After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. The first recorded drinking of tea was in China, with the earliest records of tea consumption dating back to the 10th century BC. Today, tea is enjoyed around the world for social, cultural and therapeutic purposes. In 2010, researchers found that people who consumed tea had significantly less cognitive decline than non-tea drinkers. The study used data on more than 4,800 men and women aged 65 and older who were followed for up to 14 years. Several potential health benefits proposed for tea were outlined in an excerpt from a recent study: Tea leaves contain compounds closely related to human health including flavonoids, amino acids, vitamins C, E and K, caffeine and polysaccharides.
Moreover, tea drinking has recently proven to be associated with cell-mediated immune function of the human body. Tea plays an important role in improving beneficial intestinal microflora, as well as providing immunity against intestinal disorders and in protecting cell membranes from oxidative damage. The role of tea is well established in normalizing blood pressure, lipid depressing activity, prevention of coronary heart diseases and diabetes by reducing blood-glucose activity. Tea also possesses germicidal and germistatic activities against various gram-positive and gram-negative human pathogen bacteria. Both green and black tea infusions contain a number of antioxidants, mainly catechins that have anti-carcinogenic, anti-mutagenic and anti-tumoric properties.
Cultural tea consumption varies from country to country. In many cultures, tea is often had at social events, such as afternoon tea or a tea party. In Arab culture, tea is a focal point for social gatherings. In Iran and Pakistan, tea is so widely consumed it is generally the first thing offered to a house guest. Tea ceremonies have arisen in Japan and China, each of which employ traditional techniques and ritualized protocols of brewing and serving in a refined setting. In India, tea is consumed daily in almost all homes, offered to guests and consumed in high amounts in domestic and official settings. In the United States and Canada, 80% of tea is consumed cold as iced tea. As you can see, the world loves tea – and so do we! At Seelect Tea, our certified organic, vegan, kosher and gluten-free teas are 100% natural from the seed to the full-flavored drink in your hand. “We live in stirring times – tea stirring times.” - novelist Christopher Isherwood.
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