Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tea versus water

This one is for all the tea drinkers. When we are out for dinner, the worse drink that you can order is a carbonated drink. Spill a little of it on the table and touch it. There is so much sugar that your fingers stick together. There is 6 and half tablespoonful of sugar in a bottle of coca cola. Can you imagine how many calories there is. This is partly the reason for the increasing incidence of obesity in the world today. What is worse, when the carbonated drink is coupled with the McDonald burger or other fast food.

Then again, what drink can you have with your Chinese dinner, mineral water? I must say that I prefer hot chinese tea. Well, my choice just got a boost from a recent article published in the Clinical Journal of Nutrition by Dr C Ruxton and colleagues at the King's College London. They reviewed all the work on tea and arrived at the conclusion that tea does not dehydrate, as was often believed. Additionally, their research found that tea may protect against cancers and heart disease. This is attributed to the flavanoids present in tea. The flavanoids are a type of polyphenol anti-oxidant that seems to prevent cell damage. By so doing, they prevent against heart disease and also, so it seems, cancers. They also seem to protect against tooth decay (this effect is due to the flouride which is also present in tea) and also strengthens the bones (could this be due to the flouride as well).

Somehow, when it has so many declared benefits, one finds it hard to believe. It is certainly better than drinking water with our meals, as water only rehydrates, but tea rehydrates with all the potential cardiac and anticancer effects. Maybe, this may explain why the Chinese in the good old days live longer. Perhaps it is because of tea. The only downside to drinking tea maybe the fact that tea can impair the absortion of iron from the small intestines, and so should be avoided by patients with anemia on iron replacement therapy. It is recommended that an average of three cups of tea a day, is good for your health. So the next time you are out for dinner, remember tea is good and perhaps cheap too.

No comments: