There's no question that coffee trumps tea in the United States, but recent studies are causing coffee drinkers to think twice about which morning brew is better for their health. The Tea Association of the USA, a New York-based industry group, says consumer tea purchases have increased for 20 consecutive years and retail supermarket sales have surpassed $2.2 billion. But what exactly are the health benefits?
In a recent article by USA Today, the publication highlighted several studies showing the health benefits of tea, including:
"One Italian study, for example, found that black tea reduced blood pressure in all subjects and counteracted the detrimental effects of high-fat meals in people with high blood pressure. That study bolstered findings of a 2001 analysis of several studies showing an 11 percent lower risk of heart attack among those drinking three cups of tea a day.
"One study said caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine in tea may improve mental cognition and clarity, as well as work performance."
"A review of studies, published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology this year, suggested that consuming five cups of green tea each day helps prevent several cancers and protect against the recurrence of colorectal cancer.
"A Japanese study published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that elderly subjects who drank more tea had a significantly lower risk of functional disability such as stroke, osteoporosis and cognitive impairment."
"A 2004 Japanese study found that caffeine, theanine and perhaps other components in green tea powder suppressed weight gain and fat accumulation. Other research concluded that people drinking green tea and caffeine lost an average of almost three pounds in 12 weeks while eating their regular diet."
Ready to convert to tea? Check out the infographic below for a quick quick tea 101. You'll be a tea drinker before you know it.