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?