If You Aren’t Drinking Tea Then Your Health Maybe Suffering!
On average, the American people drink more than 2.25 billion gallons of tea a year. Not surprising, over 85% of the population prefer ice tea while the remainder prefer to sip a cup of hot tea. Hot tea just isn’t that popular here in the U.S. If you do the math, it works out to approximately 132 cups per person per year. Most folks I know drink 1-2 glasses of ice tea with every meal.
That sounds like a lot of tea but it still lags far behind the rest of the world in tea consumption. Most of the tea drinkers in the United States can be found in the northeast and the south where tea is routinely served as part of a meal. China, Japan and other parts of Asia consume appreciably more tea that the U.S.
On-going research is revealing that at this level of tea intake may offer noteworthy health benefits. In addition to tea’s involvement to increasing our overall daily fluid intake, it increasing the presence of influential antioxidants called flavonoids. What is the nutritional value of tea? Tea by itself has no calories so you can drink as much as you want and not gain weight. However, when sugar is added to it, well the calories began to add up. Simple math-more calories equal weight gain.
Tea leaves are harvested from a warm-weather evergreen shrub named Camellia sinensis. This plant is native to China and India but now can be found in the mountainous regions from Argentina to Malawi. What are types of tea? Oolong tea is left out in the open to the air to oxidize for two to three hours after harvesting. Black tea (what is mostly drunk in the U.S.) is oxidized for up to four hours. Herbal teas are made from the roots, leaves and flowers of other plants and are technically are not tea at all. We also have green tea that is loaded with antioxidants, the good stuff.
Antioxidants are substances that forage free radicals. These are known as destructive compounds in the body that alter cells, tinker with DNA (genetic material), and even cause cell death. Free radicals occur naturally in the body. Environmental toxins include radiation, ultraviolet rays from the sun, air pollution and cigarette smoke. They contribute to the increase of these damaging toxins. Scientists believe that free radicals have a say to the aging process plus may play a major part in the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can counteract free radicals and may decrease or even help avoid some of the damage they cause.
Drinking tea, especially green tea is good for you. Unfortunately, green tea doesn’t have the same taste as Oolong or the black teas. The goods news is whether the tea you choose is black, green or red (oolong) tea, they all contain polyphenols. The good Lord provided all tea with antioxidant properties. So the next time you are wanting to drink healthy, pour your self a glass of tea and enjoy knowing the polyphenols are neutralizing the free radicals and you drink.