Antioxidants on the Rocks

You’ve heard that tea can lower risks for developing cardiovascular disease and cancers, bolster immune responses, and strengthen bones and teeth. But at this time of year, who wants to cradle a hot cup? Fortunately, the iced version — which got its start on a balmy summer day at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair — is just as potent as its warmer counterpart.

Before you sip, check out these tips for getting the most flavonoids for your brew:

Infuse invigorating ingredients. Mix pureed or fresh whole raspberries and ground mint leaves into your tea for a crisp, tangy punch. Add a citrus splash by mixing it with a little orange juice and fresh lemon wedges.

Homebrewed or store-bought? Prevention Magazine reports that homebrewed tea has more antioxidant strength than powder or bottled versions. However, even the convenience brands (such as Nestea Liquid Concentrate™ and bottled Lipton Iced Tea™) perform better than Concord grape juice — a proven free-radical fighter. And fridge-brewed tea comes out on top of the heat-and-cool alternatives.

Enjoy all color concoctions. Some studies show that green tea may reduce cancer growth, combat germs, and improve cholesterol levels. Black tea may boost the immune system and block cancer-causing DNA damage. White tea may prevent cellular breakdowns that contribute to skin cancers. Even chamomile, known more for its soothing effects, may help level out blood sugar.

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