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20th Jul 2021

Children should be given tea from age four to combat heart disease and obesity study finds

Trine Jensen-Burke

benefits of drinking tea for children

Got a little one who is always asking for a sip of your tea?

Good news – that might actually be all sorts of good for them.

According to a new study, drinking tea from the age of four helps children to combat obesity, stress and heart disease.

The study, published in the Nutrition and Food Technology journal, examined the results of 60 different scientific studies into tea and its health benefits, and found that compounds such as flavonoid phenolics, L-theanine and caffeine help with concentration and cognitive function. These can be found in both green and black tea.

“Studies show that benefits for health and wellbeing are seen at daily intakes of two to four cups – and it doesn’t matter whether you choose regular black tea, or green tea, says Dr Pamela Mason, who authored the study.

“Whilst the polyphenol compounds in tea have attracted the most attention for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, other compounds in tea are also important.

“These include L-theanine and caffeine which have been proven to influence the brain and cognitive function by improving alertness and helping us to maintain concentration levels.”

In fact, so strong is the evidence that tea is good for you, that Dr Mason also advised parents should give tea to their children from the age of four – certainly instead of giving them sweet and fizzy drinks.

Worried about the caffeine content? According to Dr Mason, the caffeine in tea was outweighed by the hydration and flavonoids it provides.