Iced tea may be a satisfying summer drink, but a nice, tall glass of it can do more than just help you beat the heat on a sweltering day.
The Surprising Benefits of Tea
All black, green, white, red, and oolong teas, iced or hot, contain antioxidants called polyphenols. Research suggests that polyphenols can help to combat free radicals, which are unstable oxygen molecules that can damage cells and tissues and increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and numerous other diseases. The polyphenols in white, red, green, oolong, and black tea have been found to help lower LDL cholesterol. In addition, a recent study showed that regularly drinking green tea, which is rich in a type of polyphenol called catechins, may help promote exercise-induced abdominal fat loss. Catechins have also been shown to improve triglyceride levels and help protect against Alzheimer’s and certain forms of cancer.
How to Prepare Iced Tea
To get the most from a glass of iced tea, brew it from loose leaves or a tea bag using boiling water. Perk up the flavor with sliced lemon and fresh mint or, for a complete change of pace, fiber-rich crushed raspberries or muddled mango or peach (once you enter Phase 2). If you like your iced tea sweet, add a sugar substitute. Decaffeinated tea is another option, as is unsweetened herbal iced tea (herbal teas don't provide the same health benefits from polyphenols as regular teas, however).