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Your Health: The brew you; HERE'S TO DRINKS THAT WILL HELP YOU LIVE LONGER.

Byline: KATIE O'BRIEN

PUT the kettle on, it's official... a daily cuppa of green tea isn't just good for you, it's a lifesaver. Results of an 11-year medical study released last week discovered that women who drank five or more cups of the oriental tea each day were 31 per cent less likely to die of heart disease.

It's hardly surprising as green tea is rich in antioxidants which help reduce the amount of cholesterol lining our artery walls which can eventually lead to heart disease - Britain's biggest killer.

But there are plenty of other drinks that can improve your health if green tea isn't your cup of tea...

COFFEE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Heart disease, kidney stones and road traffic accidents.

DRINK: Two to three cups a day. LIKE tea, it contains antioxidants that can help fight heart disease and cancer.

Three to four cups a day can also reduce the risk of kidney stones by 10 per cent as they help kidneys to function better.

A cup of freshly-brewed coffee may also save your life if you're driving as it's a mild stimulant that's been proved to make you more alert. "Sleepiness is as dangerous as alcohol when driving," says Prof Jim Home of the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University. He particularly recommends a couple of cups of coffee between 4am and 6am and 2pm and 4pm when we are most likely to feel sleepy.

RED WINE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Heart disease, lung cancer.

DRINK: One glass a day.

THE tannins in red wine are responsible for its healthy, antioxidant properties. A glass a day can protect your heart by stopping the production of endothelin-1, responsible for the fatty streaks in arteries. Studies have also found that resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, can suppress lung tumours.

POMEGRANATE JUICE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Prostate cancer.

DRINK: One glass a day. THE juice from this super berry can significantly slow the progress of prostate cancer and in older men can even help them beat it.

The cocktail of chemicals found in the juice has been shown in studies to minimise cell damage caused by the cancer, as well as having the potential to kill off cancer cells. A study of 50 American patients with prostate cancer showed it delayed the return of the disease after surgery in some patients from a year to 4 1/2 years.

CRANBERRY JUICE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Urinary tract infections, E.coli bacteria.

DRINK: One to two glasses a day. NEW research has shown it could be more effective against the deadly E.coli bug than antibiotics. Scientists have discovered that compounds in the juice can actually change the shape of the bacteria, making it harmless to humans. It is also well known for protecting against urinary tract infections, like cystitis.

WATER

PROTECTS AGAINST: Headaches, arthritis, constipation and skin diseases.

DRINK: Eight glasses a day.

FAILING to drink enough water can reduce your mental and physical performance by up to 30 per cent. Water flushes out toxins which if they accumulate cause dehydration. In turn this can cause tension and aches and pains. Water keeps joints well oiled and can help prevent arthritis in later life and helps prevent digestive problems.

It also hydrates the skin and helps combat eczema, psoriasis and wrinkles.

BLUEBERRY JUICE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Alzheimer's and memory loss, cancer and heart disease.

DRINK: A glass a day.

THE juice is believed to help protect against the diseases of old age. It is thought to help improve memory loss and can even stimulate the growth of new brain cells helping to prevent further memory loss. It's anthocyanins help to oxygenate the skin which reduces lines and wrinkles. It is also good at helping to reduce cholesterol and contains resveratrol, a potential anti-cancer agent.

TOMATO JUICE

PROTECTS AGAINST: Breast, prostate, colon and lung cancers.

DRINK: A glass a day. TOMATO juice is a source of lycopenes, a class of antioxidants linked to reducing the risks of cancers including prostate, breast, colon and lung cancers.

It also helps boost the immune system and reduces cholesterol.

ORDINARY BLACK TEA

PROTECTS AGAINST: Heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, tooth decay.

DRINK: Three to four cups a day.

IT'S a myth that tea is dehydrating. What's more the flavonoids found in it may help combat heart disease and some cancers.

Drinking three to four cups a day also has bone-strengthening properties.

Dr Carrie Ruxton, public heath nutritionist at Kings' College, London, said: "Drinking tea is actually better for you than drinking water. Water is essentially replacing fluid but tea has other benefits."

But there is evidence that tea can reduce the absorption of iron so anaemics should avoid drinking it at mealtimes.

katie.o'brien@sundaymirror.co.uk

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Lifesaver... A daily cuppa helps fight heart disease and tooth decay
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 17, 2006
Words:799
Previous Article:At your service.
Next Article:Your Health: DON'T JUST SIT THERE; QUESTION OF THE WEEK.

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