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I wasn’t a fan of tea until I tasted Skoby’s sweet tea, served in those pewter mugs they had.  After that, I soon became a tea drinker.  I generally avoid caffeine, but I do indulge occasionally in that strictly southern beverage known as sweet tea. 

Did you know that tea was discovered accidentally, or so the legend goes?In 2737 B.C., Emperor Shen Nung of
China was boiling water in his garden.  A tea leaf from a nearby bush blew into the water, creating the first cup of tea.  (Was this the beginning of instant tea?)  He was impressed with the flavor of the drink and soon began serving it to his guests.  Today, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, next to water.
 

Emperor Shen Nung believed that the tea was a remedy for kidney trouble, fever, chest infection, and head tumors.  Research nearly 5,000 years later is proving his theory. 

There’s a lot of hoopla lately regarding the health benefits of drinking tea.  The medical journals are brimming with studies that tout its amazing ability to ward off illness.   

The teas that are being studied are green and black teas.  Both of these varieties have their unique medicinal properties.  Drinking tea decreases LDL (the bad) cholesterol, and increases the HDL (the good cholesterol).  Who knew!  

Postmenopausal women who drink two or more cups of tea a day are 60 percent less at risk for cancers of the kidneys and bladder and are at a 32 percent lower risk for cancers of the upper and lower digestive tracts, including the esophagus and colon.  Women who drank four or more cups a day were even less prone to these cancers, according to The American Journal of Epidemiology.  This must clearly be because if you drink that much tea, nothing stays in you long enough to cause trouble.  I think that Lipton and Depends should think about a merger

Want stronger teeth?  Drink more tea.  Because it is high in antioxidants and fluoride, green tea is included in some toothpaste.  It reduces the formation of plaque and strengthens tooth enamel.  It’s supposed to help with bad breath, too.  What about stained teeth, does tea still cause that? 

People who drink tea regularly for 6-10 years have a higher bone density, particularly in the hip.   

One research study claims that tea can help prevent sunburn and even skin cancer.  The study was performed by applying green tea to the skin of mice.  I’m sorry, but I didn’t know mice were prone to sunburn.  I haven’t seen any tossing down a towel next to mine at the beach…and furthermore…if I did, I would run for the hills. 

Apparently, if you want to lower your risk for ovarian cancer, just drink at least one cup of green tea every day.  

Drinking black tea inhibits blood platelets from clumping, preventing clots from forming, which lead to most heart attacks and strokes.  Once again, if we are pouring tea by the truckloads down our throats, how could anything have time to form a clot? 

It might seem to you that I am all steamed up over this tea research, but I promise you that I am not.  I’m for anything that can decrease my risk for developing disease.  I’m just wondering how I am going to have time to do anything else but drink tea. 

 I didn’t see our southern iced tea mentioned in any of the studies and I don’t know if it has the same medicinal properties as do the green and black teas, but I do know that you can buy it in extra large cups at Pal’s so one could conceivably consume the daily required amounts to be healthy in just one serving. 

At any rate, it isn’t hard to find green tea.  It lines the grocery store shelves and is appearing on many restaurant menus.  I hear my fitness friends talking about drinking it and how good it is for you.  I probably need to sip a cup or two and try it myself.  I will most definitely have to take along a jug to the beach, because I don’t want to get sunburned and I will need an object to squish the little sunbathing mice. 

I do recommend trying some green tea.  If nothing else, it should lower your blood pressure as you take time out of your busy day to sip a cup or two.  Tea for two sounds like a wonderful idea!  Getting healthier is always more fun with a friend.   

A cup of tea just may keep the doctor away.

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