Tea Might Be Making Your Bones Stronger

by Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie

Despite the fact that I frequently poison my body with unprecedented levels of Sour Patch Kids and champagne (you think I don't mean at the same time but, boy, are you wrong), I might be doing something right: apparently women who drink tea have stronger bones than those who don't. I drink tea all the time. I'm drinking tea right now. Spooky, right?

It's so nice to get some good news about my health. Usually I read stories about how skinny jeans are going to kill me, or about how hickeys could give me a stroke, all of which makes me truly amazed that I've made it to the tender age of 20 in one piece. Maybe it really is the tea thing?

Anyway, a cross-sectional study published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition found, after reviewing several previously conducted studies from around the globe, that women who drink tea have a higher average bone mineral density (BMD) than women who do not. BMD is number that measures the calcium and other minerals in your bones — and basically, the higher the number, the better. Higher BMD rates are correlated with lower risks of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Oddly, though, is the fact there was no difference in BMD between women who drank between one and four cups of tea a day, and women who drank four or more. It also seemed not to matter whether the tea had milk in it or not (which rules out the possibility that the higher BMD was due to calcium in milk that people put in their tea). Even more oddly, the study did not find the same correlation between tea drinking and higher BMD rates in men.

While the results are promising, there is still no direct link between tea consumption and decreased bone fractures, which is really what matters; more research is needed before we can say conclusively that tea is good for your bones. It seems like a step in the right direction, though, so drink as much tea as you want (just don't tell your dentist).

Looking for new ways to enjoy tea (by which I of course mean increase your BMD)? Try these ideas — bet you haven't tried them before!

1. DIY Elderberry Tea

I know it sounds kind of goofy, but homemade herbal tea is so easy to make and so good. Try this recipe for easy, delicious elderberry tea.

2. Ugandan Milk Tea

Ugandan milk tea is in the chai tea family, and it is so good. Seriously. Actually, it's probably not great if you have an aversion to ginger, but otherwise this Ugandan milk tea recipe will knock your socks off.

3. Green Tea Bath

So, since you're not actually drinking the tea here, I make no promises that a green tea bath will increase your BMD. I will, however, guarantee that your skin will be smoother and you will be more relaxed after.

4. Ask For No Water In Your Iced Tea At Starbucks

Iced tea at Starbuck is half tea, half water. Make the most of your drink by ordering it with no water.

5. Put Coconut or Almond Milk In Your Tea

So hip and so lactose free.

Images: GotAThought/Etsy; Giphy (5)