08 July, 2011
Vitamins & Minerals in Tea
One of the most commonly consumed drinks in the world, tea provides a delicious and healthy source of hydration. Tea is made my steeping the leaves of the tea plant in water or milk, and allowing the nutrients and chemicals from the tea leaves to seep into the drink. Among these chemicals are vitamins and minerals, nutrients which prove essential to the health of your body.
One vitamin found in tea is vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C serves a number of roles within your body: it helps in the production of collagen, a substance that provides strength to a number of tissues including your bones, blood vessels and tendons. It also aids in tissue repair and wound healing, helping your body recover from injury, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Consuming sources of vitamin C -- such as tea -- may therefore help fight vitamin C deficiencies and help maintain the strength and health of your cells and tissues.
Another vitamin found in tea, specifically green tea, is vitamin K. Though not an essential nutrient -- since bacteria in your digestive tract can synthesize the vitamin -- vitamin K consumption through drinking tea can prove beneficial to your heath. Vitamin K aids in the formation of blood clots following injury or tissue damage, an initial step in wound healing. However, the vitamin K content of green tea may also present some risks -- the University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that vitamin K in tea may interfere with other medications, such as warfarin and aspirin. If you currently take blood-thinning medication, consult with your doctor about the safety of drinking green tea.
Tea also contains the essential nutrient vitamin E. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant -- its role in your body is to protect against damage by free radicals, the harmful chemical byproducts of your body's metabolism. Free radicals damage your cells, causing genetic mutations. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, the vitamin E content of tea also proves beneficial in helping your body utilize and absorb other nutrients within the beverage, such as vitamin K.
One mineral found in tea is fluoride. Though fluoride represents a non-essential mineral in your body, fluoride in your diet proves beneficial in maintaining healthy teeth. Specifically, fluorine can increase the hardness and strength of the mineralized, bony tissue within your teeth, helping to prevent tooth decay and cavities. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University notes that higher quality green and black teas both provide a good source of fluoride, while lower quality tea, known as brick tea, contains high levels of the mineral. To increase the fluoride content of your tea, prepare the beverage using fluoridated water, such as tap water.
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