Make time for tea
Had a bad day, fancy a chat with friends or really need to crack that tricky problem? What do you do? Put the kettle on of course. We've always known that tea gives us a certain something, but now we know what it is.
Take time for tea
Unsweetened, fresh-brewed black or green tea has no sodium, no sugar, no fat and virtually no calories – and still manages to be a satisfying, aromatic beverage. That alone makes tea an ideal choice for a weight control plan that is part of a healthy lifestyle, especially when substituting for other sugary drinks. But there’s still more to be said about the goodness in tea.
Research carried out by Unilever scientists could help us understand why taking time out for a cup of tea is beneficial and can make such a difference. They established that a cup of tea can deliver up to 22mg of the amino acid theanine. Tea is virtually the only dietary source of theanine, apart from the edible bay boletus mushroom, which explains why sometimes only tea will do.
Stimulate more than your taste buds
The effects of 50mg theanine, the amount present in 2-3 cups of tea, is known to stimulate alpha brain waves which are associated with being relaxed yet alert. Alpha activity is thought to be important for the ability to focus attention.
The study indicates that the leaves found in our normal everyday cup of tea may improve the ability to focus. It also found that people who drank two cups of tea were not only faster but more accurate at performing tests that measured their ability to focus attention. The odds of a correct response on one test of attention were increased by 40%.
Whereas coffee offers a stimulant from caffeine, tea is the only drink that naturally contains both caffeine along with the less common effects of theanine. The level of caffeine in tea is also much lower overall than brewed coffee (approximately half in an average sized cup).
More good reasons for tea
Regular and decaffeinated brewed teas contain natural antioxidants called flavonoids – one cup of brewed green or black tea has 150-200 mg of flavonoids. Research suggests that antioxidants can be beneficial to health by helping the body protect itself from the harmful effects of "free radicals" which can cause damage to cells.