Tea is the most commonly consumed beverage in the world after water, and there is good news for the many people who consume the drink regularly. Researchers have recently found that drinking three to six cups of tea per day can significantly reduce your chance of cardiovascular disease.
Have no fear if you don’t like green tea. Black and oolong teas seemed to have a similar effect, though in some cases not quite as strong, so pull out the earl grey, oolong, orange pekoe or breakfast tea and enjoy the flavor you like best.
It is not known exactly which compounds are responsible for the suggestive protective effects of tea. Although many active compounds have been identified with known biological effects, all of the compounds have not yet been identified.
It is known that plant that is the source of both green and black tea leaves has powerful cholesterol-fighting compounds.
The polyphenols in black and green tea have also been proven to assist in lowering blood pressure, particularly in women.
And green and black tea leaves both contain tea flavonoids with strong antioxidant properties. One study has shown that these antioxidants can prevent constriction and improve dilation of blood vessels and arteries immediately after a high-fat meal. So forget the large soda with your fast food meal and take a tea instead to reduce some of the effects of your high-fat splurge.
Contrary to popular rumour, adding milk to your tea does not eliminate or even reduce its antioxidant effect, which is great news for those who like their tea with a little milk and maybe some honey. What you add to your tea does not alter its beneficial effects.
Another myth associated with tea is that it is dehydrating. In fact, although caffeine does act as a dehydrator, it would take an impossibly strong cup of tea to not hydrate.
Some of the research has even led some doctors to assert that drinking tea is a better alternative than drinking water, since water only hydrates, while tea hydrates and adds a dose of antioxidant on the side.