Did you know that a large part of the “tea” on the market isn’t really tea at all?
How about that fact drinking tea may help keep the dentist away?
Or that an average of 3 billion cups of tea are consumed daily worldwide?
Pretty amazing, right?
But lets start at the beginning.
Here are some more facts about tea…
One of most interesting fact about tea is that all varieties of tea actually come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. It is from this one plant that we get black, green, white, and oolong tea (and all variations in-between).
And all of those herbal “teas” that you see in the grocery store aren’t actually tea. Instead they are a combination of herbs, flowers, or other fruit (also commonly known as “tisanes”).
The difference in the tea varieties is all related to how the tea leaves are processed. Variations in picking time and fermentation produce the different strengths, colors, and flavors that we are all familiar with.
Tea…the real ancient Chinese secret?
Tea plants are native to China and other parts of South and East Asia. They are believed to have been processed as a beverage for over 5,000 years, with the first recorded history of use dating back to the 10th century BC.
So, what makes tea so special (other than being delicious)?
Well, tea leaves contain a number of compounds that are known to be beneficial to human health. These include flavanoids, amino acids, catechins, polyphenols, vitamins (C, E, and K), and polysaccharides.
There is some evidence that tea (oolong tea and green in particular) may have some anticancer properties. There is also research linking tea to improving immune function, lowering cholesterol, and normalizing blood pressure.
Oolong tea has also been shown to support the body’s metabolism and increase fat loss.
And those benefits are really just the tip of the iceberg. Which reminds me…it’s the perfect time of year to start enjoying some iced tea.
Oh, and that thing about the dentist?
Well, tea also contains fluorine, which helps to prevent tooth decay.