As the weather grows chillier every day, now's the perfect time to sit outside in the brisk fall air with a hot mug of tea. Doesn't that just sound…so relaxing?
Well, it gets nicer: turns out, just a few daily cups of black tea is associated with a 31% reduction ovarian cancer risk (compared to drinking 1 cup or none), according to new research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Researchers looked at the diets of more than 170,000 women between the ages of 25 and 55 for more than three decades, as part of the Nurses Health Study. After analyzing dietary questionnaires, they found that women who consumed higher amounts of foods with flavonoids, a type of antioxidant found in teas as well as citrus fruits and juices, apples, and red wine, were less likely to develop ovarian cancer.
Black tea was shown to be especially protective, which is exciting because drinking more black tea is a pretty easy change to make, researchers told Medical News Today.
But the potential benefits of the steeped beverage don't stop at ovarian cancer risk. Here are three more surprising things tea can do.
It could lower your blood pressure
Another new analysis, a review of 25 different studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition, found that people who downed either green or black tea daily for 12 weeks had lower blood pressure than people who drank tea for a shorter period. Green tea had a more significant effect on blood pressure than black tea.
It may slash your risk for pancreatic cancer
A study in the journal Cancer Epidemiology looked at the association between green tea and pancreatic cancer in Chinese adults. The researchers collected information from almost 2,000 people (908 of whom had pancreatic cancer) about the type of tea they preferred, how often they drank it, even their preferred temperature. In the end, they found that women especially benefited from green tea: Those who regularly drank it had a 32% lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared to women who didn't sip the brew.
It can reduce stress
Yep, tea may be the beverage of choice for that relaxing appointment with the porch we mentioned earlier. A small study published this past July in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that green tea and shaded white tea can help calm you down. For the study, the researchers had 18 adults (half men and half women) do a series of stressful tasks, timing them as they completed complicated math problems, for example, on three separate occasions. After they were done, participants were given either warm water, green tea, or shaded white tea. Throughout the experiment, the researchers collected participants' saliva, which they then tested for known stress markers. They found that both teas decreased the stress markers better than water during the stressful tasks and afterward.