Time for tea?

March 12, 2018 sees the start of Nutrition and Hydration Week - a campaign that celebrates and raises awareness of food and drink as a way of maintaining health and wellbeing.

Good nutrition and hydration are essential for health and wellbeing, the campaign states. And good nutrition and hydration can help people recover more quickly from illness too. So during this year’s event the organisers are holding a Worldwide Afternoon Tea on March 14th, where afternoon tea will be served in health and social care settings around the globe.

This year, why not join in and hold your own afternoon tea event? You can even tweet photos of your tea party @NHWeek, using the hashtag #NHW2018.

Nutrition and Hydration Week has teamed up with Nourish by Jane Clark to provide a variety of afternoon tea recipes to whet your appetite.

In the meantime, here’s a rundown of some of the country’s favourite teas – including herbal brews – with information provided by the Tea Advisory Panel:

Black tea The most popular type of tea here in the UK, black tea comes from the plant Camelia sinensis. It contains beneficial substances called flavonols and flavones, and has been linked with a number of health benefits, including protection against dementia and support for heart health.

Green tea This comes from the same plant as black tea but it is dried differently and has a different mix of flavonoids. According to the Tea Advisory Panel one study shows drinking three cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of heart attack by 11 percent, while another suggests regular green tea drinking cuts the odds of having a stroke by 46 percent. Substances called catechins found in green tea are also thought to help with weight loss.

Rooibos Also called redbush tea, this comes from a South African plant called Aspalathus linearis. Naturally free from caffeine, it can be drunk with or without milk. The Tea Advisory Panel claims drinking rooibos tea on a regular basis could help protect against heart problems, as it has been shown to reduce levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol while raising levels of ‘good’ cholesterol.

Chamomile tea Often recommended as a bedtime drink, chamomile tea contains glycine, an amino acid thought to help combat insomnia. Glycine also helps relieve muscle spasms, making a chamomile cuppa the ideal drink if you’re having menstrual cramps or discomfort associated with irritable bowel syndrome.

Peppermint tea With a long history of traditional use for the relief of indigestion, peppermint tea contains vitamin C as well as magnesium, copper, iron, potassium and calcium.

Ginger tea Another useful brew for settling your stomach, ginger tea has also been found to provide natural pain and nausea relief.

Hibiscus tea This tangy herbal brew contains vitamin C as well as plant compounds called anthocyanins, with studies showing it may help lower blood pressure.

For more information on tea and its health benefits, visit www.teaadvisorypanel.com.