Satisfy Your Thirst with Tea

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Did you know that after water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world? Staying well hydrated is so important to good health since losing as little as 1 to 2% of body weight from fluids can impair physical performance and our ability to think.[1] If you are like most people, about 80% of your total fluid intake comes from drinking water and other beverages.[2] Tea is 99.5% water and it counts towards your daily fluid intake. Tea is known for its many health benefits, so drinking tea is also good for you! Read on about how to satisfy your thirst with tea! [#TeaForYourHealth]
Easy Tea From A Teabag Versus Quality Brew

Healthy Hydration Benefits[3]

Your body is made up of nearly two-thirds water so it is really important that you get enough fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.  Remember ‘fluid’ includes water and additional drinks that give you water such as tea and other beverages. You also get water from the foods you eat. On average most people get about 80% of their fluid intake form drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% from foods.2

Be sure to get enough fluids to be at your best in these important areas of health and wellness:3

  • “Physical performance – under relatively mild levels of dehydration, individuals engaging in rigorous physical activity will experience decrements in performance related to reduced endurance, increased fatigue
  • Cognitive performance – dehydration changes some cognitive functions such as your ability to concentrate, alertness and short-term memory
  • Gut health – fluids can aid in digestion
  • Skin – the skin contains approximately 30% water, which contributes to plumpness, elasticity, and resiliency

How much fluid do you need a day? [4]

Your body loses water when you’re breathing, sweating and getting rid of waste. If you lose more fluid than what you drink and eat, your body can get dehydrated and you may feel tired, get headaches and not perform at your best. NOTE:  You can become dehydrated even before you feel it. That is why it’s important to drink fluids regularly, even before you feel thirsty. So you may be wondering how much fluid you need. Your fluid needs are influenced by a number of factors including your age, gender activity level and the weather! (Hot and humid weather can increase your fluid needs.) Healthy adults should consume between 9 and 12 cups of fluids every day. Here are general guidelines for fluid intake to keep your body hydrated.4 Remember fluids include water, tea and other beverages:

  • Aim for 3 L (12 cups) fluids for men 19 years old and over each day
  • Aim for 2.2 L (9 cups) of fluids for women 19 years old and over each day.

Daily Healthy Beverage Guidelines[5]

Beverages make up an important part of nutrition for Canadians. Men and women aged 19 to 30 obtain around 20% of their daily calories from beverages.[6]  The Daily Healthy Beverage Guidelines, published in the March 2006 issue of the Journal of American Clinical Nutrition, can help you make smart choices about the types of beverages you consume. The guide looks at the relative health and nutritional benefits and risks of various types of beverages. Under the guidelines, unsweetened tea is second only to water as a beverage choice and people can drink up to eight cups of tea a day as part of a healthy diet.5

Use the "Download" link below to learn more!

Use the “Download” link below to see more!


Download: Daily Beverage Guideline 2-Page Flyer (PDF)

Cool Drinks for Hot Days

On hot summer days what’s more refreshing than grabbing a cool drink? Enjoy hydrating with iced tea! Canada’s Food Guide suggests you satisfy your thirst with water as a great-tasting calorie-free way to help you stay hydrated. This is especially important in hot weather or when you are active.[7] Since tea is 99.5 % water, it can count towards your fluid intake for the day – plus it tastes great! Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world, which should be no surprise to Canadians – they drink almost 10 billion cups of tea each year![8]

Refreshing Iced Tea Recipe

Brewed Iced tea tips:

  1. Brew your favourite tea with hot water concentrated as usual
  2. Pour it over ice filled glasses and enjoy
  3. For extra flavour add a slice of your favorite fruit, such as lemon, lime, orange, or even peaches
What’s your favourite brewed iced tea flavour?

What’s your favourite brewed iced tea flavour?

Here’s to your good health!

Louise

[1] Liebermann HR. Hydration and Cognition: A critical Review and Recommendations for Future Research. J Am Coll Nutr 2007;26:555S-61S.

[2] The Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride and Sulfate. Washington DC: National Academy Press, 2004.

[3] Barry M. Popkin, Kristen E. D’Anci, and Irwin H. Rosenberg, Water, Hydration and Health, Nutr Rev. 2010 Aug; 68(8): 439–458.

[4] Dietitians of Canada, Guidelines for Drinking fluids to Stay Hydrated, Nof 27, 2014 http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Water/Why-is-water-so-important-for-my-body-Know-when.aspx

[5] Popkin BM1, Armstrong LE, Bray GM, Caballero B, Frei B, Willett WC., A new proposed guidance system for beverage consumption in the United States., Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Mar;83(3):529-42.

[6] Garriguet D. Beverage Consumption of Canadian Adults. Statistics Canada Health Reports, November 2008.

[7]  Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Health Canada. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide, 2007.

[8]  Tea Association of Canada, Canadian Tea Fact Sheet & Trends 2014 :  www.tea.ca

What is good for the heart is good for the brain

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Dear tea drinkers,

In May we celebrate Mother’s Day and honour special women in our lives. In your family, as in mine, tea may have been traditionally part of many treasured times with mothers and grandmothers. Although thousands of years old, tea is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, as scientists continue to find evidence of tea’s healthfulness. Studies conducted with both black and green tea have yielded exciting results suggesting that natural compounds in tea called flavonoids may help to maintain good health.

There is an important distinction to make however, between herbal tea and tea. Oolong, white, green and black are considered “true teas,” as their leaves come from the actual tea plant camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Asia. Rooibos and herbal teas do not contain leaves from the tea plant but are infusions of other plants, spices or fruit. Since Herbal teas are not derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, tea experts refer to them as a “tisane.”

We already know that tea is good for the heart, and healthy blood flow is also important for the brain. Our expert, University of Toronto’s scientist Dr. Carol Greenwood connects these by saying “What is good for the heart is also good for the brain.” There is a unique aspect of tea and health research that also supports brain health and cognition.

Connection of heart and brain. Vector icon of heart and brain sy

Here are some of the studies from recent scientific findings:

  • A recent human study examined the effect of the unique tea amino acid L-theanine (-glutamylethylamide) on attention related task performance. Task performance was measured by electroencephalographic (EEG), or the measurement of electrical activity produced by the brain as recorded from electrodes placed on the scalp. The results suggest L-theanine plays a role in attentional processing in synergy with caffeine. [1]
  • A published randomized human clinical trial found that subjects given a daily supplement with green tea extract and L-theanine extracted from tea experienced improvements in mild cognitive impairments (MCI). In a test of attention and self-reported measure of alertness, subjects consumed two cups of tea (100 mg caffeine and 46 mg L-theanine) versus a placebo beverage. Results indicated that accuracy on the Attention Switching task was improved after tea as compared to the placebo, as well as performance on two of the four subtasks from the Intersensory Attention task. [2]
  • Caffeine and L-theanine in tea may offer cognitive benefits and improve mental clarity and work performance. A cross-sectional study showed that participants who consumed more tea felt less tired and reported higher levels of subjective work performance.[3]

beautiful young woman having tea with grandmother or mother

In celebration of mothers and all the special women in your life, host a tea party, maybe even outside!  There are so many varieties and flavours to choose from. Did you know there is a difference between brewing black and green teas? For black tea use boiling water and steep 3-5 min, for green tea use hot water and steep only 2-3 min. Different types of teas should be brewed at different temperatures for different lengths of time. Here are some tips to help to get you started:

Steeping Instructions

Tea Type Preparation
White 80°C / 185°F (Steep 2-5 min)
Green 80°C / 185°F (Steep 1-3 min)
Oolong 80°C / 185°F (Steep 2-3 min)
Black 100°C / 212°F (Steep 4 min)
Herbal 100°C / 212°F (Steep 3-6 min)

How to Brew the Best Cup of Tea

  • Start with fresh-drawn cold water and bring to a rolling boil and let sit to temperature suggested above
  • Warm the teapot
  • Use one teaspoonful of loose tea or one teabag per cup (6 oz. about 175 mL or ¾ cup) of water
  • When the water is at the correct temperature, take the kettle to the warmed teapot and pour over the tea
  • Cover and let steep for times suggested above
  • Strain tea or remove the teabags. Enjoy!

For more information visit the Tea Types & Steeping Instructions page.

[1]  Kelly SP, Gomez-Ramirez M, Montesi JL, Foxe JJ. L-Theanine and caffeine in combination affect human cognition as evidenced by oscillatory alpha-band activity and attention task performance. J Nutr 2008;138:1572S–7S.

[2]  De Bruin EA, Rowson MJ, Van Buren L, Rycroft, JA, Owen GN. Black tea improves attention and self-reported alertness. 2011. Appetite, 56: 235-240.

[3] Bryan J, Tuckey, M, Einöther S.J.L. et al. The relationship between tea and other beverage consumption, work performance and mood. Appetite, 2012. 58 (1), 339–346.

Step into spring with a healthy brew that may help fight cancer

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Dear tea drinkers,

April brings spring flowers and bright sunny days. Yellow daffodils start to bloom and these flowers may remind you of Cancer Awareness Days. Tea’s cancer fighting abilities have been researched for a long time. More than 3,000 published studies exist that evaluate the role tea (white, green, oolong or black) and tea compounds may play in certain cancers of various sites.[1]

Gastrointestinal Health Benefits

For example in relation to colon cancer, the benefits to gastrointestinal health gained from tea drinking seems to be cumulative and dependent upon the amount of tea consumed per day as well as the number of tea-drinking years. One study found that women who consumed the equivalent of 2.5 cups of tea per day had a 60% reduction in rectal cancer risk, compared with women who drank less than 1.2 cups of tea daily[2]. An additional study found tea drinkers to have an approximate 42% reduced risk of colon cancer as compared to non-tea drinkers. Men who drank more than 1.5 cups of tea per day were found to have a 70% lower colon cancer risk. [3]

Hot Green Tea On Wood Table.

A study published in the February 2015 issue of the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that the main antioxidant in green tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), helps kill cancer cells.[4] Tea and tea compounds contain flavonoids that are effective antioxidants. These substances can help prevent or delay oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen and or reactive nitrogen species. Oxidative damage to the body, cells and tissues may contribute to diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Researchers continue to explore the potential health benefits of tea, which is leading many scientists to agree that tea, both black and green, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.

Editorial Note: Tea and Cancer info:  http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet, http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-101/what-is-a-risk-factor/diet/antioxidants/?region=on

[1] http://www.teausa.com/14655/tea-fact-sheet

[2] Dora I, Arab L, Martinchik A, Sdvizhkov A, Urbanovich L, Weisgerber U. Black tea consumption and Risk of rectal cancer in Moscow population. Ann Epidemiol. 2003 Jul; 13(6): 405-11.

[3] Su LJ, Arab L. Tea consumption and the reduced risk of colon cancer — results from a national prospective cohort study. Public Health Nutr. 2002 Jun; 5(3): 419-25.

[4] Ling Tao, Jong-Yung Park, Joshua D. Lambert. Differential prooxidative effects of the green tea polyphenol, (–)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate, in normal and oral cancer cells are related to differences in sirtuin 3 signaling. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2015 Feb;59 (2):203-11. [Epub 2014 Nov 17]

Tea can help you limit calories & caffeine

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Eating Well at Work is the theme of Nutrition Month – March 2015. Does your morning kick-start or afternoon pick me up include a beverage? You may be surprised to see how quickly your liquid calories add up from flavoured hot drinks, fruit juices, double-doubles and energy drinks.  Quench you thirst with water or swap your sip to tea, a calorie-free, natural healthy beverage.

calorie comparison

Caffeine is found naturally in coffee and tea and can improve alertness for short periods of time. Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others. Research also shows that caffeinated drinks do not dehydrate us, especially if we are used to caffeine. Health Canada suggests that for the average adult a moderate caffeine intake at levels of 400 mg/day is not associated with any adverse effects.  So if you’re a tea lover you’re in luck because tea has about 66% LESS caffeine compared to coffee! You can enjoy up to 8 cups* of tea / day compared to only  2.5 cups of coffee / day without going over 400 mg/day caffeine limit.

TAC_caffeine_postcard_ENG

If you’re watching your caffeine and calorie consumption, you might want to embrace the wonderful world of tea. There are many teas to discover, black, green, white, oolong  or pu-erh – all teas produced from a plant called camellia sinensis that has proven beneficial health effects.

Here is to your good health at work and beyond.

Cheers,

Louise

* one cup serving is 250 mL or 8 oz.

Source: Health Canada, Caffeine in Food; Dietitians of Canada, Information about Caffeine.

Drinking tea can lead to a healthier heart

Tea & Health

Dear tea drinkers,

My name is Louise Roberge and I’m the president of the Tea Association of Canada. We serve as the number one source of information, research about tea. We are passionate about tea and dedicated to increasing awareness of quality tea and its health benefits to Canadians. We are delighted to launch our monthly blog to share with you all things to do with tea with a particular focus on the health benefits of the most consumed beverage in the world after water. Our hope is that this blog will spark conversations amongst tea enthusiasts and we invite you to share your thoughts and comments in the box below.

What’s nicer than sipping a hot cup of tea to warm you up on a cold February day? Bud did you know that one of the many benefits of tea is related to heart health?  Researchers found that people who drink as little as 1-2 cups of tea a day, combined with a healthy diet, could lower their risk of heart disease. Another study indicated that consuming one cup of tea per day may reduce incidence of stroke and heart attacks by 8 to 10 percent. [1] In a just published study, researchers found that people with high blood pressure who drank 2 cups of black tea a day for eight days showed significant improvements in blood pressure. [2]  These findings show that tea may significantly contribute to lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease since tea is the most consumed beverage after water.

The powerful naturally occurring plant compounds found in black and green teas are called flavonoids.

Flavonoids in foods have positive health effects that help reduce the risk of heart disease and protect through high antioxidant activity and anti-inflammatory benefits.

All teas from the camellia sinensis plant, such as black, green, oolong  teas naturally contain flavonoids. In fact one third of the weight of a tea leaf is comprised of flavonoids, which are released when the tea leaves come in contact with hot water. Brewing your tea releases about 300 mg of flavonoids per 250 mL serving.  This makes tea a key dietary source of flavonoids, since in comparison, fruit juices run at about 3-50 mg flavonoids per serving (see chart below.) Note that while tea is a naturally rich source of flavonoids, it is not a substitute for fruits or vegetables which provide a wide range of nutrients such as flavonoids and essential vitamins and minerals.

[1] Fifth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition December 2013; 98(6): 1601S – 1708S

[2] Davide Grassi et al,  Black Tea Lowers Blood Pressure and Wave Reflections in Fasted and Postprandial Conditions in Hypertensive Patients: A Randomised Study. Nutrients 2015, 7, 1037-1051;

TAC_flavonoid_postcard_ENG

Here are a few tea tips to enjoy during heart month:

  1. Enjoy tea throughout the day. Keeping your flavonoid levels high throughout the day helps it function as a protective antioxidant.
    2. Try your tea in different ways.  For example, squeeze in a bit of lemon for a boost of vitamin C
  2. Try a variety of teas from regions of India, China or Kenya – but for heart health benefits be sure they are teas from the plant camellia sinensis.

Enjoy tea for your health,

Louise