What's Healthy About Tea? - Two "A" WordsRewriting the book, "The Everything Healthy Tea Book"
Two “A” Words
Antioxidant and Apoptosis
Critically important to understanding the health benefits that many of us believe Camellia sinensis (True Tea) offers the human body, is a clear understanding of these two “A” Words. The first one, antioxidant has become well-known over the last decade and most of us have a basic understanding of how foods with high levels of antioxidants are important to add to our daily diet. True Tea is one of these. Lesser known is the second “A” Word, apoptosis. These two connect directly to the way I understand and follow the ancient teaching of Hippocrates,
“Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”
Oxidation is a naturally occurring process in the body that creates cells called “free radicals” which, if not efficiently eliminated from the body, proliferate with chain reactions that cause disease. Antioxidants are compounds that interrupt the chain reactions, inhibiting the production and damage caused by these dangerous free radicals. Many foods contain beneficial levels of these compounds. True Tea, Camellia sinensis, is one of them. The unhealthy levels of the by-products of oxidation in the body (think of it as rust on metal) is sometimes referred to as oxidative stress. Research is looking at tea as an antioxidant.
Each cell of our bodies has a pre-programmed life span. During this time, healthy cells are able to recognize and defend the cell walls against intrusion. Cells that live beyond this time are vulnerable to disease. Apoptosis is the normal and healthy process of cells dying off. Also pre-programmed into our amazing bodies, are new cells being born to replace the old ones. Scientific research on True Tea, Camellia sinensis, suggests that drinking tea supports Apoptosis. And this may be one of the ways in which it helps defend the body against developing cancer and other diseases.
Our Incredible Human Design
The amazing and incredible design of the healthy human body easily maintains these functions. But much of what we now consider to be a normal modern lifestyle taxes this system, throws it out of balance. The results are compromises to optimal health and the natural human aging process. Camellia sinensis the plant, contains an incredibly beneficial chemistry. For thousands of years it has been one of our foremost food-medicines. And modern research is now in the process of giving tangible evidence to support these long-held beliefs. But the way in which we share beverages that contain Camellia sinensis and other botanicals – drinking tea – also supports overall health. One factor when studying human tea consumption relative to its health benefits should be the lifestyle that drinking tea inspires.
Human Terroir & Health
In recognizing some of the ways in which the healthy body is armed to fight off disease, we must admit that our environment and lifestyle contributes to lack of health and disease. Another contribution that understanding tea offers to understanding health is the idea that everything in our environment contributes to health. Just as the terroir of tea – the soil, climate, varietal, elevation, etc. – creates the flavor and health benefits of Camellia sinensis, our environment can either challenge or benefit our overall well-being. And the lack of it.
A healthy lifestyle – healthy human terroir – keeps the body in better natural balance.
Natural rhythms of apoptosis and efficient antioxidants work together to keep systems running smoothly.
True Tea and the tea lifestyle support this.
Read More About The Science
What is apoptosis? by Molly Edmonds
Pushing cells to self-destruct combats deadly fibrosis by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel
Antioxidants Explained: Why These Compounds Are So Important by Beth Fontenot
What are Antioxidants? MedicineNet
Free Radicals, Antioxidants in Disease and Health by Lien Ai Pham-Huy, Hua He, Chuong Pham-Huy
Pu-erh Tea Ameliorates Atherosclerosis Associated with Promoting Macrophage Apoptosis by Reducing NF-κB Activation in ApoE Knockout Mice by Yihui Xiao, Ming He, Xiao Liang, Jianqing She, Lan He, Yan Liu, Juan Zou, Zuyi Yuan