Put the Kettle On.

              Although coffee is fast becoming the nation’s favourite drink, with a coffee bar now on every street corner, the latest scientific studies show that three cups of tea a day not only lift the spirits, but also help to protect against today’s major killers, heart disease and cancer.

              Research by Dr. Carrie Buxton, a public health nutritionist, has shown that black tea contains powerful antioxidants known as  flavonoids, which can prevent the kind of cell damage which lead to heart disease and cancer.

  These antioxidants also inhibit the growth of “bad” bacteria in the gut while promoting the proliferation of “good” bacteria. Nor are the benefits of black tea compromised when milk is added, according to Dr. Buxton.

  She also maintains that the caffeine in tea can improve  alertness and memory. The idea that the amount of caffeine in tea is harmful is a baseless “urban myth”.

  Antioxidants contained in black tea are not, however, found in coffee of herbal tea. It’s only traditional strong black tea which delivers the goods.  

  Dr. Buxton’s studies indicated that three cups of tea a day could cut the risk of heart attack by 11 per cent. During her researches, she found that the over – 50s drank twice as much tea as 19 – 25 year olds. As a result, the Tea Council has just launched a campaign known, as tea4health, to encourage younger people to drink more tea.

  Young women in particular, it seems, are shunning tea in favour of water. And the reason? According to Simon Bowes, from the tea-packing firm Keith Spicer, tea drinking is on the decline because today’s impatient youngsters can’t wait for the kettle to boil! 

    By Liz Hodkinson, 

  Published in “The Veteran” March 2005