The primary benefit of tea is the natural nutrients it gives to our body. Many studies show that tea's polyphenols help prevent cancer, cardiovascular diseases...
The mind also benefits from a quiet and focused tea session. This reduces stress, which can help with many psychosomatic disorders.
But there is another secondary health benefit that is seldom noticed. For me, this secret benefit has become more and more important in recent years. It is the education of my palate to natural food. As I am getting used to drink very fine, pure and natural tea, I find less and less appetite for chemically enhanced or preserved food. I cook more and more simple meals at home rather than going out or bringing a ready to eat meal home.
Thanks to my tea experience, my mouth is better aware if a food tastes natural or not. Cooking similar meals than in the local restaurants, I realize that I use less salt, less MSG... And the good part is that I like it better light and made with ingredients that I select.
Tea bags are more convenient than loose leaves, but their quality is low compared to whole leaves. I feel more and more the same way about industrial food. I even make my own soy milk now and find it tastes much more clean and good than the soy milk I used to purchase! And I drink it without sugar, of course, because this is also how I enjoy my tea!
Tea has helped me switch to more natural food not because I wanted to eat more healthy, but because I enjoy their flavors much more than artificial ones. This secondary benefit could be even more important than polyphenols'!
I live in Taiwan since 1996 and have been studying tea with Teaparker. He's a worldwide tea expert and author of over 30 tea books. The study of tea isn't just theoretical, but it's also rooted in daily practice. It's a path of continuous improvement. As my brewing technique improves I get access to better teas and better accessories. These things go hand in hand. My blog documents my learning since 2004. And I have set up an online tea boutique with my selection of top quality teas, accessories and tea culture.