Tea is a SuperFood that’s cheap, has no calories, is associated with relaxation and pleasure, tastes good, and is available everywhere — from the finest restaurants to the local diner. It also lowers blood pressure, helps prevent cancer and osteoporosis, lowers your risk for stroke, promotes heart health, plays a probable role in preventing sunlight damage to the skin (such as wrinkles and skin cancer), and contributes to your daily fluid needs.
If you’re not sipping orange pekoe at the office, gulping refreshing brewed iced green tea on the tennis court, or enjoying some Earl Grey after dinner, you’re missing an opportunity to improve your health and longevity with tea, the world’s most popular SuperFood.
According to legend, the discovery of tea occurred quite by accident in 2700 B.C. during the reign of the Chinese emperor Shen Nung. The emperor was resting beneath a shade tree while a servant boiled some drinking water nearby when a breeze came up and blew some leaves from a nearby wild tea tree into the pot. The emperor, impatient to drink, sipped the water and was delighted with the taste. Then was born a drink that is, after water, the most popular drink in the world.
There are more than 3,000 varieties of tea available around the world, and it’s a beverage that, because of its complexity and variety, attracts connoisseurs and ceremony. From the British institution of tea time to formal Japanese tea ceremonies, no other beverage, save perhaps wine, inspires such ritual and debate.
Interest in the medicinal properties of tea has ebbed and flowed over the centuries, but only recently has research confirmed ancient suspicions about the health benefits of tea.