The Kitchen Corner

Why Its Better To Brew Your Own Tea

I love tea, I brew my own pot of green tea every morning and I just love how it does wonders for me. Most notably my digestive system. Before I used to suffer frequent bouts of indigestion but this all disappeared when my mother-in-law got me addicted to home brewed tea.It also helped that here in Cambodia where I am based, tea is like the unofficial national drink. Just head over to any restaurant and 90% chance, they’ll serve you a glass of hot or cold tea for free and that is usually refillable even in coffee shops!

green tea

Before that, when we were living in the Philippines I was so into bottled and flavored tea. And why not, it tasted so good, have a variety of flavors to choose from. I was also thinking, wow! it tasted good and I was also getting a lot of health benefits and anti-oxidants. Little did I know I wasn’t really getting much at all, and getting more of sugar..

I stumbled across an interesting article from Yahoo! Health and there it highlighted the results of a recent study of bottled tea, an I’ll quote:

But how healthy is bottled tea? Research presented at a recent meeting of the American Chemical Society revealed that health-savvy consumers of bottled tea may not be getting their antioxidant bang for their buck. The healthy antioxidants–called polyphenols–that are responsible for tea’s ability to protect our cells from free radical damage are barely present in most bottled teas.

This recent study tested six brands of bottled tea purchased from the supermarket, using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to measure the polyphenolic content. Shiming Li, Ph.D., who reported on the research, was surprised by the low pholyphenol content and stated: “Someone would have to drink bottle after bottle of these teas in some cases to receive health benefits.”

And not only that, since tea has a naturally bitter taste, and the consumer market wouldn’t really like that, manufacturers have then added more sugar instead of tea. Okay, they do acknowledge that yes it still contains the anti-oxidant but in a seriously low quantities and with the sugar your are taking in with it, well I don’t exactly think there will be any marked advantage now to drinking it.

Experts advice: brew your own tea. Its cheaper and you get the whole benefits. A cup of brewed green or black tea would give you about 50-150 mg of polyphenols per cup while a 16 oz. bottle would yield roughly only 2-80 mg.

Why tea? Consider this benefits:

  • Green tea: increases mental acuity and protects against heart disease; just add a twist of lemon to help absorb the antioxidants into your bloodstream
  • Mint tea: settles the stomach and alleviates gas
  • Ginger tea: soothes digestion and fires up your energy
  • Chamomile tea: calms the nervous system and relaxes the muscles; drink an hour before bedtime.
  • Herbal combination: for internal cleansing, calming your emotions, and promoting balance.

Check out the Yahoo article link above to read more about tea and some more tips.

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