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