Tea, especially green tea, is often said to be good for your
health. Tea contains substances linked to a lower risk for heart disease,
cancer, and diabetes. But keep tea's healthy boost in perspective, says the September 2014 Harvard
Men's Health Watch.
consumption, especially green tea, may not be the magic bullet, but it can be
incorporated in an overall healthy diet with whole grains, fish, fruits and
vegetables, and less red and processed meat," says Qi Sun, assistant
professor in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public
health-promoting substances in tea are polyphenols, in particular
catechins and epicatechins. Lab and animal studies say these molecules have
anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Harvard-led studies of large
groups of people over time have found that tea or coffee drinkers are at lower
risk for diabetes and possibly cardiovascular disease. Coffee also contains
Now here's the key caveat: It remains unclear whether the
tea itself is the cause of these benefits and, if so, how it works its magic.
The studies attempt to rule out the possibility that tea drinkers simply live
healthier lifestyles, but it's difficult to be sure. That said, tea itself
appears to have no harmful effects except for a case of the jitters if you
drink too much caffeinated brew. It fits in perfectly well with a heart-healthy
One important warning: A cup of tea contains only a couple
calories. Processed, sugar-sweetened tea beverages are loaded with extra
calories. "If there are any health benefits to green tea consumption, it's
probably completely offset by adding sugar," Sun says.
full-length article: "Tea:
A cup of good health?"