Tea for You, Tea for Me

Tea for you, tea for me. Make that three for you and three for me -- that is, three cups each day for maximum health benefits. Tea has been held in high regard for centuries. Now studies verify that tea, indeed, is a health drink, especially when it is freshly brewed.

The specific health benefits of tea

Harvard Medical School notes that tea, especially green tea, is high in vitamins C and E and flavonoids, known also as antioxidants. But tea contains catechin as well, which can help slow cell damage and may have other 'disease-fighting properties.'

In addition, green and black teas may help reduce heart disease and lower LDL, the bad cholesterol, while improving artery function. The same Harvard Women's Health Watch article reports on a Chinese study that showed up to a 65 percent reduction in hypertension in regular tea drinkers.

Serve hot or cold

Add lemon for extra vitamins, whether drinking hot or cold tea. Adding a twist of fresh mint makes a glass of iced tea even more refreshing in the summer. Those who prefer sweetened tea may substitute honey rather than processed sugar or artificial sweeteners.

Explore the world of teas

Partly as a result of the numerous studies proving the health benefits of tea, interest in tea has skyrocketed. A number of companies have begun offering an array of exotic blends, including herbal teas. In addition to fine teas and amazing blends, many tea-associated products are available now.

One company, the Republic of Tea, has created a loyal customer base around its inventive and fun offerings of teas, mugs, pots and related items. Other, more established companies continue to expand their product lines. Celestial Seasonings has been offering playful blends of herbal teas with a pinch of flower-child philosophy since the founders began marketing the product back in 1969. Bigelow includes the popular Constant Comment flavor.

Great gifts

Tea drinkers always appreciate a gift of tea, whether it's their favorite blend or a new blend from their favorite tea company. Of course, many companies offer almost endless collections of teapots, mugs, warmers, infusers, mesh tea balls and such. These handy gadgets make welcomed gifts, too. Not only do you give a gift of pleasure and relaxation but also a gift of good health.

Whether it's tea for you and tea for me for the health benefits or for simple relaxation during a busy day, a freshly brewed cup of tea has certainly become part of a healthy diet. And it's a great alternative to sugary soft drinks.

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