Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Drink tea for health benefits, June-National Iced Tea Month

Green tea leaves, from a small teabag
Image via Wikipedia

June is National Iced Tea Month. Here are some fun facts about iced tea, courtesy of Honest Tea:

•         As of June 1, iced tea turned 106 years-old (what’s old is new again)

•         80 percent of the tea served around the world is iced tea

•         Studies show that drinking tea is a good way to build strong bones

•         Despite its many variations and flavors, all tea comes from the same plant

•         American golfer Arnold Palmer’s favorite drink is a combination of half iced tea and half lemonade.  It was coined when a restaurant patron overheard him order the drink and asked for the “Palmer drink” too.

•         Honest Tea Half & Half offers a healthy way to satisfy summer thirst with USDA certified organic and Fair Trade certified tea with slightly sweetened lemonade and is only 48 calories per 8-oz serving.

Of course, I read a million articles about health and aging. One article by Dr. Oz in AARP magazine said to drink two cups of green tea a day. Every morning I drink a cup of green tea and eat five almonds then later eat breakfast.

This got me thinking about what other tea benefits were out there.

Polyphenols in tea have been known to:

* Help protect cells from the normal, but damaging, physiological process known as “oxidative stress.” Although oxygen is vital to life, it’s also incorporated into reactive substances called free radicals. These can damage the cells in our body and have been implicated in the slow chain reaction of damage leading to heart disease and cancer.

* Help prevent blood clotting

* Help lower cholesterol levels

* Help neutralize enzymes that aid in the growth of tumors

* Help deactivate cancer promoters

* Help stimulate the immune system

Hmmm, I just might drink two cups of green tea a day…

As a matter of fact yesterday I met a friend and we went to Seven Cups Teahouse in Tucson for a pot of hot tea. It didn’t matter that it was 99 degrees outside, the tea was amazingly soothing after our stressful days. Unfortunately, Seven Cups now has Wi-Fi and every other table had computers. All the ringing and chirping sounds that computers make did not make for serenity. My Zen was out of whack. I can imagine that Wi-Fi is a draw (isn’t that what Starbucks is for?) but it also detracts for those of us who want to de-computerize and converse quietly.

But back to iced tea…do you have any tips when making iced tea at home?

  1. I love iced tea but it can be difficult to find caffeine-free options at restaurants unless it’s herbal or a specialty shop.

    Re: Arnold Palmer. The Earl of Sandwich chain has a drink called Earl Grey Lemonade which is, I suppose, an Arnold Palmer made with iced Earl Grey–it’s divine!

    A friend of mine told me his grandmother always puts a splash of vanilla into her pitchers of iced tea.

    A shot of peach schnapps into a tall glass of iced tea is divine.

  2. Great post! Iced tea, brewed from the leaves or flowers of numerous herbal plants, can provide you with a chilled glass of refreshing fluids. Not only can it help quench your thirst, but iced tea may also offer you several potential health benefits. Because everyone’s dietary needs are different, talk to your doctor before making any major changes to your dietary practices, including the use of tea as a self-treatment for a potential health problem.

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