Tea

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Packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants, tea offers nutrition without calories, and may be considered healthier than coffee

Green and hibiscus tea are some of the best antioxidant providers. Hibiscus tea may elevate the antioxidant level of one’s bloodstream within just an hour of consumption. Dried lemon balm and peppermint tea are also high in antioxidants. But, the herbal tea with the most antioxidants is dandelion tea.  Cold-brewed tea and spiced tea may boost antioxidant levels even more.

Green tea may help clear external genital warts through topical application, protect joint cartilage, improve artery function, inhibit clots, help block tumor growth, reduce breast cancer risk, lower respiratory infection risk by gargling, improve women’s skin quality, treat Gorlin Syndrome, a serious skin cancer condition, and extend lifespan. Matcha, powdered green tea, also has nutritional benefits. White tea may be even more effective than green tea in helping to prevent DNA damage.

Other teas have specific health benefits as well. For example, black tea is not a diuretic, but is as hydrating as water. Earl Gray tea is a source of bergamottin, a phytonutrient that can help protect the stomach lining. Regular hibiscus tea intake may reduce hypertension, and lemon balm tea intake may help protect against radiation-induced oxidative stress. Rooibos (red) tea may reduce stress levels, and nettle tea is mineral rich, but may have estrogenic side effects. In the South Asia region, adhatoda tea has been used as a traditional remedy to treat asthma.

Tea drinking as part of a whole-foods, plant-based may lower chronic obstructive pulmonary disease risk, block the effects of dioxins, reduce allergic responses, block cancer stimulation of new blood vessels, help us relax, and can possibly stimulate pleasurable cannabis receptors in our brain. Due to phytonutrients that bind to aluminum in tea, tea drinkers don’t have to worry about aluminum exposure.

Adding milk to tea blocks the beneficial effects of the phytonutrients in tea, and adding soy milk may suppress the potential beneficial vascular effects of drinking tea. But, adding lemon appears to boost the nutrition of both green and white tea. 

There are, some potential side effects of tea intake that drinkers should be aware of. Mint tea in excess may reduce testosterone levels. Due to its manganese content, intake of hibiscus tea likely should be limited to one quarter a day for adults. Herbal teas potentially can erode the teeth, which can be prevented by using a straw or rinsing your mouths out with water after drinking. Green tea consumption may help prevent cavities, but excessive consumption by young children may lead to dental fluorosis. An analysis of fluoride levels in five brands of bottled tea, indicates drinkers probably should not drink more than ten cups of tea per day. And, drinking tea or coffee with your meals can hamper iron absorption.

Topic summary contributed by Randy.


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