Black tea. The under-appreciated part of a healthy diet.

The correlation between eating certain types of foods and health has been carefully studied in the recent years. As it turns out, not only the basic macro nutrients, such as proteins carbohydrates, fats, vitamins or minerals have an impact on our organism, but also hundreds of substances derived from plant and animal tissue, which provide nutrition and may impact the metabolic processes.

In this article I'd like to have a closer look at tea, which is - second only to water -  the most popular drink in the world, and is widely recognized as an important source of bio-active substances influencing our health. Black tea - fermented tea that is - although extremely popular all over the world, is overshadowed by green tea, to which people attribute borderline magical health benefits. However, both the traditional beliefs and recent scientific sources clearly point to the fact that the popular beverage, served usually with sugar and lemon may contain polyphenols, beneficial to our health, and the black tea theaflavines and thearugibines may mimic the effects of insulin. These are the conclusions which the Scottish scientists from the University of Dundee came to. Why is it so important? The aging of the organism is connected to the disruption of the way insulin acts - and it's an extremely important hormone, taking part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and amino-acids. Now, on the one hand, with age the activity of incretine (a hormone prompting the pancreas to produce insulin) decreases; on the other hand the sensitivity of the cells to insulin decreases. This causes a series of adverse consequences, leading to the growth of fat and decrease of muscle but also accelerates the pace of wear of the tissues. The proteins glycate, and simple sugars connect in a pathological way to the groups of amino-proteins, including elastine and collagen. This causes the so called "AGEs", which alter the structure and function of the proteins, having a particularly visible effect on the skin, eye retina, and blood vessels. Theaflavines and thearugibines from the black tea thanks to their insulin-like properties help to deal with the overabundance of glucose, slowing down or stopping the process of protein glycation and slowing the aging process. Additional benefits from consuming black tea are faster fat burning and improving the blood lipid profile. If you have been inspired to switch black tea for green by one of the multiple articles, commercials and statements glorifying the benefits of green tea  then maybe it's time to go back on your approach and include a cup of black tea in your menu from time to time.