Monday, January 19, 2015

Tea drinking and a healthy diet helps keep chronic diseases away!

Drinking tea, especially as part of a health promoting nutritional diet, low in total fat and salt, with adequate vegetables and fruits, bran cereal insoluble fibre and sources of soluble fibre, may be a useful dietary habit to assist in lowering the risk of a number of chronic diseases, says Dr N Ghosh Hajra, Project Director, Darjeeling Tea Research and Development Centre in his book "Tea and Health - Science behind the myths".

Nearly 650 ml of tea provides over half of the total requirement of dietary flanonoids; nearly 16 per cent of the daily requirement of calcium; almost 10 per cent of the daily requirement of zinc, over 10 per cent of folic acid need; besides other nutrients, says the book.

The inhibitory action of components of black and green teas against cancer initiation has been demonstrated in different animal models involving different organ sites in many laboratories. Black tea has also been shown to inhibit tumerogenesis in lung, colon and skin, says the book.

Concern regarding caffeine in tea is not an issue as long as tea is consumed in moderation as suggested by Canadian and other health authorities, it says. The book offers a comprehensive review of major health benefits of tea consumption including the anti-oxidative action of tea catechins and polyphenols and projects tea as a health drink.

"Tea is a great drink for modern lives; regardles of how one drinks, green, black with milk, lemon, sugar or spice - it is still a best bet."Tea has always come with a positive health message ever since the Chinese started drinking it, says Dr Hajra quoting Monk Eisai, 'Father of Tea' in Japan , "tea is a miraculous medicine for the maintenance of health. Tea has an extraordinary power to prolong life."

But in the past the health claims could not be substantiated by scientific data.

As of today many studies have recorded the beneficial effects of tea on health, but the book notes that more comprehensive research is needed to evaluate effect of tea drinking on a number of diseases.

Researchers say the results indicate that catechins in green tea not only help burn calories and lower LDL cholesterol but may also be able to mildly reduce body fat.

"These results suggest that catechins contribute to the prevention of and improvement in various lifestyle-related diseases, particularly obesity," writes researcher Tomonori Nagao of Health Care Products Research Laboratories in Tokyo.

You can read the findings in the January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


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