Tea is 'optimal beverage' and slashes cancer, heart disease and dementia risk

A cup of tea can help solve a lot of life’s problems.

It’s something that Brits have known for a while now, but it seems like the Americans are catching up to our way of thinking.

According to research from the US Tea Council (who else?) the benefits of a cuppa come from compounds called flavonoids.

Found in black, green and herbal teas, these naturally-occurring compounds have antioxidant properties.

Essentially, they provide bioactive compounds that help neutralize free radicals which may damage elements in the body, such as genetic material and lipids, and contribute to chronic disease.

Tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that is for the most part, uniquely found in tea.

‘There is a growing body of research from around the world demonstrating that drinking tea can enhance human health in many ways,’ said Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, an active Professor Emeritus in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in the US.

‘True teas – which include black, green, white, oolong, and dark – can contribute significantly to the promotion of public health,’ he said, speaking at the sixth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health.

Dr. Blumberg added: ‘Evidence presented at this symposium reveals results – ranging from suggestive to compelling – about the benefits of tea on cancer, cardiometabolic disease, cognitive performance, and immune function.’

The symposium included a comprehensive review of the published data on drinking a cup of joe.

The researchers found that green tea has also been shown to improve autoimmune disorders by promoting self-tolerance, suppressing autoantigen-induced inflammatory attacks, and enhancing tissue repair.

Not that Brits need any more of an excuse to pour out a builder’s brew. Together, we all guzzle around 100 million cups of tea each day.

‘There is strong evidence that tea and its constituents seem to be beneficial under conditions of stress. The most profound cognitive domain that tea seems to act upon is attention and alertness,’ explains Louise Dye, PhD, professor of Nutrition and Behaviour at the University of Leeds.

‘With these effects on attention, tea is an optimal beverage of choice during a time of elevated stress and burnout worldwide.’

Right, time to put the kettle on.

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