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Enjoy the Health Benefits of Iced Tea during National Iced Tea Month

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SOURCE The Tea Council of the USA, Inc.

NEW YORK, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world next to water. In fact, on any given day more than one half of the American population drinks tea. In 2012, Americans drank more than 3.6 billion gallons of tea – enough to fill the Empire State Building more than 13 times. Since 85 percent of the tea Americans drink is iced, the U.S. celebrates a love of this healthy beverage every June with National Iced Tea Month.

Tea Council of the USA

Tea contains no sodium, fat, carbonation, or sugar, it is virtually calorie free. To top it off, there are decades' worth of research showing that the many bioactive compounds found in tea, called flavonoids, may contribute to overall health. New research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition further supports this relationship linking tea with weight management, cardiovascular health, improved bone health, improved attention, problem solving and mood, among others. Highlights of some of the compelling reports published in the AJCN include:

  • Tea and Body Weight: In one review, researchers concluded that subjects consuming green tea and caffeine lost an average of 2.9 pounds within 12 weeks while adhering to their regular diet. The results of another meta-analysis suggests the increase in caloric expenditure is equal to about 100 calories over a 24-hour period.
  • Tea and Heart Health: A study published by Claudio Ferri, MD, University L'Aquila, Italy found that black tea reduced blood pressure, and among hypertensive subjects, it helped counteract the negative effects of a high-fat meal on blood pressure and arterial blood flow.
  • Tea and Bone Health: Research suggests that polyphenols in green tea may help improve bone quality and strength. One study found that tea drinking was associated with a 30 percent reduced risk of hip fractures among men and women over 50 years old.
  • Tea and Mental Sharpness: New research found that drinking tea improved attention and allowed individuals to be more focused on the task at hand. In this placebo-controlled study, subjects who drank tea produced more accurate results during an attention task and also felt more alert than subjects drinking a placebo. These effects were found for two to three cups of tea consumed within a time period of up to 90 minutes. It is thought that the amino acid theanine and caffeine, both present in tea, contribute to many of tea's psychological benefits.
  • Tea's Role in Cancer Prevention: Preliminary research suggests tea may provide protection against various types of cancers, including digestive, skin, lung, prostate, breast and ovarian cancers, but more evidence is needed before any definitive conclusions can be made. A new study, found green tea catechins reduced the progression of prostate cancer. The researchers reported that after a year, 9 percent of men in the green tea supplemented group had progressed to prostate cancer whereas 30 percent of men in the placebo group had progressed.

Whether you prefer black, green, white or oolong tea, you are in good company. Peter Goggi, President of the Tea Council of the USA recommends drinking plenty of tea, saying, "not only are many different types of teas available to suit each taste preference, but the amount of quality research being done on tea continues to support the idea that drinking tea can be a fulfilling, healthy addition to your diet."

This June for National Iced Tea Month, cool off with a refreshing glass of iced tea and treat yourself to the beverage's growing list of health benefits.

Get started by trying this refreshing iced tea recipe:

    • Bring one quart of fresh, cold, filtered water to a full boil in a teapot
    • Remove from heat and add 8–10 tea bags per quart of tea you are making
    • Steep for three to five minutes and pour over ice cubes or into additional cold water
    • To serve, pour into tall glass filled with ice, garnish and sweeten as desired                  

*Note: This recipe uses 50 percent more tea than is used to make hot tea to allow for dilution by ice.

Fun Tea Facts from the Tea Association of the USA:

  • While more than 158 million Americans are drinking tea daily, on a regional basis, the South and Northeast have the greatest concentration of tea drinkers.
  • All tea comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis; the major differentiating factor between black, green, oolong and white teas is the processing
  • Tea is very much like wine; it takes on characteristics of its local geography, climate, elevation and soil

ABOUT THE TEA COUNCIL OF THE USA:
The Tea Council of the USA is a non-profit association that was formed in 1950 as a joint partnership between tea packers, importers and allied industries within the United States, and the major tea producing countries. It functions as the educational arm of the tea industry with a primary goal of increasing overall awareness of tea by providing information about its many positive attributes. One of the Council's primary objectives is the dissemination of key scientific findings about tea to the public. The Tea Council does this in several ways including: funding scientific meetings to bring tea researchers from around the world together to share key information and identify next steps for future research projects; and working with health organizations and international scientists to disseminate information about potential positive health effects of tea consumption on a public level. 

Media Contact:
Korinne Leonardis, Pollock Communications
212-921-1414
kleonardis@pollock-pr.com

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