Hydrate Your Way To A Healthier, Happier You

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Summer is right around the corner, and whether you plan to spend lazy days by the pool or crazy days crammed with activities, experts agree it's important to stay hydrated. So don't let the heat take the sizzle out of your plans ... stay cool and hydrated with iced tea this summer, and enjoy more than just a cold drink. With National Iced Tea Month upon us, June is the perfect time to take note of the multitude of benefits this powerhouse drink has to offer. Great-tasting and calorie-free, iced tea also boasts the same phytonutrients found in hot tea, which research suggests may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, while helping to maintain a healthy weight.

"June's National Iced Tea Month is a good time to drink up the many benefits of tea," says Joe Simrany, president of the Tea Council of the USA. "It's tasty, refreshing, has zero calories and is chock full of health benefits, so it's a terrific beverage choice. With a multitude of research suggesting that the substances in tea may help the body maintain healthy cells and tissues, contribute to heart health and keep your weight in check, why would anyone choose to drink anything else?"

Drink Your Way to a Healthy Heart

Tea flavonoids are thought to support cardiovascular health through several mechanisms, including:

-- providing antioxidants to help the body fight inflammation;

-- supporting healthy blood cholesterol levels; and

-- supporting healthy blood vessel function, thereby promoting healthy blood pressure.

Tea's Potential Role in the Fight Against Cancer

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According to decades of research, consumption of tea has been linked to the potential risk reduction of certain types of cancer. Studies suggest that:

-- bioactive compounds in tea have a significant effect on genes that impact cancer susceptibility and repair from environmental insults; and

-- in addition to using sun block, tea may also help your body fight skin cancer.

New Findings About Tea and Weight Management

Most of us work hard to get in shape before the summer bathing suit season. A number of studies suggest that tea, particularly green tea, may help keep those pounds off all summer long. Specifically, research suggests that the combination of tea catechins and caffeine provided from three to four cups of tea daily can help:

-- boost metabolism;

-- maintain insulin sensitivity; and

-- reduce body fat by boosting fat oxidation.

In Summer's Heat, Hydrate the Healthy Way

Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water and can be found in almost 80 percent of all U.S. households. On any given day, over 127 million Americans are drinking tea -- mostly over ice. Given its great taste and host of health benefits, it's no wonder why. This summer as you think of ways to beat the heat, drink to your health with an icy, cold glass of iced tea!

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