For centuries many in Europe and Asia have written of what they believed to be the health benefits of drinking tea. As early as 400 A.D. tea was grown in China as a medicinal beverage. According to recent studies, historical beliefs about tea could well have some validity.
Drinking tea has been associated with a lowered risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A study published in PLoS One, May 2012 reported the results of a study of various levels of tea drinking and Type 2 diabetes.
Twenty-six centers in 8 European countries were included in the study. Of a total of 340,234 participants, 12,403 developed Type 2 diabetes. It was found:
- the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes went down with the increased amount of tea consumed each day.
- those who drank at least 4 cups per day had a 16 per cent lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than the participants who drank no tea.
An 8 ounce cup of tea has only 2 calories. It supplies 2 per cent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of riboflavin and 3 per cent of the RDA for folate. It also provides 7.1 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 2.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
Tea is full of flavonoids, a kind of antioxidant. Antioxidants scavenge free radicals which can cause disease. In the lab, tea has been shown to block toxic chemicals such as those found in tobacco. It has been founds:
- rats who drank tea had less cancer than those who did not drink it, and in
- Japan and China, where tea is popular, there is less heart disease and certain types of cancers that are more prevalent in the Western world.
Research: Preliminary work shows tea could be helpful in preventing and treating prostate cancer. The most common flavonoids in tea are the catechins. At least some research shows catechins could protect against heart disease by lowering blood pressure.
Drinking Iced Tea: Iced tea is tasty with Splenda or stevia and lemon or lime juice. Add peppermint tea or an herbal tea to vary the flavor. To keep your drink from becoming dilute once the ice cubes melt, use ice cubes made with tea.
Plant your own Tea Bush: If you want a really fresh pot of tea, consider growing your own plant. The tea plant is known by its scientific name Camellia sinensis. It flourishes in mild, sunny climates, but it can also be grown in a greenhouse or as an indoor plant.
- plant seeds in a sandy, slightly acidic, well-drained soil.
- the plant grows into a bush about 3 to 6 feet tall.
- the first harvest should take place when the bush is three years old. Pick the youngest leaves and leaf buds. Crush them until they turn red and place onto a tray. Leave in a cool location for two or three days. Dry in an oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, and
then your tea will be ready to brew.