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Drink Tea; It’s good for you

I’ve never been much of a health nut.  Onion rings and I go way back, and I don’t see our friendship coming to an end anytime soon.  But that’s not to say that I overlook the finer tastes in life.  Over the last few years, I’ve amassed a pretty good-sized tea collection – so big that it takes up about a quarter of my food shelf in my dorm. 

With over twenty boxes of tea to my name, I was pleased to learn recently that my avid tea drinking is actually pretty good for my health.  Tea has many lifelong benefits, like lowering the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.  But it can also yield more immediate results, giving the tea drinker clearer skin, a sharper mind, and even a faster metabolism.


Green Tea:  The drink that does everything

Green tea has long been a favored beverage, consumed for both its smooth taste and its medicinal properties.  Green tea gives the drinker visibly clearer skin, helps fight wrinkles, speeds up the metabolism (swimsuit season coming up, girls!), and might even raise your resistance to ultraviolet light – and if you’re as fair as I am, you’ll need it!  Green tea can also help manage depression with theanine, an amino acid in tea leaves that helps relax the drinker.  In the long-term, it helps strengthen the body against heart disease, diabetes, neurological diseases, at least 13 kinds of cancer, and a buttload of other medical problems that I’d like to avoid.

My favorite:  At home, I drink Tazo brand Lotus Green Tea, available at Starbucks for $4.95 a box.  When I want something special, I head over to Peet’s Coffee and get a green tea freddo for (think tea flavored milkshake – yummy!)


Black Tea:  Fight flu season!

Black tea is not only one of the most flavorful types of teas, but it is also a huge immune system booster.  Tea, especially black tea, contains tannins, which help fight viruses and might even have some antibacterial effects.  Black tea also helps reduce the effects of smoking by giving the lungs some extra protection.  Like green tea, it contains antioxidants, which help prevent many medical problems such as heart disease and cancer. Black tea also contains a lot of caffeine, and is perfect to start out the day.

My favorite:  I recently picked up a box of Stash brand Earl Grey, which is delightfully bold.  You can get it at Walmart and some Trader Joe’s stores for about $3 a box.  My long-time favorite chai is Numi’s Ruby Chai tea, which has a spicy, warm flavor that I can never get enough of.  It’s available at Whole Foods for about $4 a box.  If you’re looking for something sweeter, try a chai tea latte from Starbucks!


Oolong Tea:  Boost your skin and shrink your waist

Oolong tea is a super tea for your metabolism.  One study found that daily oolong drinkers may lose up to a pound a week!  The antioxidants in oolong can also help clear up your skin from acne, prevent wrinkling, and even drastically aid eczema treatment.  Like other teas, oolong also helps prevent serious medical issues in the future.

My favorite:  I like Twinings China Oolong Tea, which is available at most grocery stores for around $3 a box.

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Tessa Murphy

San Francisco

I'm a freshman at San Francisco State, and I love all things geeky and most things caffeinated.
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