Health Benefits of Unsweetened Iced Tea

With its crisp, slightly astringent flavor, iced tea helps keep you cool in the warmer months while replenishing your body’s fluid levels. The Harvard School of Public Health lists tea as one of the best sources of hydration, second only to water. Opting for unsweetened iced tea means you’ll increase your intake of essential nutrients and compounds. This benefits your health as you avoid the nutritional disadvantages associated with sweetened iced tea.

Low in Sugar and Calories

Unsweetened iced tea has two major advantages over sweet tea — it’s lower in calories and sugar. An 8-ounce serving of packaged sweet iced tea contains 89 calories and 22 grams of sugar, while an equivalent portion of brewed, unsweetened black iced tea contains just 2 calories, less than a gram of carbohydrates and no added sugar. Switching from sweet tea to unsweetened iced tea makes it easier to stay under your recommended added sugar limit — 24 grams daily for women and 36 grams for men, according to the Harvard School of Public Health — and helps you avoid the negative side effects of eating sugar, which include weight gain.

Source of Manganese

Adding unsweetened iced tea to your diet also helps you consume more manganese. Each 8-ounce serving of brewed black iced tea offers 520 micrograms of manganese, which is 35 percent of the recommended daily intake for women and 23 percent for men. Because of its manganese content, unsweetened iced tea promotes healthy wound healing, helps maintain the strength of your bones and supports your metabolism. The manganese in unsweetened iced tea also activates manganese superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that prevents tissue damage.

Source of Fluoride and Flavonoids

Drinking unsweetened iced tea also helps increase your fluoride intake and provides beneficial flavonoids. An 8-ounce portion of brewed black iced tea contains up to 0.5 milligrams of fluoride, and making your iced tea with fluoridated water can increase your fluoride intake further. Your body incorporates fluoride into your bones and teeth, and consuming fluoride fights tooth decay. Iced black, white and green teas also contain beneficial flavonoids. Consuming foods rich in flavonoids fights chronic diseases, including heart disease, notes the Linus Pauling Institute

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