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3 Surprising Benefits of Black Tea (Plus 3 Refreshing Recipes)

Sip away blood sugar woes (and more) with these yummy drinks.

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Dentists give black tea a bad rap because it’s likely to stain your teeth. But drinking it once in a while may offer you refreshing benefits. In fact, black tea (which comes from the Camellia sinensis plant) is bursting with antioxidants, which can help lower inflammation, among other bonuses. Plus, research shows that this low-cal drink can help you feel your best by potentially speeding weight loss, protecting vision, and more. As long as you’re okay with the caffeine level (regular coffee almost always has more), black tea may be a great addition to your routine. Find out which health benefits it has to offer below.

Supercharges slimming.

A refreshing black tea sip can help you drop pounds without any extra effort, according to researchers reporting in The European Journal of Nutrition. The credit goes to catechins, plant compounds in the tea that increase fat burn, which may help women shed more pounds.

Safeguards vision.

Black tea is brimming with tannins, compounds that work alongside caffeine to relax capillaries in the eyes and prevent vision-damaging surges in blood pressure. In fact, UCLA scientists found that drinking three cups of black tea daily can reduce the risk of developing glaucoma by up to 74 percent.

Steadies blood sugar.

Drinking 6 ounces of black tea after meals helps cut the risk of blood sugar swings by up to 48 percent. That’s the word from investigators reporting in the journal Nutrients, whose study revealed the tea’s polyphenols slow carbohydrate absorption to stabilize blood sugar.

Refreshing Recipes: Strawberry, Apple Cinnamon, and Peach

Not a fan of plain black tea? Try these delicious sips which add a splash of flavor while still keeping the calorie count down and the health benefits up.

Splendid Strawberry Tea

Glass of iced red fruit blacktea with sliced strawberries and crushed ice
Getty Images

We love the simplicity of this recipe and how much flavor a little fruit like strawberry can add.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 4 black tea bags
  • 2 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 2 cups strawberries

Instructions:

Steep tea in 4 cups boiling water 10 minutes. In pitcher, combine 2 cups of ice, tea, and remaining ingredients.

Per serving: Cal. 52 Prot. 1g Carb. 13g Fib. 2g Sug. 10g Chol. 0mg Sod. 8mg Total fat: 0g

Apple Cinnamon Soother

apple cinnamon and mint black tea in two glasses
Irina Rostokina/Shutterstock

Add the benefits of cinnamon to your tea with this nutrient-packed recipe.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 4 black tea bags
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • Apple slices (optional)

Instructions:

Steep first 3 ingredients in 4 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. In a pitcher, combine tea mixture, apple juice, and 2 cups of ice. Divide among 4 glasses; garnish with apple slices.

Per serving: Cal. 184 Prot. 0g Carb. 47g Fib. 1g Sug. 42g Chol. 0mg Sod. 18mg Total fat: 0g

Peachy Mint Marvel

peach and mint iced black tea in two glasses with peaches around
Getty Images

We love how the sweet, soft peach flavor compliments the bright, refreshing mint in this drink.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):

  • 4 black tea bags
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peach preserves
  • 2 peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 1 lime, juiced

Instructions:

Steep tea and mint in 4 cups of boiling water for 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of ice, tea, and remaining ingredients to pitcher; stir.

Per serving: Cal. 59 Prot. 1g Carb. 15g Fib. 1g Sug. 12g Chol. 0mg Sod. 7mg Total fat: 0g

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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