The healthy option that is tea

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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

We drink quite a lot of it in the FQ office, perhaps a little too much?! Not at all says one of our most dedicated tea drinkers, “tea in moderation has all kinds of health advantages”.  Matthew from LoveTea agrees and quietly insists that we should “Take time out to enjoy the health benefits of tea”. This staple drink, the most consumed fluid in the world after water, boasts a whole string of positive wellness effects. Move over teabags and enjoy the bold flavours and wide varieties of leaf tea.

Chinese green tea is renowned for its light smoky taste while the Japanese variety has hints of the sea. Green tea, which comes from China or Japan, is the most studied variety because of its high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are reputed to help fight cancer, bad breath and skin disorders such as dandruff. Studies show that in countries where tea is consumed frequently, cancer rates tend to be significantly lower. Furthermore, there is evidence to support the suggestion that antioxidants lower the risk of heart disease. Suddenly the amount we drink in the FQ office starts to look more and more beneficial for our collective wellbeing.

The health benefits of tea are also prevalent in other tea types such as black tea and oolong. Black and green teas undergo a crushing and fermenting process leading to higher oxidization.  During physical exercise, oxygen consumption rises tenfold, leading to a large increase in the oxidants that cause damage and muscle fatigue. The production of oxidants results in an inflammatory process. Drinking tea before and after a workout may help reduce this effect, indeed tea contains up to ten times the level of antioxidants found in some vegetables. Which is excellent news for all of us who, in between the duties of being Dad and with our impromptu long runs and occasional trips to the gym, doggedly insist on trying to keep fit.

So if you haven’t joined the tea drinking crowd here’s what you need to know about leaf teas. Like a seasoned wine drinker, there are plenty of tea varieties to suit differing tastes. Although you can buy leaf teas on the high-street, the quality can be low and it can be daunting to know where to start. There are a few alternatives to high-street teas one being the monthly tea box from which delivers a different tea each month to your door. A package from LoveTea fits through most letterboxes and contains brewing notes and tasting tips, along with a free tea infuser for the first month to get you started. Packages come in Mini (£4.50 per month) suitable for weekend drinkers, Classic (£7) for regular enthusiasts and Family (£13).

To get FQ readers a brew as much as LoveTea do, they are offering us all one month of Classic gourmet tea at just £2 (usually £7) using the code FQ0812 at checkout.