“Annie, my grandad, drank chicory coffee, and your mom drank tea every day. Why?” “Yes, tea was her daily evening drink. I think she drank it because her mother, who grew up in Massachusetts, came from a family of tea drinkers. I get the impression that the habit started before the American Revolution, when our first ancestor, in the Americas, Thomas Burghardt, was alive. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to learn that he was involved in the Boston Tea Party of 1773. Anyway, because tea contains vitamins B, C, and E, the minerals chromium, selenium, and manganese and has little to no calories, might be another reason why mom drank it; she was health-conscious. Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world after water. There are over three thousand varieties and six basic categories, black, dark, yellow, green, white, and oolong, all produced from the Camellia Sinensis plant, which is native to Asia.
Green’s antioxidants help boost the immune system, reduce cholesterol, high blood pressure, and play a role in destroying the growth of tumors and cancer cells.
White tea contains fluoride, the ingredient that helps prevent tooth decay. This tea also has more potent anti-cancer properties than green tea.
Black tea contains theaflavins, a group of polyphenols that are unique to this tea. They support fat loss and blood vessel function.
Oolong has theanine, an amino acid with relaxing properties. A study in the Journal of Nutrition found that participants who drank oolong tea burned 2-3 percent more calories daily. The antioxidants in oolong were also found through research to reduce heart disease by 61 percent in Japanese adults who drank 8 ounces or more daily.
Dark is a fermented tea. One of the most famous fermented beverages is Kombucha, produced by fermenting sugared tea. There is no scientific evidence to support the health claims attributed to Kombucha.
Yellow is a rare tea that is similar in taste and appearance as green tea but without the grassiness. The polyphenols in yellow tea are known to protect against heart disease. Its compounds fight inflammation, which lowers cancer risk. And, the flavanols in yellow tea help lower bad cholesterol
LJ, we should be drinking black, green, or oolong tea daily because it can increase bone density according to a study.”
“What about all of the other teas everybody likes so much?”
“If you’re talking about herbal teas, generally they are made from dried flowers and are caffeine-free. Chamomile is one of the most popular. It’s known for its calming effect and contains antioxidants, which many believe help with sleep and digestion. Apigenin is an antioxidant in Chamomile, which has anti-inflammatory properties and reduces the risk of several cancers. What can I say, LJ, so many teas so little time.” LJ thoughtfully paused and…

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