16:03 14 March 2008
The teabag reached its 100th birthday recently, yet its invention was the result of a happy accident.
Desperate coffee merchant Thomas Sullivan of New York was struggling to sell tea so he sent out samples in silk purses, but the general public didn't know what to do with them so they dunked them in hot water!
And so history was created (even if it took until the 1960s for it to catch on over here), and what better way to celebrate than to put the kettle on?
While it's brewing why not educate yourself on the fashion and health benefits of your trusty cuppa?
With celebrity endorsers like Victoria Beckham plugging the benefits of Pu-erh tea, sales of the slimming tea have rocketed.
The Chinese green tea undergoes a fermentation process lasting up to 50 years and has long been used to aid digestion and break down fats. It also helps lower calories.
Two studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggest that green tea really could help you to drop a dress size!
Look and feel younger
The powerful antioxidants in tea are believed to ward off age-related memory problems as well as protect against degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer's.
Laboratory tests around the world found that mice fed on oolong tea showed fewer signs of ageing, such as hair loss and age spots. Green tea was also proven to tackle arthritis.
Tea could help to prevent breast, prostate, skin and bladder cancers. A study of 60,000 women found that those who drank at least two cups of tea a day almost halved their risk of ovarian cancer.
It is thought tea's high levels of antioxidants are able to combat cell-damaging free radicals. Green tea has the most effect as the antioxidants inhibit cancer cells without killing surrounding tissue.
White tea could be the answer to warding off colds and flu more so than green tea.
Tea for your teeth
Tea is rich in fluoride because when the plant is growing, it is taken up from the soil into its leaves. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay.
Tea gives us 70% of our daily intake. The tannin in tea is also good for teeth, as it has been shown to increase the acid resistance of tooth enamel and slow the growth of bacteria that causes plaque.
Give your heart a boost
Tea is proven to lower cholesterol as well as increasing your blood flow. Black tea also helps to reduce the risk of heart disease by stopping blood clots.
The tea challenge!
When it comes to brews do you need a few more tips?
The stress-busting cuppa
Research suggests that drinking black tea can help you beat stress as a study at University College London proved.
Participants who drank four cups a day for six weeks had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after doing stressful tasks than those drinking a placebo brew.
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