You probably already know that tea is an incredibly healthy beverage. In fact, studies show that if you drink tea regularly,
you may reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. But not
everything you’ve heard about tea is true. Here are 5 myths about tea busted:
Myth 1: Adding milk to tea negates the health benefits. Although some studies have suggested
adding milk to tea undoes its heart-healthy benefits, recent research says that’s not necessarily the case... roughly the
same amount of catechins (antioxidants linked with a reduced risk of some cancers) were absorbed from milk-tinged tea as from
plain black tea, according to a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
Myth 2: Peppermint tea is a good choice for tummy troubles.
While a cup of herbal tea can help
to soothe an upset stomach, mint is not necessarily the best choice. Peppermint aggravates a condition known as GERD
(gastrointestinal reflux disease)—recurrent heartburn. A better choice for an upset stomach—especially nausea or motion
sickness—is ginger tea. Just steep a quarter-size piece of fresh ginger in boiling water. (Find out 4 more cures from your kitchen here
Myth 3: Tea is healthiest when nothing is added to it. The citric acid in a squeeze of lemon
juice—or lime or orange juice—will help to preserve the flavanoids in tea if you’re brewing it ahead (such as if you’re
making iced tea). The flavanoids are the compounds deemed responsible for many of tea’s health boons. Also, adding honey to
your tea may make you more productive on the job, suggests a small 2010 study published in the journal Human
Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental. When study participants drank the two together, researchers found that
areas of the brain associated with attention worked more efficiently than when tea was sipped solo.
Myth 4: Herbal tea is tea. Actually, true tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. While
black, green, oolong and white teas come from this plant, herbal varieties are usually made from the flowers and even bark of
other plants. Herbal teas are technically tisanes.
Myth 5: Tea doesn’t go bad.
Tea does have a shelf life: 6 months. After that, it starts to
lose its antioxidants. A 2009 study in the Journal of Food Science
showed that catechins in green tea decreased
markedly over time. After six months, catechin levels were 32 percent lower. Make the most of the antioxidants by storing tea
in a sealed container in a dark, cool place. (Find out when nutrients in other foods expire