cancer
The high content of antioxidants and ability to fight against free radicals make Earl Grey tea a must have when it comes to natural products that fight against cancer.
When you choose a black or green tea variety, the citrus flavor bergamot fruit possesses great ingredients to protect you against cancer.
An Italian study at the University of Messina showed that bergamot extract is helpful in reducing the risk of colon, liver, and skin cancer.
The antiproliferative properties in bergamot fruit will prevent the spread of malignant cells towards healthy cells thus not only preventing cancer but could slow the spread in those who already have it.
9. Earl Grey tea is great as a detox
Drinking this citrus flavored tea will cause a great detoxifying effect on your body.
Unhealthy foods, smoking, and environmental factors will cause free radicals.
These free radicals disturb the normal body’s functioning and can cause chronic diseases.
The main ingredient, bergamot fruit, helps remove these toxic substances from the body, leaving you with cleansed and purified blood.
Next time you feel the need for a cleansing experience then pour yourself a cup of Earl Grey.
10. Tea keeps you hydrated
If you are bored with the tasteless water but still keen to stay hydrated then up your intake of Earl Grey tea.
The hydrating properties of this type of tea help maintain adequate water levels in the body necessary for the proper function of all systems.
The tasty citrus flavor beverage leaves a malty taste in your mouth which helps quench your thirst.
For the best results, avoid adding sweeteners or honey to your tea..
11. Relieve anxiety with Earl Grey
The active compound, L-theanine locked in black tea leaves, brings relaxation by wiping the sympathetic nervous system flare-up.
The aromatic scent and flavor of bergamot orange will naturally help your body to unwind as you breathe it in.
12. Relief from colds and flu
Taking Earl Grey when you have a cold or cough helps to relieve congestion in the airways, particularly helping you to breathe easy.
Health Benefits of Earl Grey - The Bottom line
If you are ever unsure about adding anything new to your diet, you should always speak with your healthcare provider first.
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