Brew yourself a cup of antioxidant protection against heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Tea has been consumed for more than 4,000 years as both a beverage and medicine throughout Asia.
Today studies show tea is not a magic “pill” that cures cancer or replaces modern medicine, but it is a powerful antioxidant that may protect against many diseases and slow the progression of others.
Tea contains catechins which can make blood less sticky helping to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. The antioxidant properties of catechins can also reduce free radical damage and some studies show it may help prevent breast, prostate, and GI tract related cancers. Studies have also shown people who drink at least one cup of tea daily have higher bone mineral density helping to reduce the risk of osteoporosis. There are many properties in tea which could contribute to strong bones; fluoride being the best known can also help prevent cavities. Overconsumption has been linked to a condition called fluorosis so it is best to limit tea to 4 cups or less daily.
Green tea has the highest catechin content, about 375 mg per cup, with black tea having around 210 mg. Decaffinated green and black teas appear to have the same benefits as regular. Adding milk to tea blocks the absorption of catechins so this should be avoided. Sugar and alternative sweeteners do not appear to effect catechin absorption, although consuming these in moderation is best.
Keeping with the theme of cancer prevention, one of our fellow bloggers and follower of Fit Nutrition 4 Life has suffered from mesothelioma. Heather has made it her life mission to spread awareness and encourage early detection as well as prevention. Please pass along her link to those who could benefit from her message. http://www.mesothelioma.com/