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Monday, January 19, 2015

Tea health benefit awareness increases tea drinking!

Ready-to-drink teas have recorded the largest boom in business, according to a report from the Tea Association of the USA Inc. Sales have increased more than 12 times since 1990, topping out at an estimated US$2.41 billion in 2005.

The overall numbers reveal an increase in four market areas: the ready-to-drink tea, and traditional markets - including stores - food service and specialty markets.

We're talking growing from US$1.84 billion to US$6.16 billion in 15 years.

There are those select customers who will only drink tea, mainly because they dislike coffee," she said. "There are also those who stick to tea for health reasons."

Those assumed health benefits have brought the drink under scrutiny lately.

Tea, though, isn't pushing coffee out of the way.

"We have tea customers, and we have coffee customers," said Sandra Alexander, manager at Ola's Exotic Coffee inside the Cesar Chavez Branch Library. "Right now, there are more smoothie drinkers, because it's hot outside."Laurel Hoover, a barista at Java Aroma on Grand Canal Boulevard, said coffee sales were up as the school year ended a couple of weeks ago, but the shop does have its share of tea drinkers.

Hoover expected tea sales to rise when the school year ended and Java Aroma's student customers were less interested in late-night fixes and more into relaxing.

In June 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that its own data couldn't confirm drinking green tea - said to be beneficial for many different types of health concerns - reduces breast cancer in women and prostate cancer. Last month, the FDA released another report saying it was unlikely the tea reduced the risk of heart disease.

This isn't to dismiss tea as a health booster, but all of the claims accompanying the tea boom should be investigated a little more thoroughly before jumping into an obsession with the beverage.

Though, as my friend proved to me a couple of weeks ago, it doesn't hurt to have a glass every now and then.

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.

It's official - A cup of tea is good for you!

A research reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition has confirmed that tea is a healthier drink than water.

Apparently, tea doesn't dehydrate the drinker, but rather rehydrates just as well as the equivalent quantity of water would. Tea can also protect against heart disease and some cancers.

Desk research conducted by Dr. Carrie Ruxton, a public health nutritionist at London's Kings College found that drinking three or four cups of tea a day can minimize the chances of a heart attack, and some reports suggested it protected against cancers.

Tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent cell damage.

"Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water," says Dr Ruxton. "Tea replaced fluids and contains antioxidants, so it's got two things going for it".

Drinking lots of tea may do the body good!

A growing number of studies suggest that drinking tea imparts a lot of health benefits to the drinker.

Such potential benefits from tea include improved mental alertness, lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reduced blood pressure, lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancer, as well as possible protection again Type 2 diabetes and maybe even help with weight loss.

One substance in tea -the epigallo-catechin gallate (EGCG) - appears to be the main component that produces those health benefits. Other benefits also include reduction of psoriasis, prostate cancer and colon tumors (at least in animals). EGCG is now an ingredient in a growing number of foods, beverages and dietary supplements.

However, there is still so much debate on such tea health benefits. Where one study finds that tea boosts immune function, another shows no effect. Most of the research has been limited to animals. Scientists have yet to examine all the properties of green, black, oolong and white tea. They don't yet know if the variety of tea -- Darjeeling vs. jasmine green tea, for example -- could make a difference. Or what effect there may be from drinking tea straight or mixing it with milk, sugar, lemon or other spices. There isn't even agreement on whether a cup of tea means the barely four ounces you sip from fine china or the hefty 16 ounces in an oversize mug.

Tea has big possibilities, say observers. But there is still a long way to go before such health benefits are conclusively confirmed.

Still, almost all seem to agree that drinking tea is beneficial to drinkers.

Hot Tea believed to improve general well-being!

A cup of hot tea is believed to impart several health benefits to drinkers. Hot tea is believed to improve the heart, reduce cancer risk, help the skin and contribute to general well-being. 

Experts have said that tea has better health benefits if it is heated. The heat acts as an instrument to transfer the antioxidants in the tea leaves to the water. Although tea can still have many benefits if it is cool, it slows down the digestive system, Hawkins said.

The best way to prepare the hot tea is to heat water until it boils, then pour it into a cup with the tea. Leave the tea in the cup for several minutes, usually between five and 20 minutes. If roots are used in the tea, they will probably need to be boiled in water for 10 to 20 minutes.

Experts further recommend not using tap water because the chemicals used to clean the water may change the taste of the tea. People can add milk or honey to tea but some antioxidants may be diluted, hence the health benefits might not be as potent. 

Green and black tea are among the most popular types of tea that can be enjoyed hot. Both include caffeine and health benefits. 

There are also many teas that are derived from herbs, roots and barks. Most of these usually have unique medicinal benefits to the drinker.