Goodness where do the weeks go? Here it is Tuesday again and time for tea. Today's Tea Facts and information comes from a brochure printed by the Tea Council of USA...
TEA AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Like fruits, vegetables and other plant-based foods, tea has been shown in numerous studies to have significant health benefits. Some scientists believe that tea's beneficial effects may be the result of the naturally occurring compounds called flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Flavonoids are present in fruits and vegetables, but are more concentrated in tea. Both decaffeinated and regular tea provide substantial amounts of these antioxidant flavonoids.
In the body flavonoids are believed to work to neutralize harmful molecules called 'free radicals' which, over time, can damage cells and tissues and contribute to chronic disease. Interestingly, laboratory research indicates that tea has similar or higher antioxidant power than many fruits and vegetables. While tea should not be considered a substitute for fruits and vegetables, it may be a valuable addition to a healthy, well-balanced diet. Studies suggest that flavonoids and other natural components found in tea may be beneficial in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. This may help explain why tea drinkers tend to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease as well as certain types of cancers and many other chronic diseases.
I have already discussed tea's benefits in regards to heart health in a previous posting so will move on to other possible health benefits.
While tea is no replacement for other calcium rich beverages and foods associated with bone health, preliminary studies suggest that tea drinkers have stronger bones later in life. One European study found that women who drank tea actually had higher bone mineral density measurements than those who did not drink tea. While it is unclear how tea provides a bone-strengthening function, tea is a source of fluroid, which supports bone health.
TYPE 2 DIABETES
Preliminary research suggests that drinking tea may reduce the risk of Type-2 Diabetes. Several laboratory studies have isolated potential mechanisms by which tea may decrease the risk of Diabetes, including changes to energy balance, food intake, lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and the antioxidant activities of flavonoids. Population-based studies also have found a reduction of risk for this disease amoung tea drinkers compared to non-tea drinkers.
Additionally in regards to Oral Health, tea - black, green, white or Oolong - may contribute to better oral health. Some experts believe that the flavonoids in tea may inhibit the ability of oral bacteria to form harmful plaque deposites. In additon, tea's naturally occuring fluoride may support healthy tooth enamal.
And in regards to Endurance and lean body mass some animal model studies have shown that tea flavonoids help prevent excess calories from being stored as body fat while others have found that tea improves endurance during exercise. In human studies, tea flavonoids have been shown to increase resting energy expenditure, while increasing at metabolism, making it easier to achieve lean body mass.
So have a cup of tea, or 2, and enjoy a healthier life.