Quest Vitamins LTD,
Why the Traditional Cuppa is Good For You
Drinking three or more cups of tea daily may be more beneficial than water. Green tea drinking has long been associated with good health but research is now suggesting that the more commonly consumed black tea may have similar benefits.
Tea is one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world. The cup of tea of is a British institution, associated with creating a sense of "calm after the storm". However due the popularity of soft drinks, containing little but sugar and caffeine, tea consumption is falling.
Analysing data from all research published between 1990 and 2004, a recent review concluded that the evidence is clear that drinking three or more cups of tea daily is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
So what's in tea?
Tea is rich in substances known as polyphenolic catechins, also called tannins. Catechins are powerful antioxidants, meaning that they help protect from free radicals, damaging substances generated in the environment and by the chemical reactions that sustain life. Catechins in tea are rapidly absorbed and milk does not impair their bioavailability.
Tea is a rare source of theanine, a substance related to the protein glutamine; it is able to cross the blood brain barrier and may increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, inducing feelings of calm and relaxation. Tea also provides fluoride, theoretically then tea consumption may reduce the risk of dental caries.
There's a common misconception that because tea contains caffeine, it dehydrates the body. Tea is 99.5% water, it does replace fluids in the same way as a glass of water; caffeine only has a diuretic effect if you consume more than 300mg in one go. A typical 250ml cup of tea contains between 30-90mg of caffeine depending on strength and the brand used. Pregnant tea drinkers should avoid consuming more than 2-3 cups a day, due to a possible increase in the risk of miscarriage among mothers having more than 200-300mg of caffeine daily.
Finally the tannins in tea are metal chelators, and tannin-chelated metals are not bio available; for this reason it is advisable to consume tea between meals to prevent it interfering with the absorption of iron from plant sources. To optimize iron absorption consume vitamin C with meals.
If you are one of the few who do not enjoy tea drinking green tea is available in supplement form, providing the benefits of drinking large amounts of green tea in a convenient and concentrated form.