With so much health information out there, it’s hard to weed out the fact from the fiction when it comes to one of our favourite drinks.
So here’s what you need to know about the humble cup of tea, and how to enjoy its benefits.
1. Tea has an expiry date
So many people believe that they can keep teabags for years but tea actually has a shelf life and will be on the packet. Otherwise, have you had it longer than six months? Throw it out.
Freshness is a big factor when it comes to tea, so it’s important to store it in a cool, dark and dry place and consume it as soon as possible. We think we can do that!
2. Some teas can cause allergic reactions
As tea contains a plant and if flowers make you sneeze, you can easily have an allergic reaction, particularly to flower tea such as chamomile.
3. Drink tea if you have a cold
For colds and sore throat, a hot (but not boiling) cup of any kind of tea will help soothe a sore throat. Black and green teas have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to calm down inflammation.
4. Green tea can interfere with blood thinners
Green tea contains a high amount of vitamin K, which can interfere with the effects of blood thinners such as warfarin. Studies have shown that drinking large quantities of green tea has been shown to decrease the effectiveness of warfarin, so make sure you talk to your doctor if you take blood thinners and want to enjoy green tea.
5. Hot tea is healthier than iced tea
Homemade iced tea can be as healthful as hot tea but only if you brew it yourself, and you drink more of it. Iced tea is made by brewing bags and then adding ice and water, lowering the goodness of the tea itself.
6. Not all teas are made equal
Some people think tea is tea but there is a big difference between a homebrand bag and the gourmet type from a tea house. Look for brands that use quality herbs and look and smell fresh.
7. Herbal teas are not true teas
Herbal teas are made by steeping fresh or dried flowers, herb, seeds, roots or plant barks in hot water, and are not from the tea leaf family. These hot drinks are really called tisanes.
8. Green tea has caffeine
Green tea has about 35 milligrams of caffeine per cup. So if you’re an avid green tea consumer, be careful as the caffeine can add up quickly.
9. Tea can help you meet your daily fluid intake
Some believe that tea doesn’t contribute to your daily fluid needs, but they do. With that said, caffeinated beverages are diuretics and can cause you to lose some fluid so make sure you even things out with plenty of water.
10. Drinking green tea will burn fat
Green tea has been hyped up as a magic weight loss solution, stemming from a myth that it contains a stimulant which does speed up metabolism. It does, but only a small amount. The best way to lose weight is with a healthy diet and exercise.
11. Tea does not comes in many varieties
It’s a common misconception that tea is a broad term but actually, only one plant gives us tea leaves: the Camellia sinensis. Depending on how the leaves are processed, the flavour and colour with be different, making black, green and oolong tea. Black tea is made from air exposed tea leafs, green teas are less processed to preserve the green colour and delicate flavour. Oolong tea is between black and green.
12. Tea can help fight cancer…in rats
Studies show tea has a powerful cancer-fighting effect in rodents however for humans, the data is less clear. Despite this unclear research, tea has been proven to reduce your risk of heart disease.
13. Adding milk does not ruins the health benefits of tea
This is just a myth, thankfully. Adding milk does nothing to the tea itself, except water it down, and make less room for pure tea so you have to drink more.
14. Tea bags AND loose leaf tea makes healthy tea
Some thing that bagged tea is not the healthiest way to consume tea, however loose leaf is much the same. Some consider loose leaf as higher quality than bagged tea because the leaves are larger and have more room to expand and give up their flavour, but that’s not true. It’s up to personal preference.
How often do you drink tea?