Time For Tea

"Better to be deprived of food for three days than tea for one," says a Chinese proverb. Research is showing it may just be true. Last week Dr. Kenneth Mukamal of Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center reported that out of 1,900 heart-attack patients, those who drank two or more cups a day reduced their risks of dying over the next 3.8 years by 44 percent. The beneficial teas included black and green, hot and iced, bagged and loose leaf. "Good old Lipton did the trick," he says. But brewing is crucial, says Dr. Iman Hakim of the Arizona Cancer Center. In one cancer study, she found that instant and bottled teas afforded no protection, because they're too dilute and low in antioxidants. The stronger the brew, the better. The stuff is safe and it's almost free, so drink up.