More To Tea Than Meets the Leaf
Tea is "Hot" - Health Scientists say tea is a healthy dose of preventive medicine.
The familiarity of a cup of tea makes it hard to imagine that hidden away inside every sip are substances capable of bolstering our bodies' defenses to help fight chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Although much remains to be learned about the health benefits of tea, a great deal has been documented and tea has been considered a good choice for at least some of the recommended 8 cups of fluid per day.
Hydration is the tip of the tea benefit pyramid. Today we know that tea helps combat heart disease, lowers cholesterol and staves off several types of cancer while protecting skin and strengthening bones and teeth. Besides having practically no calories, no fat and no salt, tea also contains fluoride for strong bones and teeth, and half the amount of caffeine found in an equally sized cup of coffee, while two cups of true tea are as rich in flavonoids as a serving of vegetables.
The plant nutrients in tea that have fueled the enthusiasm of researchers are called flavonoids. Flavonoids have antioxidant function that mean they are capable of mopping up and deactivating potentially harmful free radicals, which, if left to roam the body, may spark chronic health problems. Any tea derived from the leaf of a warm-weather evergreen known as Camellia Sinensis contains these chemicals. The best teas are those brewed from loose leaves or the new breed of full-leaf teas in specially designed Infuser Bags™, with black, green, red or white tea boasting the most antioxidant power.
Consumed daily throughout the world for centuries, Chinese herbalists have long revered the healing properties of tea. Today, the health benefits seem to be getting the seal of approval from scientists in the West. Here's how a daily dose of four to six cups will hedge your bets:
A Healthy Heart - Some of the most persuasive tea research links tea to lower risks of heart disease, stroke and high cholesterol. Numerous clinical trials as well as large population studies have found that regular tea drinkers are as much as 44 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack than the general population.
Cancer Prevention - Both clinical and large population studies suggest black or green tea reduces the risk of a host of cancers, in particular, stomach and colorectal.
Beautiful Skin - The antioxidant-rich properties may help in minimizing the aging process, and in preventing sunburn and even skin cancer. Wearing tea may be just as useful- studies show that green-tea compounds in skin lotions may protect against and reverse sun damage.
Strong Bones & Teeth - Studies report increased bone-density measurements among tea drinkers, possibly due to the fluoride in tea, coupled with the catechins. Tea, especially oolong, has been shown to suppress bacterial growth in the mouth, and it helps to prevent cavities.
Dietary Nutrients - Tea contains varying amounts of Vitamins A, B and C, as well as Folic Acid, Potassium and Manganese. It is important to note that processed teas have lower amounts of nutrients and vitamins.
Bottom line, there is a great deal more to tea than its role as a refreshing beverage. So, relax in the knowledge that your beverage of choice not only tastes great but will leave you feeling great. Go ahead, Drink it in®.