Water is the mostly widely consumed liquid in the world. And what is the second most you may ask? TEA! A staggering 80% of households in the US have tea, which is consumed by over 158 million Americans each year, and 50% of the US population on a daily basis. Most of the world’s tea is grown in mountainous regions thousands of feet above sea level, nutrient dense soils. According to the Tea Association of America, the most popular countries that produce tea include Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Taiwan. Highly convenient and quick producing, tea offers oodles of types, flavors, and health benefits.
Tea is a healthy beverage that is almost calorie-free, and contains no salt, fat, nor sugar. Tea has vital flavonoids and anti-oxidants, which help rid of dangerous toxins, which can cause many chronic diseases. There are many types of teas, with some of their many health benefits categorized below:
Black Tea: freshens breath, contains polyphenols and antioxidants. Helps with plaque, dental problems, and weight loss
Chamomile: From Daisies, it helps with sleep, skin conditions, stomach problems, Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), dark circles around the eyes, and PMS
Ginger: reduces inflammation, gut swelling, and aids in digestion.
Ginseng: boosts libido in both men and women, increases sperm count and good for erectile dysfunction
Green: helps curb hunger, great immune enhancer, reduces inflammation, and may help dementia
Licorice Root: very sweet to curb sugar binges, anti-inflammatory, and soothes sore throats
Nettle: helps prevent allergies and hay fever, common colds and itchy eyes
Oolong: boosts metabolism; burns fat, can reduce weight by blocking fat-building enzymes
Passion-flower: helps with anxiety, calms the mind
Peppermint: relieves constipation, improves gut motility, and helps with stomach aches
Valerian Root: good for insomnia and folks who have trouble sleeping. Drink before bed time
White: contains polyphenols and antioxidants; fights aging and wrinkles. Also helps protect against colon cancer. Reduces inflammation and good for weight loss
Yerba Mate: full of antioxidants and vitamins; contains matein, to help fight fat and increase energy.
One of my favorite tea recipes is called Oooss Juice (because of its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties):
- Use a high quality, heat retaining, stainless steel 2-4 gallon pot
- Boil one gallon of water; add one-half pound of sliced ginger and squeeze some lemon juice; lightly boil for five minutes; turn off
- Add 2-6 organic green and white tea bags; steep for 30-60 minutes, then remove
- After 4-12 hours, strain out ginger, place juice in glass jar and cool in refrigerator; drink cold or re-heat
A Brief History of Tea and America’s Role: According to the Tea Association of the U.S.A., tea was first reportedly used by the Chinese 5000 years ago, Great Britain and India revolutionized the trade of tea. America left its mark in tea history, by inventing the “tea bag” and “iced tea”. Americans consume close to 80 billion servings of tea per year, 85% of which is in the form of iced tea. On an average day, over 50 percent of Americans drink tea. Low in caffeine and calories, research studies have shown:
- In a large study, adults who drank two cups of green tea per day reduced cardiovascular disease risk by almost 25%.
- A study showed that tea drinkers have a 40% reduced risk of colon cancer compared to non-tea drinkers. Men benefited with a decrease of 70% in risk for colon cancer when they drank more than 1-2 cups of tea per day.
- A recent paper showed that 30,000 adults who drank three or more cups of tea per day had close to a 70% reduced risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
- Drinking tea has been shown to increase bone mineral density (BMD), improve muscle mass, which may help prevent Osteoporosis, combined with weight-bearing exercise.
- According to the Scientific Symposium on Tea and Health in 2007, Theanine, an amino acid found in green and black tea may help prevent age-related memory decline and Alzheimer’s.
- The University of Maryland published research showing green tea and black tea can help prevent atherosclerosis.
- Drinking one or more cups of green tea daily showed a marked decrease in the risk of tooth loss and plaque, due to their anti-bacterial properties
- A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.
Drinking tea has a myriad of health benefits. It is Inexpensive, easy to make, has a variety of flavors and types, and just darn tasty! Drinking hot, freshly brewed tea should be considered as a part of one’s regular diet.