5 Surprising Health Benefits of Tea

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You've probably heard it before -- tea is good for your health -- but what exactly is it good for? We wanted to know if we should be drinking more tea (as if we really needed a reason to keep chugging), so we dug in deeper and did some research. We were surprised to find that tea can actually aid in everything from digestion to liver function. And, after these findings, we'll be brewing up an extra cup or two each day.

Check out the other health benefits of tea, and as always, ask your doctor before trying anything new.

1. Tea can aid in digestion

Peppermint, anise, and ginger tea are all known for aiding in digestion. Peppermint tea in particular has compounds that activate an anti-pain channel in the colon. Researchers claim this channel, called TRPM8, may reduce discomfort after eating spicy foods and can even help with conditions like IBS.

2. Tea is good for your ticker

This Harvard study says tea may help your heart health. The study found that people who drank at least cup of tea each day were 35 percent less likely to have a heart attack or other "major cardiovascular event", compared to those who didn't drink tea. The study also found that tea lovers were one-third less likely to have calcium buildup in their arteries and blood vessels, which can cause heart disease and stroke, than nondrinkers. Pretty crazy, huh?

3. Tea may be an antidepressant 

Can tea prevent depression? This 2015 meta-analysis thinks so. A series of 11 studies with nearly 23,000 participants found that for every three cups of tea consumed per day, the risk of depression decreased 37 percent.

4. Green tea could improve liver function

This study showed that green tea drinkers were less likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma, liver steatosis, liver cirrhosis and chronic liver disease. Those long, medical terms roughly translate to: green tea is good for your liver, so drink up.

5. Drinking tea could reduce your risk of stroke

This study showed that those who consumed more than three cups of tea daily had a 21 percent lower stroke risk than those who consumed less than one cup of tea daily.

Think this is surprising? Check out 4 more surprising health facts about coffee that are sure to blow your mind!