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Drink Up: Health Benefits of Tea for Seniors

January is National Hot Tea Month, and to celebrate, we’ve compiled a list of some  of tea’s health benefits for seniors.

Tea is chock full of antioxidants. In fact, some studies estimate green and black tea have 10 times the antioxidants of fruits and vegetables. Specifically, tea contains the flavonoids  thearubigins, epicatechins, and catechins, and the cancer-fighting polyphenols.

Tea helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. A study in the Netherlands found that people who drank at least two to three cups of black tea daily had a 70 percent lower risk of heart attack than those who didn’t drink at all. Tea’s powerful inflammatory effects
can help prevent coronary artery disease by keeping plaque from building up in the bloodstream and arterial walls, both of which can lead to heart disease and stroke. Tea’s antioxidants also can help lower bad cholesterol levels.

Tea is good for bone health. Studies suggest that the phytochemicals in tea help protect against bone loss due to their estrogen-like properties. Researchers at the University of Western Australia studied a group of women over a five year period and found the bone mineral density in the tea drinkers was higher than the women who didn’t drink tea.

Tea is good for dental health because tea itself contains fluoride and tannins that help keep plaque from forming. Just remember to go easy on the sugar and honey.

Drinking tea helps keep seniors hydrated. Dehydration is a common yet dangerous health condition for seniors. Seniors often experience a decrease in thirst while at the same time their body’s water content decreases. Also, multiple medications can leave seniors susceptible to dehydration. Contrary to popular belief, tea hydrates the body as effectively as water.

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