There's nothing more soothing on a dry, sore throat than a cup of hot tea — maybe add a little honey and a slice of lemon. But it can do more for you than provide temporary relief or promote relaxation. Take a walk down the tea and coffee aisle at the store, and you'll find an assortment of flavors and types: black, green, herbal, oolong, mates and blends, among others. Dust off your kettle and pull out a mug so you can drink up these amazing benefits of hot tea.
Why hot? Everything is better when it's hot! But really, the steeping process that takes place with tea helps the drink to maintain the potency of the flavonoids. These little compounds have powerful antioxidant qualities. The longer the tea sits out, the more time oxygen has to pull apart the bonds, depleting the level of antioxidants. (via LiveStrong)
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Good for your heart. Black tea is linked to improved cardiovascular health. A Harvard School of Public Health study concluded that people who drank one or more cups a day had a 44-percent reduced risk of a heart attack. Furthermore, hot tea is able to help lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels. This cardiovascular friend is also associated with lowering the risk for diabetes. Click here for a list of the 10 best foods for heart health.
A defense against cancer. Tea in its most dynamic state can boost the body's cells to fend off cancer, especially colon and skin cancers. Green tea has something called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which was used in a study at the Mayo Clinic for early-stage leukemia patients. Some of the patients actually had reduced cancer cell numbers after the EGCG regimen. Nothing concrete, yet, but it's promising enough to encourage more studies. (via American Cancer Society)
Osteoporosis? No, thanks. Research with the compounds found in green tea leads experts to believe it can support the protection against bone mineral density (BMD) loss. Osteoporosis happens when there is more resorption than formation. By pumping up the activity of osteoblasts within bone cells, they can better stand up to BMD loss.
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When preparing tea, there's no need to bring the water to a boil. Heat it to your desired drinking temperature so you can drink it right away. Instead picking up a can of green tea at the store, try brewing your own at home. Most of the pre-packaged or pre-brewed teas have lost the raw antioxidants and polyphenols that are so beneficial. Turn up the heat on your next cup, sit back and enjoy.