Posted on: Sunday 16 September, 2012 10:29
|Black tea enhances relaxation and mental focus
Tea is considered to be the second most consumed beverage, not just in the Middle East, but also in the world, only preceded by water. Consumption of tea in Arab countries is significantly high and is equivalent to that in the United Kingdom and Ireland, both of which have the highest import per capita rate in the world, as it reaches 3 kilos of tea per person per year.
These statistics and other studies were reviewed by a large number of dieticians from both public and private sectors during a conference held in Jeddah. The conference included several seminars and focused on the major benefits of tea.
Dr. Khaled Al-Madani, therapeutic nutrition consultant and ex-Vice President of Saudi Society for Food and Nutrition in Saudi Arabia, stressed that tea owes much of its benefits to the “flavonoids” component which is a natural compound that exists in fruits, vegetables and tea, and plays an important role in protecting the human body.
A group of major studies conducted by the Lipton Institute of Tea, in which some of the top researchers in this field participated, focused on the benefits of drinking black tea and studied its ability to enhance focus and increase alertness. The initial results were that drinking a few cups of tea on a daily basis increases alertness and enhances daily activity1.2
Moreover, two of the studies conducted employed a variety of cognitive tests, such as attention span tests, and mood changes. The studies enabled Lipton researchers to conclude that drinking black tea enhances focus, as demonstrated by the following:
First: After drinking 2-3 cups of black tea, participants improved their performance across all attention tasks 3.
Second: After drinking 2-3 cups of black tea, participants reported feeling an increased sense of alertness 4.
Commenting on the results, Toufic Elakhrass, foods marketing director – GCC, Unilever Arabia said: “We are committed to advancing scientific knowledge of tea through our ongoing research and development programmes, and it is essential that we actively share this knowledge to increase understanding of the benefits of tea within our region. Our facilities and technology are world-class, and the symposium provided a fantastic forum to share the findings these facilitate.”
One cup of tea enhances focus and concentration
In this regard, Dr. Jane Rycroft from the Lipton Institute of Tea said: “As pioneers in the area of the effects of tea and tea ingredients on attention, we strongly believe that key ingredients found in tea, which include Theanine, Caffeine and flavanoids combined in a cup of tea, help improve the ability to focus attention. The institute’s mission is to promote this message, along with the additional benefits of black tea, which can help improve mental and physical wellbeing.”
She adds: “Attention is an essential aspect of cognitive functioning in that it allows us to process a combination of continuous and complex information. Hence, the attention benefits of tea are very relevant to everyday life.
It is worth mentioning that the Lipton Tea factory in Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE is the second biggest Unilever tea-producing factories in the world, as it produces 1 million bags of tea per hour, excluding other types of tea such as loose tea which is also produced in the factory.
The Lipton Institute of Tea is Unilever’s dedicated tea research facility, based in the UK, and provides Lipton with access to world-class tea experts. Scientific studies are conducted exploring the mental and physical benefits of tea, with the mission of increasing awareness and understanding, and ultimately creating teas for consumers. As well as research conducted directly by the Institute, it also funds and coordinates a large number of research projects at academic and research institutions around the world, making it the leading global authority on the benefits of tea and its ingredients, as well as tea preservation systems and tea leaf production.
Every year, consumers in over 120 countries drink 117 billion cups of Unilever tea, and as the world’s biggest tea company, Lipton buys 12 per cent of the global black tea crop. In addition to the institute, Lipton has research centres and regional representatives strategically located in both major tea-growing regions – India & Kenya, and in key markets; USA, Japan and China.