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Good Health May Just Be Your Cup of Tea! 

 

            Do you enjoy a hot cup of tea during cold winter walks to class?  Or how about the soothing effect it has on a sore throat?  Since its origins in China 5000 years ago, tea has become a top drink of choice. In fact, next to water, it is the second most popular beverage in the world!  In 2010, 65 billion servings of tea were consumed in the United States alone.

 Why Should I Drink Tea?

Antioxidants found in tea have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and improve overall immune function.  Tea also has less caffeine than coffee.  One 8 oz. cup of tea has about 50 mg of caffeine compared to 90-135mg in one 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Which teas provide the most health benefits?

White, green, black, and oolong tea all contain antioxidants.  However, the amount of processing affects its antioxidant strength.  The white tea has the least processing and thus the strongest antioxidant power, followed by green tea, then black and lastly oolong.  Steeping time matters, too.  Tea should steep three to five minutes to release the most antioxidants.  In order to reap the maximum health benefits of tea, it is suggested to drink up to eight cups a day.  However, remember to monitor your intake; consuming an excess amount of caffeine can be detrimental to your health.

 Should I flavor my tea?

Research conducted at Purdue University found that adding milk or lemon to tea can aid in the body’s absorption of tea’s antioxidants.  However, make sure that you add an appropriate amount.  Excess amounts of sugar and full-fat milk are not beneficial. There are also plenty of flavored teas at the dining halls enhanced with natural ingredients that can help to limit the unnecessary calories from certain additives.

Head to the dining hall with some friends, grab a cup of tea and relax. It doesn’t have to be Boston to enjoy a good tea party.

Relax With A Cup Of Tea And See How Healthy You Can Be!

Revised by:  Andrea Ficarra                              Reviewed By: Peggy Policastro, M.S., R.D. – Dept. of Nutritional Sciences

References: Tea and Health. Available at: http://www.teausa.com/teausa/images/2012/07/Research%20Summary%20Draft%2003-15-09.pdf.  Accessed on: October 5, 2012.

What’s Brewing? New evidence of Health Benefits from Tea: An EN Primer. Available at:

http://www.efph.purdue.edu/files/File/eb2006posters/fs690_EB2006_Tea_Digestion_Poster.pdf.  Accessed on: October 5, 2012.

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