Growing up, tea was the answer to all of life’s most complicated hurdles in my family. Catching a cold? Drink a cup of tea. Healing a broken heart? Keep the refills coming. Some people rely on coffee for an energy boost in the morning, but for me, a steaming mug of Lipton has always been my beverage of choice to start the day. This is, in part, due to my mom's influence — that woman can go through an entire family-size box of tea bags in a matter of weeks — but it's also because the health benefits of tea simply can’t be beat. Aside from every steaming sip acting as a warm hug for your entire body and soul, new research says swapping your morning cup of joe for a bag of loose leaves can reduce your risk of heart disease later on in life. Worth it? I think so.
Personally, on average, I can easily drink three to four cups of tea in a day, and sometimes, when my cup is running low, I’ll turn the kettle right back on and top off the cool brew with hot water to make sure I don’t waste a single drop. My husband finds this excessive, and maybe it is, but if what this new research says is true, one day he’ll thank me for pouring him a glass with breakfast and dessert each night (JK, he already thanks me every night — I didn’t marry a man without manners).
As per the Daily Express, a team of researchers from the Tea Advisory Panel reviewed a total of 23 papers on top of 19 medical trials, and based on their analysis, they found that the more tea a person drinks throughout the day, the healthier they seem to be overall. More specifically, the researchers discovered that drinking tea on a regular basis appears to be associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and even less inflammation in the body.
Of course, there’s a slight catch to all of this. While drinking a cup or two of tea in the morning is definitely a good start, according to the findings published in the Journal of Nutrition & Food Sciences, drinking anywhere from three to five cups of green or black tea daily should be the goal. And, granted, that sounds like a lot of tea, but think about it this way: The average adult should be drinking anywhere from six to eight glasses of water per day anyway, right? So if you’re drinking at least three servings of tea — one with breakfast, another after lunch, and again with dessert — you’re already halfway there.
One thing’s for sure, though: Unless you find the taste of tea unbelievably grotesque (BTW, there are plenty of flavors out there to accommodate all tastes, so all hope is not lost yet), incorporating a few cups into your daily routine isn’t an impossible task. Study co-author Dr. Chris Etheridge told the Daily Express that, sometimes, the lifestyle recommendations that doctors relay to patients who want to improve their heart health, such as changing their eating habits and exercising more, simply aren't adopted by those patients, for one reason or another. “The beauty of turning to tea,” Etheridge said, “is that it is easy, appealing and infinitely achievable.”
Listen, I know all about coffee culture, and how your Starbucks order says a lot about your personality, and the type of coffee drinker you are, but we tea drinkers are pretty cool, too. Plus, there are just so many flavors to choose from. I know myself, and up until college, the only tea I drank was decaffeinated black Lipton — which, BTW, is still my go-to for my bedtime sip. However, once I came across brands like DAVIDsTEA, Tea Forte, Kusmi Tea, TAZO, and Harney & Sons, my palette was forever changed.
If hot tea isn’t your scene, that’s totally fine. Trust me, girl, we can make this work. If you prefer your beverages over ice instead of steamed, you can make a huge batch of iced tea by taking a bunch of your favorite delicious tea bags, brewing a batch, and letting it cool before pouring the lot into a pitcher and storing it in the fridge. Tea Forte also sells a Tea Over Ice Pitcher that’s perfect for brewing your own personal glass.
Do yourself a favor, and give tea a try. Chances are, once you find your flavor, you'll love it — and, apparently, so will your body.