Health Benefits of Tea

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In the past few years, more North Americans are drinking tea.  According to The Tea Association of the USA, Americans consumed well over 79 billion servings of tea, or over 3.60 billion gallons in 2012. In addition, retail sales have increased 16% over the last five years.  Similarly, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada projected tea consumption expected to jump 40% by 2020.  Moreover, Canadian drink almost 9.7 billion cups of tea each year. This is huge for Both Canada and America because coffee drinking has always been the culture.

Tea consumption has increased due to the convenience and interest in the healthy properties of tea.  Here are some important health benefits:

1) Rich in Flavonoids –  In addition to containing no calories, salt or fat and being free of preservatives and addictives, tea is rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in tea, fruits and beverages that neutralize the body’s naturally occurring but cell-damaging free radical molecules. Damage by free radicals over time is believed to contribute to the development of many chronic disease including cancer.  Moreover, both black tea and green tea has almost three times the amount of flavonoids as cranberry juice and six times the amount of flavonoids as orange juice.

2) Reduced Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke – In a issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association published in 2006, it demonstrated that consuming five or more cups a day of green tea was associated with a twenty-six percent lower risk of death due to cardiovascular disease.

3) Strengthen body’s immune system – Published studies by researchers from Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that tea contains theanine, a unique amino acid that primes the immune system in fighting infection, bacteria, virses and fungi. Furthermore, researchers found that participants’ immune cells produce two or four times more interferon that at baseline after drinking five cups of black tea daily for two to four weeks.  Interferon is a protein that helps improve and strengthen the body’s immune response in human clinical trials.

What is your favourite tea? What is your reason for drinking tea? Post your comments below.  Till next time!

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