Introduction to earl grey tea health benefits
That feeling of relaxation that comes from sipping tea of any kind is one of life’s little pleasures. But earl grey tea is unique because it is made of bergamot mixed with black tea leaves. Bergamot has many health benefits, and this unsung hero has the potential to fight disease and keep us healthy. So let’s take a look at 10 earl grey tea health benefits.
This article will discover how earl grey tea can boost your energy, enhance your digestion, and improve dental health. Earl Grey tea can help your general health-boosting your immune system, helping to lose weight and control your cholesterol, and fighting colds. It can improve your cardiovascular health and lower cancer risk, but also, the consumption of earl grey tea might have positive effects on anxiety, stress, and depression. Let’s see all the 10 health benefits of earl grey tea in detail.
10 Health Benefits of Earl Grey Tea
Caffeine in earl grey tea gives you an energy boost.
Before we get into bergamot and its health benefits, the other earl grey tea component is black tea leaves, which are high in caffeine. A cup of earl grey tea has about 40-120 milligrams of caffeine, depending on how long you steep it for (1). That’s the same as a cup of coffee. Caffeine protects your cardiovascular system and stimulates your central nervous system by crossing the blood-brain barrier and blocking adenosine receptors in your brain (2). This results in the central nervous system and muscle activation (3).
Bergamot can enhance digestion
Digestive problems and conditions like irritable bowel syndrome are often caused or made worse by inflammation in the digestive tract. Bergamot contains various flavonoids that can reduce inflammation by activating immune cells and bringing these cells to the colon and other inflamed areas, reducing the damage and irritation from inflammation (4). Earl grey tea is doubly powerful because black tea is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, too (5)
Catechin in earl grey tea can improve dental health
Tea leaves (green or black) contain high levels of polyphenols that can stop bacteria from growing. For our teeth, this is a great thing. The type of bacterium that causes many dental problems, like cavities, is Streptococcus mutans, and the growth of this bacterium can be limited or stopped by tea polyphenols, specifically catechins (6, 7). This means your cup of tea could be preventing cavities. Just make sure you’re aware of the tannins and colorants in tea that can stain and damage teeth (don’t wash it over your teeth or leave it on your teeth for long periods).
Bergamot contains antioxidants that can boost your immune system
Antioxidants are needed because our metabolism produces free oxygen radicals as a by-product. These can go on to wreak havoc on our body (causing DNA mutations and diseases like cancer). Antioxidants have another function in our body: boosting our immune system function. In a clinical trial, antioxidant vitamins in middle-aged adults showed a lower risk of developing several degenerative disorders (including cancer, stroke, and cataracts) (8, 9, 10).
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Bergamot in earl grey tea can lower cholesterol
With 38% of Americans having high cholesterol, this is a significant problem in our society (11). Studies performed in mice have shown bergamot juice is an effective intervention for high cholesterol (12). A clinical trial with 98 people given bergamot extract showed a reduction in both cholesterol and glucose levels. While it’s unclear how this process occurred, body weight and waist circumference also decreased in the bergamot-treated participants during the study (13). This suggests bergamot may be a fantastic natural intervention for high cholesterol.
Bergamot polyphenols might help you lose weight
As hinted at in the last section, bergamot seems to be beneficial for losing weight. Two recent studies showed those participants consuming bergamot extract, oil, or juice had a significant weight loss during the study (14, 15). It’s unclear how this process occurs currently, but it gives you another reason to enjoy your cup of earl grey tea.
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Bergamot in earl grey tea can help you fight off colds
This ties into our sections on inflammation and immune system boosting abilities of bergamot. We’d all happily take fewer days of being sick, and bergamot might be your way to do this. Bergamot polyphenols are considered “immune boosters,” and while much about this process remains unknown, bergamot can regulate immune function and improve immunity against a variety of conditions (16, 17).
Bergamot could reduce stress, anxiety, and depression
While many of these studies were performed using bergamot essential oil, you do get some aromatherapy from your tea as you drink it. Research studies on the effects of drinking the tea have not yet been published. Bergamot has been noted to improve moods and positive feelings when used as aromatherapy in human clinical trials (18). In rats, bergamot reduced anxiety and depression-related chronic stress (19, 20).
Bergamot could improve your cardiovascular health
Heart health is more important than ever, with at least 48% of Americans now living with cardiovascular disease (21). Bergamot can reduce your plasma lipids (fat in your blood) and reduce high cholesterol (22). Clinical studies have shown that those participants consuming bergamot reduced not only their cholesterol but several important markers of cardiovascular disease (23). Another human clinical study showed bergamot flavonoids were responsible for reducing hyperlipidemia (a high amount of fat in the blood) and atherosclerosis (a buildup of fat and cholesterol in your arteries, restricting blood flow) (24).
Bergamot antioxidants in earl grey tea could reduce your cancer risk
Many studies have shown that bergamot has the ability to reduce cancer risk, and some have suggested possible ways this may be occurring (25, 26). In a human colon cancer cell model, bergamot juice was effective in reducing cancer growth by inducing apoptosis of cancerous cells (a form of cell destruction) (27). Another research group showed that flavonoids from bergamot juice prevented cancer growth in a rat model of colorectal cancer (28). While this research is still in the early stages, it certainly suggests a new and promising frontier application of bergamot products.
So go ahead, indulge in your earl grey tea. This hot drink might be benefitting your heart and immune system and lowering your disease risk more than you know.