A WORD TO THE WISE
For thousands of years tea has been researched and studied for its various health benefits, and almost all modern day professionals in labs, medical centers and independent herbalist agree. Many wise and long-living people do too. As well as being tasty and refreshing, there's a load of good stuff in the humble cuppa.
The Science: Tea contains polyphenol compounds, powerful antioxidants that combat the effect of nasty 'free radicals'. Studies have linked them with the promotion of a healthy heart, anti- ageing and even anti-cancer and stroke properties. Unwanted blood clots formed from cholesterol and blood platelets cause heart attack and stroke, and drinking tea may help keep your arteries smooth and clog-free.
Tea also contains fluoride which helps look after your teeth and bones. In some countries it is common even to use toothpaste with a tea ingredient, such is the fluoride content. Tannins also help keep plaque at bay to guard your pearly whites.
Tea contains considerably less caffeine than coffee, and increases you metabolic rate which can help you burn calories, whilst containing no calories att all itself. It's also worth noting that the caffeine in tea is a slow release compared to that that found in most coffee - it's not a quick hit - it's a three hour gentle lift. Perfect for work, home, a long drive, whatever. Bosses take note: tea breaks should be actively encouraged!
Other studies have shown tea to bolster your immune system, help prevent diabetes, lower stress hormone levels and has antidepressant properties.
My favourite bit: tea contains theanine, a chemical rarely found in nature. Theanine induces a feeling of well being and calmness - almost meditative - but without dampening reflexes or responsiveness. It's maybe why a cuppa is often an excellent remedy to a stressful situation or shock.
Tea is also a marvellous source of vitamins as well as having trace elements of iron, zinc, potassium, and other important minerals.
It’s a great way of keeping yourself hydrated whether at work or at home, and of course a cuppa in the evening is a smart way to avoid that cheeky glass of wine.