Health Benefits of Tea Drinking
Can drinking tea actually help you quit smoking? In this article I'm going to have a critical look at the assertion that drinking tea can help with quitting the deadly habit of smoking tobacco. I'm aware that tea, especially green tea, has been shown to contain anti-oxidants. Oxidants are chemicals formed in the body due to a variety of reasons. Smoking is one reason why these chemicals are created. These chemicals are important because they react with cellular components causing cell damage. In turn this results in genetic damage and genetic damage is a step towards cancer. The anti-oxidants in green tea have been scientifically shown to mop up oxidants. Therefore, green tea can possibly help combat the carcinogenic effects of tobacco smoke to some degree.
The Claims of Tea Drinking
Teas to help stop smoking? Are there any ingredients in tea that are of help in quitting smoking? There is no doubt that tea contains chemicals that can influence the body in a number of ways. However, is there any sound scientific evidence that supports the claim that tea drinking helps, in any way, to quit smoking? There are teas that can act as an expectorant; that is, they help to clear the chest of phlegm. Exponents advocate that drinking tea can relieve anxiety and reduce stress, detoxify the body, renew and improve lung function and suppress appetite. It is claimed that peppermint tea helps to alleviate withdrawal symptoms such as nausea and presumably helps curb nicotine cravings. It is also claimed that drinking green tea can help to burn calories thus counteracting weight gain which is often a problem during the initial phase of the quit smoking process.
Teas to Help Stop Smoking- The reality
The scientific evidence for green tea having anti-oxidant properties is convincing. Therefore, green tea may actually help to reduce the risk of smoking related cancer. The worry of course is that the anti-oxidant properties of green tea may discourage smokers from quitting. The anti-cancer benefits are relative and do not equate to returning the smoker to the lung cancer risk of the non-smoker. Evidence in support of drinking tea to help reduce nicotine cravings is less conclusive. I suspect that many of the claims for tea drinking, as a quit smoking aid, are scientifically unssupported. As with many so called 'natural' products that are put forward to help stop smoking the benefits are perceived rather than real. They act as a psychological crutch. However, this psychological aspect of the quitting process should not be underestimated. If someone honestly thinks that it helps, then it probably does.
In the final analysis, I am of the opinion that the claim that drinking tea to help stop smoking is overstated. There is no doubt that green tea is a health tonic. However, as a quit smoking aid, apart from providing psychological support, there are no real benefits.
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