Ceylon Tea: What Is It, Benefits, Caffeine, & More
Modern society has grown accustomed to employing pharmaceutical compounds to address health issues of varying origins and severity. While modern medicine is extremely useful and can treat most conditions, sometimes, we only need a small boost to our overall health. This need to improve our health has led to the rise of the supplement industry, which takes advantage of natural substances to enhance parts of our biology.
Some substances improve our appearance, while others help address certain health issues. Regardless of the goal, there is usually something we can use that does not require a prescription, though a doctor's approval still helps. One of the more popular tools people have started using is tea, which comes in various forms that differ based on the plant we use to brew it.
While most people know about the common teas (green, black, matcha, etc.), others are not as well known. One tea that piques people's curiosity is Ceylon tea, which you might not have heard of until recently. Ceylon tea, like other teas, is packed with nutrients that make it an appealing candidate for improving our health. Unfortunately, the lack of general information about Ceylon tea means many people do not know what it does. The first step to using a supplement is understanding it so we are not forced to engage in trial and error. Therefore, today we will discuss what Ceylon tea is and its benefits.
What is Ceylon Tea?
Ceylon tea is an interesting tea derived from Camellia sinensis, the same shrub from which traditional green, black, and matcha tea are derived. Despite the leaves originating from C. sinensis, there is a fundamental difference between Ceylon leaves and the leaves of other C. sinensis teas. Ceylon is exclusively harvested from C. sinensis shrubs in Sri Lanka, a country in South Asia that was formerly known as Ceylon.
Considering the origin of the leaves and Sri Lanka's former name, it is not exactly complicated to figure out why it is called Ceylon tea. Ceylon tea has become an important part of the Sri Lankan trade and has significance to the country's culture. As a result, Ceylon Tea is also a brand owned by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and has been in circulation since 1867.
The actual tea is extremely popular among hardcore tea enthusiasts due to its rich flavor profile, but Ceylon tea remains the product of a niche market. Only 10% of the global tea market is dedicated to Ceylon tea and its imitators, with the market share falling continuously compared to Kenyan tea. Combined with Sri Lanka's handicap insofar as international commerce is concerned, it is becoming increasingly difficult for traditional Ceylon tea to reach international consumers. This is not helped by the fact that once people learned Ceylon tea comes from the most common tea plant, people assumed it was no different from average green tea.
Many do not realize that Ceylon tea's flavor profile is very different from normal green tea. Ceylon tea has a distinctive profile, including citrus notes and a full-bodied taste, making it distinct from its common cousin. What makes Ceylon tea so interesting is that it contains significantly more nutrients than standard green tea, making it an attractive prospect for those looking to improve their health. The question we are left answering is: what benefits does Ceylon tea offer?
Ceylon Tea is Highly Nutritious
One of the main reasons Ceylon tea is considered beneficial is its nutritional profile. Ceylon tea is packed with multiple nutrients that improve human health and help our bodies function at their best. The nutrients found in Ceylon tea are not necessarily exceptional, but rather the concentration of these nutrients is what makes Ceylon tea so valuable.
The main component of Ceylon tea's nutritional value is its high antioxidant concentration. Antioxidants are extremely useful because they reduce oxidative stress in the body and allow us to function without added strain. They are critical to our health and help our bodies fight off major diseases and chronic conditions, including cancer and diabetes. Ceylon tea has several antioxidants but is primarily known for myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol.
Ceylon tea also contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has been found to promote health in our bodies. Granted, the research behind EGCG's benefits is primarily test-tube studies, but the results are extremely promising. Ceylon tea also has trace amounts of essential minerals, including:
The assortment of nutrients and minerals offered by Ceylon tea explains why it has a following beyond its flavor profile. Maintaining a steady diet of these nutrients and minerals will help reinforce your body against potential health risks. However, other benefits associated with Ceylon tea are worthy of consideration.
Ceylon Tea Contributes to Weight Loss
Losing weight remains one of the most difficult tasks in modern society due to the abundance of fattening snacks and food. While regular exercise and proper diet are essential to losing weight, it is possible to employ certain substances to maximize the results. Ceylon tea is one of the substances associated with enhanced weight loss, further explaining its niche following. Ceylon tea can come in black and green forms, inheriting the same characteristics as tea distilled from leaves from a typical C. sinensis plant.
The studies conducted on these teas have demonstrated improvements in weight loss for consumers. Since Ceylon tea is simply a more potent version of these teas, it has the same weight loss traits.
There have been studies focusing on green and black tea for weight loss that have generated promising results. One study focused on using green tea extract in a group of 240 subjects divided into test and control groups. The subjects in the test group received green tea extract for 12 weeks and experienced significant reductions in body weight, waist circumference, and fat mass. This is only one of several studies on green tea that reinforce its status as a weight loss tool. Similar studies were conducted on black tea with equally promising results, but there are other benefits associated with Ceylon tea besides weight loss improvements.
Ceylon Tea Stabilizes Blood Sugar
Glucose levels in the bloodstream are critical to our ability to function since the sugar in our blood gives us energy. Without sufficient glucose, our bodies would shut down since there is nothing for our bodies to break down. While we need glucose to fuel our bodies, there is such a thing as too much, and allowing blood sugar to exceed acceptable levels can have tremendous consequences.
When our glucose levels are out of balance, our risk of developing diabetes skyrockets, and our livers lose the ability to process the sugar we have. This causes permanent damage to our bodies and prevents us from living healthy lives without constant monitoring. Unfortunately, diabetes is extremely common and further damages our glucose levels. Fortunately, tea can help us regulate our glucose levels and keep them within acceptable parameters even with diabetes.
One study focusing on black tea involved 24 subjects (some of whom were prediabetic) who were divided into test and control groups. The subjects in the test group were given black tea, while the control group subjects were given a placebo. The test group showed significantly lower blood sugar levels than the control group (the same result for prediabetic and non-prediabetic subjects). Similarly, a review of 17 studies focusing on green tea revealed a trend that those who consumed green tea had reduced levels of blood sugar and insulin, the latter of which can be elevated in certain forms of diabetes.
Finally, tea consumption has been linked to reduced risk for type 2 diabetes in multiple cases, proving that it can regulate blood sugar. While this is an important benefit, a major concern affects anyone looking to improve their health with Ceylon tea. As with most substances, we must be wary of potential side effects.
Risks of Ceylon Tea Consumption
As much as we hate to admit it, there is no such thing as a perfect product, and most of the ones we use have drawbacks. Most products in circulation today have minor issues that are easily ignored since it is a matter of moderation. Unfortunately, the lack of knowledge surrounding certain risks means we often overindulge in a product and face the consequences.
Ceylon tea is no exception to this rule and bears risks and side effects that can devastate our health if ignored. The most obvious issue is the caffeine concentration in Ceylon tea, which is higher than a normal cup of green tea. Depending on the brew, a cup of Ceylon tea has between 14 and 61 milligrams of caffeine, higher than the 50-milligram maximum in normal green tea. This is not inherently problematic since caffeine can be ingested safely, but the problem is that most Americans do not heed the recommended maximum intake.
As recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the maximum caffeine intake for a healthy individual is 400 milligrams daily. For pregnant women, that total is immediately cut in half to 200 milligrams daily since caffeine can traverse the placenta and affect the fetus. This is because caffeine is an extremely powerful stimulant that can set the body into overdrive. Typically, following the maximum recommended intake is easy, but stimulants like caffeine are highly addictive, which is why so many people consume it excessively. As a result, you might consume over 400 milligrams to help you get through a particularly exhausting day.
When too much caffeine is ingested by otherwise healthy individuals, they strain and damage their bodies. This can lead to serious health issues, including:
- Digestive Distress
- High Blood Pressure
- Cardiovascular Distress
These concerns are typically associated with coffee drinkers since coffee is considered the most potent source of caffeine. While other substances have higher caffeine levels, coffee receives the bulk of the blame. Fortunately, Ceylon tea has less caffeine than a cup of coffee (which averages 95 milligrams). As a result, Ceylon is considered less strenuous than coffee, but you must still exercise caution when using Ceylon tea as your beverage of choice, especially since low caffeine concentrations can negatively affect your prescription medications. There have been recorded instances of caffeine conflicting with medication prescribed for cardiovascular health and asthma.
Ultimately, Ceylon tea is fairly safe for consumption despite its slightly higher caffeine concentration. The trick is ensuring you do not exceed the recommended maximum intake and monitor your consumption carefully.
Finding the Right Blend
Ceylon tea is perhaps one of the most exotic and peculiar teas on the market, despite the struggles it faces with its market value. Its exotic nature is more than just a selling point since the variety of C. sinensis improves the tea's nutritional value. The health benefits associated with Ceylon tea are not exactly unique, but the nutrients that give it (and tea like it) these properties are more powerful due to the higher concentrations.
Additionally, Ceylon tea has the same potential risks as any caffeinated substance, meaning moderation is essential for anyone interested in using it. Ultimately, Ceylon tea is a rival to its traditional cousins and matcha, the latter of which is viewed as more valuable in many circles. The real issue is that the niche market surrounding Ceylon tea means it is far more expensive to import from Sri Lanka. Therefore, it becomes a case of paying more for tea with more accessible rivals that are arguably more effective. The key is finding a rival product from a reliable vendor in your country.
We at Teami might not offer Ceylon tea, but we can offer other teas that offer the same benefits without the unnecessary importing process. Our Matcha Ceremonial Grade Powder (available in 4 flavors), Boost Tea Blend, and other products using green and black tea are easily accessible and use natural leaves. These teas can be as effective as Ceylon tea with significantly higher convenience. The same concerns about caffeine apply, but staying within the daily recommended intake is much easier. We encourage you to visit our website and try our tea for yourself.
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