FORGET expensive pills and exotic potions. The elixir of life could be as simple as a cup (or two) of tea.
Women in their 70s and 80s lived longer if they had two cuppas a day, research shows.
They were 40 percent less likely to die during the five years they were studied than other women of a similar age. Tea, or more specifically, the flavonoids in it, also seemed to protect against the ravages of heart disease and cancer. Flavonoids are health-boosting plant compounds that are found in chocolate, fruit, red wine and coffee.
However, tea made the biggest contribution to the flavonoid count in the women-only study.
Australian researchers analysed the health records of more than 1 000 women aged over 75.
Detailed information about their diets, including the amount of tea and coffee drunk, was used to work out what level of flavonoids they were consuming. About 88 percent of them were still alive by the end of the study – and those with the most flavonoids in their diet were particularly likely to have survived.
Deaths from heart disease and cancer, the two biggest killers of elderly women, were down, as well as the overall risk of death.
Crucially for women and men looking for simple tips for a longer, healthier life, the amount of flavonoids that provide protection is easily achievable.
The Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that the required amount of 350mg a day can be found in just two cups of tea.
Previous research has credited flavonoids with lowering blood pressure, cutting the risk of blood clots and strengthening bones.
Dr Carrie Ruxton, an independent dietician, said: “Studies in younger adults also show that regular tea drinking lowers the risk of heart disease because tea flavonoids improve vascular flow.” – Daily Mail
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