Tuesday, May 17, 2011

TEA TIME By Valerie Hould-Marchand

Although tea drinking has been associated with health benefits for centuries, only in recent years have its medicinal properties have been investigated scientifically. Top researchers from around the world have discovered that numerous teas are so high in antioxidant that drinking three or more cups a day can provide the same nutrients as our recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
Recent research into tea consumption has seen increased bone health, cholesterol-lowering effects, and decreased risk of heart attacks. High tea consumption has even been shown to reduce cavities, and offer immune-boosting and cancer-fighting potential.
Many herbal teas have specific uses for symptom relief ; for example, hawthorn tea can reduce blood pressure ; chamomile tea can soothe digestive complaints. But the true powerhouse teas are from the Camelia sinensis plant-the source of white, green, oolong, and matcha teas.
Green tea is the best food source of catechins, which have been found to be more powerful than vitamins C and E in stopping the oxidative damage to cells. Moreover, studies have shown an association between the consumption of green tea and a reduced risk of various cancers.
The antioxidants in green, oolong and black teas can help block the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol and improve artery function.
So how much should you drink to get the most out of your cup ? You need to drink about three cups of freshly brewed tea daily in order to absorb all healthful plant compounds. Allow your tea to steep for five minutes to let out its catechins. You probably heard that tea can block the absorption of iron, and while that is correct, it is easy to counteract this problem by simply adding lemon or milk to your tea.

1 comment:

  1. Are there any health risks or drawbacks to drinking chai tea? It seems to be the latest popular drink in many coffee shops around Toronto.