By Shannon Pulusan
Second best to water, tea is the most widely consumed drink across the globe. Originating as a medicinal remedy in ancient China, tea has evolved into a soothing drink of subtle flavor appropriate for every season. Many cultures honor a daily tea time. In the U.K., black tea with milk and sugar is fancied among hosts and their guests. Southeast Asians maintain traditional tea ceremonies. Here in the South, we enjoy our tall glasses of iced tea.
Though we all have our preferences, our bodies experience the most benefits of tea in its purist form. Medical studies have given us more reasons to cherish tea time as a simple serving of green tea, black tea, and oolong tea possess antioxidative properties to protect against inflammation and carcinogens in the body. Green tea, in particular, is especially abundant with flavonoids such as EGCG that reduce the risks of cancer, heart disease, clogged arteries, and Type II diabetes. In fact, a cup of tea contains more antioxidants than a single serving of any fruit or vegetable!
For diabetics, drinking a serving or two of tea daily is encouraged. Tea improves insulin sensitivity and releases unwanted toxins from the body. To prevent a rise of blood sugar resulting from stress, tea acts as a relaxing counter to help maintain psychological stability. Though tea is not a cure for diabetes, it is a natural remedy to restore balance within the body. By combining tea consumption with exercise and a healthy diet, diabetics and non-diabetics alike can receive the maximum amount of benefits to live vigorously.
Here are some tea tips to keep in mind:
- Hold the milk and sugar! Research has determined that milk inhibits the necessary chemicals in tea and makes them unavailable to the body.
- Keep it homemade. Processed teas may be easier and more convenient for consumers, but personally prepared teas carry the most antioxidants. This applies to iced teas as well. Hot brewed teas that are chilled are more likely to contain more antioxidants than store-bought drinks.
- A small helping of caffeine. In comparison to coffee which contains at least 95mg of caffeine, one serving of tea averages from 14-61mg. For some, it may not be enough of a wakeup call.
- Green tea, green tea, green tea. Among all the teas, green teas’ medical benefits are more documented. It has the highest concentration of EGCG while teas like black tea do not contain this helpful flavonoid.
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