Scientists at the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society announced this week that Hispanic herbal teas may be better for you than the much-touted green tea.

Researchers looked at three types of Hispanic teas: ardisia, roselle (hibiscus), and mate (MAH-tay). Mate, as it turns out, is especially high in antioxidants, which help the body protect itself from the damaging effects of oxygen. A few mate brands were higher in antioxidants than green tea, which has been widely publicized for its medicinal qualities.

Elvira de Mejia, Assistant Professor of Food and Nutrition at the University of Illiois at Urbana-Champaign, suggests that people interested in getting the health effects of mate drink three or four cups a day.

Are you likely to change your beverage habits based on information like this? Do you choose foods because they're healthy, because they're what you're used to, or because you like the taste? What other kinds of food/nutrition stories would you like to see here?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Dang, 3 or 4 cups a day! That seems like a bunch of tea. I have to admit I would have a hard time making that big of a change to my diet even for these benefits. I think most people would just be better off if they were drinking more plain old water.

posted on Fri, 03/18/2005 - 3:42pm
Bob's picture
Bob says:

I drink tea.

posted on Sat, 03/19/2005 - 3:28pm
Phillip's picture
Phillip says:

I drink tea too! It is good.=)

posted on Sun, 03/20/2005 - 1:01pm
Jen's picture
Jen says:

I have started drinking tea more regularly, but I wouldn't drink it if it tasted gross, especially three or four cups a day, even if it was really healthy. Well, of course I say that, but now I'm thinking that if I had some disease and the drink might cure it, then I would--but that's not what we're talking about here.

Anyway, now I'm wondering how this tea tastes--I might just have to go get some!

posted on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 3:32pm
murshall86's picture
murshall86 says:

I didn't now oxygen was bad for you should i stop breathing i think if i do that i'm gonna die.

posted on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 4:09pm
chris the mangafreak's picture

The damaging effects of oxygen? In normal situations, oxygen is not damaging. Only when the concentration of oxygen is too high is it damaging. Or if people start breathing O3 (ozone). Ozone is really corrosive to organic material.
--chris the mangafreak has spoken.

posted on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 4:25pm
bryan kennedy's picture

It's good to remember that we stand at the cutting edge of Science where not much is very certain. However, current wisdom says:

When we take Oxygen into our bodies it is made up of two atoms of Oxygen (O2 or O=O). When our bodies break this up for energy (Respiration), Oxygen Free Radicals are produced. Oxygen Free Radicals are an oxygen atom that has at least one unpaired electron. Essentially, this means that the atom is looking for something to pair up with. It's thought that the damage done to our bodies by aging is the result of these Oxygen Free Radicals pairing up with important parts of our bodies, like our DNA. This is where I start getting confused, because it's always more complicated than that right?

Recent research by MIT Research Biologist Leonard Guarente shows that Oxygen Free Radicals might not be the problem.

posted on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 5:38pm
Gene's picture
Gene says:

I already drink that much tea a day. And I prefer the herbals, anyway. Switching to a new brand would not be difficult.

Speaking of "Tea for Two," too bad about Bobby Short, eh?

posted on Mon, 03/21/2005 - 4:34pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I've been drinking Mate for as long as I can remember. I'm not Hispanic but it's in my culture. It doesn't taste that bad, and the cups aren't big. You drink it slowly with a straw that has small holes in the end to keep the leaves in the small cup and only let the water come out. It's great for warming up the body, and very light. It also doesn't require sugar unless you really like sweet things. Plus, if you drink it with the rest of your family, u use one cup but wash the straw with hot water before giving it to the next person. It really brings people together. ^_^

posted on Tue, 09/27/2005 - 7:33pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

What happened to coffee?

posted on Thu, 10/04/2007 - 3:17pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Tea is all right, I do agree with Bryan Kennedy though when he said we should all just drink more water.

posted on Fri, 10/19/2007 - 4:29pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

You can boil it to death, let it go stale and brew it by the bag, and use nasty water to brew it. So what's your point? The taste? A healthy brew? Or the ritual of relaxation that goes with having a cup of warmth in your hand. It's the experience that makes tea a point in time experience and a gift to the heart. Color swirling about in a cup; you fill you nostrils with steam off the brew, then you take a sip. Then sit back and feel it as it warms your insides. Granted, downing a glass of water's good for your health--so is flossing your teeth. But a cup of tea, brewed off of loose leaf, brewed in per the leaf gives you a moment to stop -- stand still with time and listen, smell, and reflect. Granted, I need my morning brew; but tea makes me put on the breaks.

posted on Mon, 10/29/2007 - 10:19pm

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