January 29, 2010

JUST ANOTHER THING THE COLONISTS GOT WRONG:

Tea's benefits are in the bag (Sandra Dick, 1/29/10, The Scotsman)

A flood of research into the health benefits of our favourite cuppa suggests that the traditional brew and its herbal-infused cousins could be the answer to many of our health woes, tackling everything from high blood pressure to tooth decay, reducing our risk of potentially deadly conditions and even helping to cure our hangover.

According to one recent study, just three cups of tea a day can reduce our risk of stroke.

Another from Australia suggests that drinking tea can reduce the chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, with those who drank three to four cups of tea a day lowering their chance of developing the disease by one fifth.

That's not all. Tea is stuffed with clever antioxidants which help build defences against cancer and even help lower cholesterol – drinking three cups of tea a day has around the same antioxidant power as munching six apples.

Our cuppa can even help keep the dentist at bay: tea is a natural source of fluoride that can help protect against tooth decay and gum disease.

Herbal teas – long loved by the body-conscious – have a raft of health benefits, too.

Just last month researchers from Newcastle University found that a certain type of mint infusion, Brazilian hyptis crenata, could be as effective as aspirin in relieving pain.

The Tea Council says we sup 165 million cups of tea every day – working out at roughly 40 per cent of the nation's total fluid intake. Our three cups a day provide nine per cent of the daily requirement of vitamin B, 25 per cent of vitamin B2, six per cent of vitamin B6 and ten per cent of folic acid.

Tea also contains manganese, essential for bone growth and body development, as well as potassium, which helps maintain body fluid levels.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2010 7:39 AM
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