Tea is full of polyphenols and flavonoids, compounds with high levels of antioxidant activity that fight off free radicals , a source of many health problems. Epidemiological studies support this thinking as research suggests that drinking a cup or more of black tea daily can reduce risk of heart attack by up to 44 percent as compared to non-tea drinkers (Dr. Howard Sesso et al. – American Journal of Epidemiology in January 2000).
Other epidemiological and laboratory studies suggest a relationship between tea consumption and reduced risk of several types of cancer, including oral, digestive, lung and colorectal, as well as reducing risk of severe aortic atherosclerosis.
In addition to these and other studies, tea has developed a reputation (a mythos?) over the centuries as having many healthful qualities including:
- Increasing blood flow
- Stimulating mental alertness
- Increasing the body’s resistance to a wide range of diseases
- Accelerating the metabolism
- Preventing tooth decay
- Invigorating the skin
- Aiding digestion
- Easing discomfort in the limbs and joints
- Raising spirits and inducing a feeling of well-being
- Prolonging life (we’ll get back to you on this one)