Vitamins in tea aren’t the flashiest topic for budding nutritional researchers. Magazine articles and news reports ramble on about L-theanine levels and ECGC content in a cup of tea, but they seldom ever mention the vitamin content of everyone’s favorite hot beverage. This is a shame because each variety of tea actually offers a completely different vitamin concentration. Getting some extra vitamins from a beloved tea blend is never a bad thing.
Vitamins in Green and Black Tea
Riboflavin is one of the most common vitamins. Bakeries are required to put extra amounts in flour. Nevertheless, it’s likely that many people still don’t get enough of this necessary vitamin. It plays a major role in regulating metabolism, and riboflavin is necessary for countless cellular processes. That’s why it’s good news that green tea can give you an extra boost in the riboflavin department. Those who are looking for another major vitamin B constitute, folate, might want to pay close attention to black tea. Each cup can add around 12 mcg of folic acid to your diet.
Manganese is a mineral that the popular health media seems to forget about, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Both black and green tea is a respectable source of manganese. This is especially good news when you consider the fact that it’s hard to get enough of this mineral from the foods that you eat.
Black tea is a better source of potassium than once thought. If you’re drinking a quality blend of black tea, then you’ll get around 88 mg for every full serving that you drink. Potassium can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. It may play a role in regulating blood pressure as well. This is good news for the countless tea drinkers who also suffer from cardiovascular problems.
A Word About Ashitaba
Ashitaba is the highest grade of Japanese ceremonial tea according to writers from Urbol, which is perhaps the only Western boutique that sells this highly sought-after blend. The kanji used to spell the word in Japanese can be translated as tomorrow’s leaf. If a leaf from the Ashitaba plant is harvested at dawn, then a new sprout generally grows in overnight. Most farmers notice new growths by the next morning. This regenerative property has long produced numerous stories about how the tea can regenerate diseased individuals.
Many of these stories have now turned out to be quite true. Many treatments from Japanese folk medicine are enjoying support from the scientific community today. A 20th century botanist by the name of Koizumi Gen’ichi preformed a great deal of research on the Ashitaba plant. Koizumi-sensei was fascinated by the long lifespan enjoyed by residents of the islands where this crop is cultivated. He believed there was a connection between the health of these farmers and the high levels of vitamin B12 found in cups of tea brewed from the plant’s leaves.
When he measured the pH level of the tea, he found that micronutrients called chalconoids were abundant in the finished beverage. His findings enjoyed so much support that the term koidzumi is sometimes used to describe cultivars of the plant in his honor. Tea made from this plant features some of the highest vitamin levels of any type of tea.
Pine Needle Tea’s Unique Benefits and Flavor
Some people might not consider pine needle tea to be a legitimate hot beverage. It’s not technically tea, but it’s still an infusion of plant material into hot water. The high concentrations of vitamin C in a finished cup deserve a second look anyway.
Most nutritional experts talk about citrus fruit as a source of vitamin C, though there are many other sources including vegetables like potatoes. The vast majority of people never seem to get enough in their diet. A single cup of pine needle tea has more vitamin C than even the most active people need. While some tea drinkers with allergies will sometimes recommend it as a decongestant, pine needle tea is perfect for those with an illness based on the vitamin C content alone since it features five times more of this necessary immune-boosting vitamin than a ripe lemon does. A fresh cup also includes a significant amount of vitamin A, which means that it’s best not to overindulge on this unique beverage.
Tea Shouldn’t be Your Only Source
No one is suggesting that tea should be your only source of vitamins. You should be eating a balanced diet that gives you a proper mix of vitamins and minerals every day. Getting extra micronutrients from your tea is an added bonus that shouldn’t be ignored, however, so you should feel free to enjoy that extra cup of an exotic new blend while still feeling good about it.