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Tea Time

“There is no trouble so great or grave that cannot be much diminished by a nice cup of tea”
Bernard-Paul Heroux

I admit it, I am a Java Junkie. I can’t start the day without a jumbo cup of coffee to jump start me. Perhaps it’s the occasional negative health report regarding drinking too much coffee, or maybe I am reverting back to my childhood days, because lately I’ve made room in my life for another beverage- Tea.

I grew up in a wonderful home where hospitality and comfort ruled. My mother, Connie, made the best cup of coffee around, but never drank it. She preferred tea, and when she made you a cup you felt surrounded by warmth and friendship, and you felt a little better. Communication flowed. Much of that was Connie’s touch but we are just beginning to understand that tea also has it’s own special powers.

We all know that a little tea with honey is great for a sore throat and that a cup of tea can relax you and even help a headache pass. We now have scientific evidence that tea has many more health benefits. It fights heart disease, lowers cholesterol, prevents certain cancers and strengthens your bones (prevents osteoporosis) and teeth. It protects your skin and lowers your risk of stroke and blood clots. A recent Harvard study showed that it boosts immunity and helps fight infection. All this with no fat or calories. It sounds like a magic potion to me. It’s no wonder that tea has always been surrounded by the mystical and magical.

There are also many rituals surrounding this beverage. This became most apparent to me when I was fortunate to be chosen as a US Ambassador to China on a Sports Medicine Educational Exchange Program. Tea was not just a beverage, it was a social experience and form of communication taken very seriously. A Chinese proverb was mentioned, “better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”

Teas such as black, green, and oolong are rich is compounds called flavonoids (commonly found in vegetables) which are potent antioxidants. Antioxidants, like Vitamins C and E (found in fruits and vegetables) are critical in the repair and maintenance of your body’s cells and tissues. These compounds seem to be at the heart of tea’s healing and preventive capabilities.

For tea’s best benefits, it should be taken strong and freshly brewed. Learn how to brew the perfect cup. It comes in decaffeinated brands if desired. Even the hip modern cyber-coffee shops offer many varieties of this ancient beverage- hot, cold and flavored. Learn more about tea and its many health benefits at www.teahealth.co.uk and www.tea.co.uk.

If you are like me, you probably won’t give up your morning cup of Joe, but certainly you can skip that afternoon or evening Espresso, soda, or cocktail for a cup of tea. Take tea and see what your health can be.


FitTip

Find a friend like Connie, and share a cup of tea. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

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