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Tea, health and caffeine

In depth tea analysis courtesy of the Tea Advisory Panel:

★ Tea and Antioxidant Properties
★ Tea and Caffeine
★ Tea and Cancer
★ Tea and Oral Health
★ Tea and Iron Absorption
★ The Nutritional Value of Tea
★ Tea and Cardiovascular Disease
★ Black and Green Tea. How do they differ?

Whether hot or cold, tea is one of the worlds most enjoyed beverages. But it's benefits extend beyond it's refreshing taste and for centuries tea has been consumed for it's many health benefits.

For starters our body is made up mostly of water - in fact depending on the time of day we can be up to 75% water. Doctors recommend that we drink at least 1.5 litres per day and since tea is 99% water the both the Food Standards Agency and the British Dietetic Association have agreed that tea can help to meeting daily fluid requirements.

Aside from hydrating us, tea also has medicinal benefits. It is naturally high in flavonoids which is a group of anti-oxidants. When our bodies are subject to harmful environments like pollution or too much sun our body undergoes a chemical response releasing free radicals. These free radicals have been thought to contribute to diseases like cancer and strokes. Anti-oxidants act like giant sponges and soak up these free radicals. In fact in each cup of tea you will find 140mg of flavonoids, drink 3 cups a day and that's more than you will get from an apple!

As well as anti-oxidants tea also is a source of the minerals manganese, essential for bone growth and body development, and potassium, vital for maintaining body fluid levels. Tea is also great for your bones and teeth thanks to it's healthy helping of flouride. Studies have also found a link between drinking tea and lower rates of cancer (more on this below) and green tea is often consumed by athletes to help with fat loss. 

If you are reaching for a hot drink then tea definitely seems like the way to go. In fact tea contains half the amount of caffeine as coffee and when enjoyed without milk contains zero calories. The bottom line is tea is good for you, but like most things you need to drink it in moderation and enjoy it as part of a balanced healthy diet.

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