Although the health benefits of tea drinking have been described for centuries, only recently have its medicinal properties been investigated scientifically.

 

Studies have found an association between drinking green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including those of the skin, breast, lung, colon, esophagus and bladder. And research has shown that the antioxidants in green, black and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol, and improve artery function.

The Harvard Women's Health Watch offers a few suggestions for tea time:

  • How much should you drink? Among cultures in which green tea is popular, the typical amount is three cups per day.
  • The best way to get the disease-fighting nutrients in tea is to drink it freshly brewed after allowing it to steep for three to five minutes. Decaffeinated, bottled ready-to-drink tea preparations, and instant teas have less of these compounds.
  • Tea can impede the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or milk may help counter this problem.