Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Goodness of Black Tea

I still can't quite stomach black tea but after reading this article (excerpt), I am seriously considering it:

"NEW YORK , April 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study conducted at the University of L'Aquila in Italy and supported by the Lipton Institute of Tea, is the first to show that black tea consumption - depending on dose - simultaneously increased blood vessel reactivity and reduced both blood pressure and arterial stiffness, suggesting a cardiovascular health profile that is consistent with maintaining heart health.
Using a cohort of 19 healthy men (mean age 33), the researchers assigned participants to one of five prescribed intakes of black tea over five periods lasting one week each. The caffeine level of each dose was standardized but the dose of tea flavonoids was controlled at levels of 0 (the control dose), 100, 200, 400 and 800 mg of tea flavonoids per day. A standard cup of black tea contains approximately 100-200 mg of flavonoids, depending on the individual preference of tea making. During the duration of the study, participants avoided naturally flavonoid-rich food and beverages such as red wine and chocolate to ensure that the results were a true reflection of flavonoid-rich black tea consumption only.
"In our study, black tea affected vascular function in normal individuals. We observed that vascular function improvement exerted by black tea started with one cup per day and further improved by increasing the number of daily cups of tea," explained Professor Claudio Ferri , the principle investigator of the study and one of the lead researchers in this field. " (

My transition from coffee to tea began about 11 months ago, when I realized that the caffeine from coffee was the culprit that triggered my chronic migraine. It was a gradual transition from 3-4 mugs of coffee daily, to 3-4 mugs of white, sugared tea daily, to the current 2 mugs white tea without sugar. I found that not only I don't suffer migraine anymore (except for the rare occurence of about once in a few months, often temperature-triggered), I don't quite miss coffee as I thought I would. (Mind you, I still love the aroma of coffee though). I guess another transition is due, from white tea to black tea...anything for health, since I am not getting any younger anymore.

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