To Your Health: Tea is full of benefits

To Your Health: Tea is full of benefits By Pam Carter, RD Tea Time

Reap the health benefits of tea during Iced Tea Month! Tea, the second-most popular beverage in the world (water is first), has quite a following and quite a reputation. The newest emerging research shows that tea, steeped in history and full of health benefits, has health impact on heart disease, cancer and weight loss.

Tea made from real tea leaves is rich in antioxidants called flavanoids which can help the body protect itself from free radicals. Chronic damage from free radicals is thought to contribute to heart disease and some cancers.

Harvard researchers found that drinking one or more cups of black tea daily was associated with 45 percent decrease in heart attack. The American Dietetic Association in its Position Paper on Functional Foods stated that the health benefits of drinking black or green tea include possible reduced risk for coronary heart disease, as well as for gastric, esophageal and skin cancers

As an added benefit, tea may be the ultimate weight loss drink. Unsweetened, fresh-brewed tea, both black and green, contains virtually no calories, is sodium-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free; yet tea is a satisfying, soothing beverage. This makes tea an ideal choice for a weight-control plan that is part of a healthy lifestyle.

In one study looking at tea�s slimming ability, people who drank black, green or oolong tea one or more times per week had 20 percent less body fat than those who drank none.

While tea is a naturally rich source of antioxidants, it is not a substitute for fruits or vegetables which provide a wide range of antioxidants and essential vitamins and minerals. Please consult your doctor regarding a diet/nutritional plan that is right for you.

Sparkling Fruit Tea

Serves 10

All you need:

4 Hy-Vee tea bags

4 cups boiling water

1 tub Crystal Light tangerine strawberry drink mix

5 cups chilled Diet Sprite�

ice cubes

All you do:

Place tea bags in boiling water and steep 10 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags.

In a large pitcher, combine tea and drink mix. Stir well. Refrigerate until serving time.

Pour Diet Sprite into tea mixture just before serving.

Serve in tall glasses over ice.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 10 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 g protein.

Source: www.hy-vee.com

Hy-Vee registered dietitians are available to the public to answer questions about smart eating. For more information, recipe ideas or to contact your local dietitians, visit www.hy-vee.com and click on health or call toll-free 866-865-4878.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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