Refresher Course: 3 Tips for Healthy Iced Tea

Nothing cools you down quite like iced tea. And it gets better: Thanks to its rich stores of polyphenols, even the humble black variety is associated with reduced rates of heart attack and ovarian cancer. Get the most from your glass with these tips from University of Arizona tea researcher Iman Hakim.


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1. Start with hot water. Brewing with boiling H2O releases far more polyphenols from tea leaves than cold brewing or sun brewing. Steep for three minutes for maximum potency.

2. Hold off on the ice. Pouring hot tea over freezing cubes makes polyphenols tougher for the body to absorb. Instead, chill tea in the fridge and add ice just before drinking.

3. Finish with a twist. On the downside, black tea contains plant chemicals called tannins that can thwart the body's absorption of iron. The fix: Squeeze in some lemon juice. Its vitamin C counteracts tannins.

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