×
|

Why your tea may not be as healthy as you think it is (and how to fix that)

tea

Everyone knows that tea has health benefits. But it turns out you may not be getting them, even if you’re brewing, steeping, and sipping on a regular basis.

“A lot of research has shown benefits for cancer prevention, cardiovascular health, and cognitive health,” says Heidi Kothe-Levie, who’s an acupuncturist-expert in Traditional Oriental Medicine and a former tea specialist for Ito-En. “But if you’re drinking tea for overall disease risk reduction, it all comes down to how frequently you’re drinking it, how you’re brewing it, and what kind it is.”

Are you doing it wrong? Kothe-Levie, who’s sharing the current research on and myths surrounding tea’s health benefits at the 92Y next week, will explain how to make sure you’re getting those benefits every time your kettle whistles.

She gave us a sneak peek, with these four tips:

acupuncture and tea in New York

Heidi Kothe-Levie

1. Ask when the tea was plucked. Freshness is the most important factor for Kothe-Levie, who says a tea shop that values freshness should be able to tell you how long ago the leaves were plucked from the bush. Ditto any online retailer worth its salt.

2. If you’re buying tea in person, smell it! “Japanese green should have a nice grassy smell,” she says. “For black tea, you should be able to almost taste it when you smell it.” If it’s flavored, make sure they’re using natural enhancers. For example, Earl Grey should contain bergamot oil, not a chemical additive.

3. Follow brewing instructions. Those instructions that come with your tea are actually there for a reason; different temperatures and steeping times are ideal for drawing out healthy compounds, like antioxidants (and flavor!). Black tea usually calls for boiling water, while green and white are best at lower temperatures.

4. Drink almost as much tea as water. “A lot of the studies we’re seeing are showing 3-5 cups per day,” says Kothe-Levie. Which means your one morning cup isn’t cutting it, if you’re interested in partaking of the health payoffs that studies show. Channel your inner Brit and make it a part of your daily routine. —Lisa Elaine Held

The Healthy Power of Tea, Tuesday, February 7, 6:30 p.m., 92Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street, $20, www.92y.org

Share This:

  • 0
    LOVES

14 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. February 2nd, 2012 at 10:32 am

    [...] • You’re tea may not be as healthy as you think. (Well + Good) [...]

  2. February 2nd, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    [...] Continue reading for the rest of Heidi’s tips. [...]

  3. February 2nd, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    [...] You’re tea may not be as healthy as you think. (Well + Good) jQuery('#what-were-reading').load('/ajax/fetch.php?section=hybrid_box'); Share This [...]

  4. February 2nd, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    what are the benefits of organic tea over regular?

  5. February 8th, 2012 at 2:49 am

    [...] more… But you could be doing it wrong, and not really getting much benefit out of your tea habit. This Well + Good article [...]

  6. February 9th, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    [...] proper form is as essential in tea-drinking as it is in yoga, ballet, or golf. This article, featured in Well+Good NYC, provides a simple how-to for tea selection, brewing, and consumption [...]

  7. March 22nd, 2012 at 6:31 am

    [...] AdviceThursday, March 22, 2012Would you smoke your herbal tea?Sure, you can steep and sip your tea for its health benefits. Or, you can go the route of some New Yorkers, and roll it up and smoke it.That’s what Liz Neves [...]

  8. March 22nd, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    [...] of us steep our tea for its health benefits but now you can go the route of some avant-garde New Yorkers, and smoke it. That’s [...]

  9. March 29th, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    [...] you can steep and sip your tea for its health benefits. Or, you can go the route of some New Yorkers, and roll it up and smoke [...]

  10. July 20th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    [...] More Reading: Is it cheating (and less nutritious) if you get your greens from a powder? Why your tea may not be as healthy as you think it is (and how to fix that) Maca: Why this superfood has us screaming (in the bedroom)   FILED UNDER: Good Advice [...]

  11. September 16th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    [...] have you ever tried cooking with your favorite cuppa? Tea is chock full of healthy antioxidants (not to mention other health benefits), and it can add some interesting flavors to otherwise boring dishes. Check out the healthy tea [...]

  12. November 9th, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering
    your situation; many of us have created some nice methods and
    we are looking to swap solutions with other folks, please shoot me an email if interested.

  13. February 4th, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    [...] York’s healthy entrepreneurs have been brewing up some delicious, nutritious blends for you to sip on this year. It’s good timing–you’ll [...]

  14. March 6th, 2014 at 6:22 pm

    This subject would take many pages. We cannot assume it applies to just one kind of tea regardless of the brand. I prefer a little green tea with peppermint, but less than once a month. the exact ingredients and frequency are important.

Leave a Comment (* required)

© Well+Good LLC. 2014 All rights reserved. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except as expressly permitted in writing by Well+Good LLC. Well+Good is strictly editorial.