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Be healthy to a “tea”

If you enjoy a hot cup of tea from time to time, you’ll be delighted to know that you’re doing something healthy for yourself too. Inside that comforting cup are powerful disease-fighting antioxidants and catechins, compounds that prevent cell-damage.

Tea’s amazing health benefits are largely due to it high content of flavonoids. These plant-based compounds are disease-fighting antioxidants that can help fight hypertension, lipid disorders and heart disease.

Green tea is the best source of catechins, which are more powerful than vitamins C and E in stopping cell damage, according to the Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Studies are crediting tea for reducing the risk of certain cancers, and heart disease by increasing HDL-the good cholesterol, and for lowering blood pressure.

Get the most out of your tea cup

  • Drink tea a few times a day to absorb antioxidants and other healthful plant compounds. Green tea drinkers normally have three cups a day.
  • Allow tea to steep for three to five minutes to bring out its catechins. Drink freshly brewed tea. Decaffeinated tea, bottled ready-to-drink tea and instant teas have less healthy compounds.
  • Tea can slow down the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or milk to your tea, or drinking it between meals will help to counteract this.