The tea plant possesses significant therapeutic properties for the human body. It assists in the body's fight against free radicals, which are a contributing factor in degenerative diseases (type II diabetes, cancer, cataract, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, etc.) and aging. The flavonoids present in the tea plant are the source of this antioxidant effect and also serve to protect body tissue against the pro-oxidant effects of iron. As a result, tea is widely recommended to people suffering from increased iron levels. Likewise, it should be avoided in cases of iron deficiency or in situations where potential iron deficiency may be induced (menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, when taking specific medication, etc.) The tannins found in tea, in fact, inhibit iron absorption.
There are tangible anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy benefits to drinking green tea, especially when compared with the synthetic treatments available. The catechins found in tea produce an anti-inflammatory effect upon a variety of conditions, ranging from eczema to joint inflammation (osteoarthritis, spondyloarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis). Flavonoids are used to help control allergic reactions such as psoriasis, asthma and eczema.
Choosing your tea
In preference, choose organic green tea and leave to infuse for five minutes, whether loose leaf or tea bag. Green tea is not subjected to any form of processing (smoking or fermentation) so its nutritional attributes remain completely intact. Consume two or three cups of green tea a day without sugar, or with unrefined sugar, to receive the health benefits of a guaranteed increase in antioxidant levels. Green tea is available in decaffeinated form for people with caffeine intolerance. Please note that the addition of milk has an inhibitive effect on the antioxidant properties of tea; the milk proteins actually prevent their absorption, blocking the potential health benefits.