Although tea has long been viewed as a revitalizing beverage, only recently has scientific research begun to substantiate the benefits of drinking tea. The results are promising: adding tea to your daily diet could be the edge you need to stay healthy from head to toe.
“New studies reveal how the powerful antioxidant phytonutrients (plant nutrients) in tea, called flavonoids, may help defend the body against a variety of ailments,” says Jim Kinsinger, PhD, of Celestial Seasonings. Drinking tea regularly may help many tissues in the body, including:
Heart and Blood Vessels: a recent USDA study reports that tea reduces “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood and increases the ability of blood vessels to respond to stress. Tea consumption has been linked with a reduced risk for heart disease and stroke in many studies.
Cancer: the flavonoids in tea can act to inhibit the development of precancerous lesions and cancers in many tissues, including bladder, breast, intestine, liver, lung, mouth, pancreas, and skin, in animal studies and human cell lines.
Bones and Joints: tea consumption may help maintain bone mineral density during aging, reduce osteoporosis, and prevent fractures. Some research indicates tea flavonoids have anti-inflammatory actions and may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
Immune System: one new study from Harvard suggests that tea may help support a healthy immune system that can better defend against infectious diseases.
Liver: tea appears to help support the liver’s function in detoxifying the blood, including the elimination of cancer-causing compounds.
Brain: tea may stimulate nerve cells to make more apo-A, a protein which may help delay the onset of dementia associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Teeth: tea is a rich source of natural fluoride, and together with tea flavonoids, may help combat cavity-causing bacteria and plaque.
Weight: green tea flavonoids have been found to stimulate the body’s ability to burn calories by increasing fat oxidation and thermogenesis (heat production).
Research also demonstrates how different teas can benefit your body. “The various forms of tea-white, green, oolong and black-contain different profiles of individual flavonoids, the antioxidant phytonutrients responsible for many of the health benefits attributed to tea,” explains Professor Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Studies of large populations reveal a dose-response relationship, that is, the more tea people consume, the lower their risk for conditions like cancer and heart disease.”
Tea is also a way to add beneficial phytonutrients to your diet. “Think of tea as another way to eat more plant foods — two cups of tea provide as many flavonoids as a serving of fruits or vegetables,” concludes Dr. Blumberg. “The flavonoid content of tea is highest in freshly brewed, high quality teas, while iced tea and bottled teas are much more dilute.”
To get the most from your teacup, Dr. Kinsinger recommends the following:
Drink at least two 8-ounce cups daily of white, green, oolong or black tea.
Drink freshly brewed, high-quality teas.
Eat a well-balanced diet. While tea contains high levels of healthful flavonoids, fruits and vegetables offer vital sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants not found in other food groups. Visit our website Teas.com.au to check out what tea can compliment your taste.
Dr. Kinsinger concurs, “The bottom line is, drinking tea is good for you. We’re still discovering just how good and how far-reaching the benefits of tea drinking can be.”
(Celestial Seasonings.com, US)