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Tea's Benefits From Head to Toe - Lessons about Health From
the Latest Research
Colo., /PRNewswire/ -- Although tea has long been viewed as a revitalizing
beverage, only recently has scientific research begun to substantiate the
benefits of drinking tea. The results are promising: adding tea to your daily
diet could be the edge you need to stay healthy from head to toe.
"New studies reveal how the powerful antioxidant phytonutrients (plant
nutrients) in tea, called flavonoids, may help defend the body against a variety
of ailments," says Jim Kinsinger, PhD, of Celestial Seasonings. Drinking tea
regularly may help many tissues in the body, including:
* Heart and Blood Vessels: a recent USDA study reports that tea reduces
"bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood and increases the ability of blood
vessels to respond to stress. Tea consumption has been linked with a
reduced risk for heart disease and stroke in many studies.
* Cancer: the flavonoids in tea can act to inhibit the development of
precancerous lesions and cancers in many tissues, including bladder,
breast, intestine, liver, lung, mouth, pancreas, and skin, in animal
studies and human cell lines.
* Bones and Joints: tea consumption may help maintain bone mineral
density during aging, reduce osteoporosis, and prevent fractures.
Some research indicates tea flavonoids have anti-inflammatory actions
and may reduce the severity of rheumatoid arthritis.
* Immune System: one new study from Harvard suggests that tea may help
support a healthy immune system that can better defend against
* Liver: tea appears to help support the liver's function in detoxifying
the blood, including the elimination of cancer-causing compounds.
* Brain: tea may stimulate nerve cells to make more apo-A, a protein
which may help delay the onset of dementia associated with Alzheimer's
* Teeth: tea is a rich source of natural fluoride, and together with tea
flavonoids, may help combat cavity-causing bacteria and plaque.
* Weight: green tea flavonoids have been found to stimulate the body's
ability to burn calories by increasing fat oxidation and thermogenesis
Research also demonstrates how different teas can benefit your body. "The
various forms of tea-white, green, oolong and black-contain different profiles
of individual flavonoids, the antioxidant phytonutrients responsible for many of
the health benefits attributed to tea," explains Professor Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD
at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
"Studies of large populations reveal a dose-response relationship, that is, the
more tea people consume, the lower their risk for conditions like cancer and
Tea is also a way to add beneficial phytonutrients to your diet. "Think of tea
as another way to eat more plant foods -- two cups of tea provide as many
flavonoids as a serving of fruits or vegetables," concludes Dr. Blumberg. "The
flavonoid content of tea is highest in freshly brewed, high quality teas, while
iced tea and bottled teas are much more dilute."
Dr. Kinsinger concurs, "The bottom line is, drinking tea is good for you. We're
still discovering just how good and how far-reaching the benefits of tea
drinking can be." For an extensive listing of tea health studies, visit
To get the most from your teacup, Dr. Kinsinger recommends the following:
* Drink at least two 8-ounce cups daily of white, green, oolong or black
* Drink freshly brewed, high-quality teas like those offered by
Celestial Seasonings (either hot or iced). This ensures the highest
concentration of antioxidant flavonoids, which are reduced in instant
teas due to additional processing.
* Eat a well-balanced diet. While tea contains high levels of healthful
flavonoids, fruits and vegetables offer vital sources of vitamins,
minerals, fiber and antioxidants not found in other food groups.
Perhaps the most encouraging finding from all the emerging research is learning
that just two cups of tea daily provides useful levels of tea's beneficial
phytonutrients. With growing evidence that tea is good for you, it's
increasingly clear that drinking tea every day is a healthy life choice. And
with so many delicious flavors and varieties of tea on the market, it's easy to
do something good for your body-from head to toe.