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An estimated 196,000,000 cups of tea are drunk every day in the UK and it's thought the average person in the UK will consume 80,000 cups of tea during their life. These figures are pretty spectacular - so what can tea do for us?

Tea does contribute slightly to our intakes of minerals, and it certainly helps to replace lost fluids, but the health interest in tea at the moment surrounds its proposed role in lowering the risk of coronary heart disease.

Tea contains antioxidant substances called flavonoids. These have been shown to help slow or inhibit the chemical reactions thought to take place during the development of coronary heart disease. So sup up! But remember that drinking water is still the best way of rehydrating our bodies, so for every cuppa you have, try to drink a glass of water too.

Green Tea

There has also been a lot of interest in the health advantages of green tea with claims that it can reduce blood cholesterol levels. However, scientific studies investigating its effects on blood cholesterol levels are divided. Some studies have found no effect at all; while others have found low cholesterol levels in people who consume large quantities of green tea. However, it can't be ruled out that the reason for these lower cholesterol levels is simply that people who drink green tea tend to have healthier diets generally. There is certainly no definitive evidence that green tea reduces cholesterol levels.

Tea, Herbs or Tisanes?

True teas are made from the Camellia sinensis plant. Herbal teas do not contain tea leaves but are created from herbs and spices. Tisanes are made from fruits.

Storing tea

Store your tea in a cool, dry, dark place, preferably in an opaque tin or jar. Store no longer than a year to prevent spoilage, deterioration or loss of flavor.

Caffeine content

A serving of tea contains less than half that of coffee. Brewed coffee has an average of 110 mg. of caffeine per serving while brewed tea has an average of 40 mg. of caffeine per serving.

Savings

Did you know that a single pound of tea will yield about 180 cups of brewed tea?