8 reasons to drink tea

Improve your health with a daily cuppa -- here's the scoop.

Health benefits 5-8

5. Prevent aging and cleanse your intestines
Tea helps with the antioxidation of cells because it contains vitamin E and antioxidants, and is therefore beneficial in slowing down the aging process. Catechins kill bacteria in the intestine while maintaining a healthy immune system and preventing illnesses such as gastric ulcers and arteriosclerosis. Tannins in tea help to calm the stomach and cleanse the intestinal tract.

6. Reduce your risk of ovarian cancer
A Swedish study published in December 2005 claims that drinking two or more cups of tea a day can reduce your risk of developing ovarian cancer by 46 per cent. The 15-year study involved just over 60,000 Swedish women.

7. Eliminate body fat
Antioxidants called catechins are highest in green tea and found in low doses in black tea. Catechins act as "fat blockers," especially of abdominal fat. In the digestive tract, catechins reduce the absorption of dietary fats by inhibiting the body's ability to break them down. Catechins also act as "fat burners" by activating the enzymes in the body that metabolize stored fat.

8. Boost memory and reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease
An antioxidant in green tea called EGCg may help to protect the brain against developing Alzheimer's disease. EGCg decreases the production of a protein called beta amyloid, which can form into insoluble plaque and degrade nerve cells in the brain.

"There are studies that claim that the less processed the tea is, the less the caffeine and the greater the benefits," says Shabnam. "White teas are the least processed of the four teas. All teas come from the same plant. It is how they are processed that changes them."

White tea has less caffeine than green tea (15 mg per serving compared to green tea's 20 mg per serving) and it has a higher concentration of antioxidants to boost a healthy immune system. It even has a lighter, sweeter flavour than green tea.

How do you take your tea?
A new study out of Germany may have you think twice about adding milk. The study, which appears online in the European Heart Journal, says that adding milk to black tea may dilute the health benefits. It seems that certain proteins in milk adhere to the catechins, preventing them from carrying out the benefits.

Now you can add a cup of tea to your list of guilty pleasures, along with dark chocolate and a glass of red wine. To your health!

Page 2 of 2 -- Don't miss four more great reasons to drink tea on page 1.

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