Tea: a drink or a supplement?
A number of scientists advocate the daily tea habit to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases, the most prominent and well quoted one may be Dr John Weisburger, who has been a leader in cancer researches in the US, and drinks 8 cups of green tea a day. His famous line “Tea is beating all scientific expectations as the most potent health beverage ever” appears in many occasions. There are many leading scientists involved in medical researches throughout Asia, Europe, the Americas and Australia advocate tea uses and are tea drinkers themselves. I know a few personally who are fine tea aficionados.
I myself, however, strongly DISCOURAGE the use of tea purely for its “health supplement” purpose. There are people who inherently cannot drink large amount of green or white tea because their body is not ready for it. There are those who need time to accustomed to the habit. There are those who can benefit more if they use another tea that they feel comfortable with. There are also those who are so ignorant of tea and can be easy victims of bad merchants.
That is not to say tea is not a good enough health supplement. According to the USDA study on flavonoid contents of common foods (note), a cup of green tea made from “mean” quality tealeaves contains over 200 mg of the powerful oxidants. That is easily one of those tea pills in the health supplement section in the pharmacy, except that the drink is a lot less expensive and a lot more wholesome. It can easily outrank 5 glasses of red wine or 9 apples <read more>. We do not normally hear this because there is no lobbying group for real leaf tea and the vast majority of tea available in the supermarket are ready to drink or instant mix tea products which are very different from real tea.
The reason I discourage using tea purely as a supplement because an user needs to find a set of teas that best suits her personal physiological type, taste preference and consumption habit. It is only through establishing a “bond” with the delights of tea that tea’s health boosting nature can function. Believing blindly in science researches and merchants’ exaggerative claims would only result in treating tea only as a pill. This is not what tea is about.
Tea is a daily beverage. To build a habit of it rather than make it feel like taking medicine is a lot more important for the health of the world’s population than having to force a new drinker 8 cups a day particularly when he still couldn’t tell what is a leaf tea.
I suggest anyone who want to switch to this healthy habit to begin your exploration by going to various teashops to try to find out a few selections that you could spend time to try infusing better. Much as you would practice making good sandwiches or boiling eggs just right. It is actually much simpler. Whether you choose to prepare tea conveniently or make it the gourmet way, it is always possible to make it enjoyable. That is when it is beginning to be your health improvement partner.
Flavonoids are naturally occurring substances in plant products. Researches indicate that more than vitamins, they are powerful health-contributing agents. Read more in this site: <Health Benefits of Tea>. Original data available from USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods, Release 2.1 (2007) at the USDA official link.
TeaGuardian.com (Tea Guardian) is a self-financed, independent reference guide created with the initiative to promote the better understanding of tea, the daily beverage that so many have come to misunderstand. By sharing with the readers unbiased and in-depth information, we aim at empowering them with the ability to find and enjoy better quality tea for taste and for health. A lot of the information included can be helpful to people of the tea trade and the academics.
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