The November issue of Consumer Reports adds confirmation to the health benefits of all kinds of tea. The article reports on the compounds tea contains as well as the difference in brands and types of tea drinks.
The overall conclusion is that a cup of tea, or a 12- to 16-oz serving of bottled or canned tea drinks, has as much or more antioxidant power as most of the most powerful veggies and fruits, including blueberries, strawberries, apples, kale, red bell peppers, spinach, broccoli and carrot. The only item that beats it out is purple grape juice.
The study purports that, although the compounds in green tea and black tea are different, they both pack a punch. Further, of the five most popular brands which were tested, the less expensive Lipton and Tetley came out on top. Contrary to what many "experts" believed, instant powdered tea had almost as much antioxidant power as tea bags or loose tea. Ready-to-drink teas weren't as concentrated in goodies, but the manufacturers pointed out that since the servings were larger, one consumed as much of the good stuff overall.
To get the most out of your brewed tea, it's suggested that you steep it for five minutes to release the maximum amount of antioxidants.
Most important benefits touted are protection from cancers, and possible from some of the damaging effect of "bad" cholesterol. Hey, it tastes good, too.
Finally, if you substitute tea for soft drinks, you are eliminating something which is possibly unhealthy for something that does a body good.