Drink Tea for Your Health

You may wonder what makes tea a healthy beverage. Scientists think that it’s the natural plant compounds found in tea called flavonoids that have powerful health benefits. Flavonoids can function as antioxidants but researchers are finding benefits that go well beyond. While investigators are still exploring the various mechanisms by which tea flavonoids function, studies suggest multifunctional mechanism that work in tandem to improve cardiovascular health. TAC_flavonoid_postcard_ENG A great deal of research on tea’s flavonoids focus on cardiovascular health benefits and this blog gives you a glimpse of the evidence available on tea flavonoids and heart health. – A recently published review article by researchers from the University of L’Aquila in Italy found that both green and black tea can improve the health of our blood vessels and highlighted that even as little as 1-2 cups/day of tea, combined with a healthy diet, could lower risk of heart disease. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/6/1660S.full. – Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that consuming one cup of tea per day may reduce incidence of stroke and heart attacks by 8 to 10 percent. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/98/6/1651S –  Earlier human population studies found that people who regularly consume 3 or more cups of Black tea per day have a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.  [1] [2] – High blood pressure is a risk factor of disease and small decrease in blood pressure from dietary changes may have significant benefits. Researchers in Australia found that regular consumption of 3 cups of black tea a day can result in significantly lower blood pressures.[3] – A major study published in the September 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found that consuming five or more cups a day of green tea was associated with a 26 percent lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.[4]

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In summary, important areas of heart health benefits of tea & flavonoids include:

  • cardiovascular health
  • blood vessel and endothelial function
  • blood pressure
  • dyslipidemia
  • inflammation
  • oxidative damage

Recipes for more ways to enjoy tea for your health! Brewed green tea with mint Green tea comes from the plant camellia sinensis. Immediately after harvesting tea leaves are steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried, creating a delicate taste that is light green colour and very refreshing. Due to the more delicate nature of green teas there are special guidelines for green tea preparation. The key to making delicious green tea is to use hot (not boiling water) and only steep it for 3 minutes.

  • Bring water to a rolling boil. Let water cool for a few minutes so it’s about 80 Celsius.
  • Use one bag of tea, or if using loose green tea leaves measure one teaspoon per cup into an infuser.
  • Pour hot water (not boiling water) directly onto tea leaves or tea bag
  • Steep for about 3 minutes. Remove the tea bags or the infuser.
  • Add a few sprigs of mint leaves and use a slice of lemon for serving.
  • For Mint Iced Tea – pour prepared tea and mint leaves over a glass of ice and enjoy.

Cinnamon Iced Tea TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ Professional’s tip: Pour a cup of boiling water over black tea and a cinnamon stick. Steep for 4 minutes, let cool then pour over an ice-filled glass. If desired, use a slice of lemon for serving. Enjoy! Cinnamon Black Tea  – TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ Professional’s tip: Pour a cup of boiling water over black tea and a cinnamon stick. Steep 4 minutes. If desired, use a slice of lemon for serving. Enjoy!

Photo: Thinstock

Photo: Thinstock

ADAPTED by L. Weiler RD FROM: Read more: http://www.oprah.com/health/Healthy-Iced-Tea-Flavors-Iced-Tea-Recipes#ixzz3cRLIAXXI

[1] Larsson SC, et al. Black tea consumption and risk of stroke in women and men. Ann Epidemiol 2013 Mar, 23(3):157-60.

[2] Arab L, et al. Green and Black Tea Consumption and Risk of Stroke. A Meta-Analysis. Stroke 2009;40(5):1786-92

[3] Hodgson Jonathan M. et al, Effects of Black Tea on Blood Pressure: A Randomized Controlled Trial , Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(2):186-188. doi:10.1001/archinte.172.2.186. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1108657

[4] Shinichi Kuriyama, et al. Green Tea Consumption and Mortality Due to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, and All Causes in Japan (The Ohsaki Study) JAMA. 2006;296(10):1255-1265. doi:10.1001/jama.296.10.1255. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=203337

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