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Iced Tea: More Than Just a Refreshing Drink

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Iced Tea: More Than Just a Refreshing Drink
Iced tea may be the quintessential summer drink, but a glass is more than just a delicious refreshment on a hot day.

The Surprising Benefits of Tea
All black and green teas, iced or hot, contain antioxidants called polyphenols. Research suggests that polyphenols work to track down free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can damage cell structure. By combating free radicals, antioxidants may be able to prevent widespread cell damage and, therefore, decrease the risk of heart disease and cancer. Green tea gets more hype because it contains the highest concentration of polyphenols, but all teas, with the exception of herbal teas, contain some polyphenols. (Polyphenols are also found in dark chocolate and red wine.)

How to Prepare Iced Tea
To get the most from a glass of iced tea, brew it from loose leaves or a tea bag using boiling water. You can add sliced lemon to perk up the flavor or, even better, fiber-rich crushed raspberries (once you enter Phase 2) for a fruity variety. If you like your iced tea sweet, add a sugar substitute. Decaffeinated tea is another option, as is unsweetened herbal iced tea (though, again, herbal teas don't provide the same health benefits from polyphenols as green or black tea).

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