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  • Rachel Ray

Wellbeing In A Cup

Sometimes the simplest things in life bring the greatest pleasure. And for me, my morning cuppa does just that. But no longer for me a quick bag in the cup. I have a bit of a morning ritual – my own little tea ceremony. With my special teapot and a selection of tea leaves from a lovely local independent tea merchant, this daily treat always makes my days feel a little lifted.

Part of my enjoyment is finding a tea to taste, so since Christmas I have been taste-testing a selection of green teas, which is my tea of choice. I boil the water to 70°C and allow the leaves to steep to release the flavour. Then I take in the aroma as I quietly sip my brew.

Tea really is a bit of a British tradition with around 100 million cups being drunk daily. From the first morning sip to an afternoon pick-me-up, tea offers a moment of relaxation and an opportunity to pause your day.


According to a survey commissioned by the UK Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA) 86% of adults are now tea drinkers with tea drinking increasing during lockdown. With Zoom calls, home schooling, remote working and online shopping, the comforting warming mug of tea has kept us company. The survey cited more than half of respondents saying that the ‘feel good’ factor of tea was a reason for increasing their uptake, followed by hydration and the opportunity to socialise with family and friends, even if that meant sharing a virtual cuppa online. And Dr Sharon Hall from the UKTIA said “Everyone knows that wonderful ‘ah’ feeling of sitting down with a mug of tea especially when you’ve had a busy or stressful day.”


There is increasing evidence that tea is great for our wellbeing and packed full of potentially helpful benefits. According to the Tea Advisory Panel looking at various studies;

  • due to the compounds in tea including flavonoid antioxidants, people who drink 3 to 4 cups of black tea a day could have a lower risk to type 2 diabetes

  • compounds such as L-theanine and caffeine may improve our attention span helping to improve mental attention and clarity of mind, boosting brain and mind health.

  • New research by TAP reveals that four to five cups of tea per day could boost ‘friendly gut’ bacteria helping to reduce health risks.

  • Tea may reduce dementia risk. A study of 957 elderly Chinese people found that consistent drinking of black/oolong tea reduced the risk of cognitive disorders by 53% and for green tea by 43%. The findings also suggested those genetically at higher risk of developing Alzheimers disease may reduce this by as much as 86%

  • Tea helps reduce depression and anxiety. In another study, long term tea consumption among elderly people was associated with reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Tea is shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular problems with a study showing that regular tea consumption could reduce the risk of heart and circulation problems by up to 20%

  • Tea can help to tackle high blood pressure and studies have found that drinking black tea could reduce blood pressure by 10% and regularly drinking green tea could reduce the risk of high blood pressure by 46%


With all of these potential health benefits, there is good reason to include tea as part of your daily wellbeing.


“Tea tempers the spirit, harmonizes the mind, dispels lassitude and

relieves fatigue, awakens the thought and prevents drowsiness”

Lu Yu Classic of Tea – Origins and Rituals (written in the 8th Century)




References

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