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Good news for tea drinkers. Officials say five cups a day have unexpected health benefits

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“Yes, that's it!" Said the Hatter with a sigh, "It's always tea time.” It seems Lewis Carroll’s character might not be so mad, after all.

It’s a very British idiosyncrasy, tea drinking, we just can’t get enough of the stuff.

But now, Europe is cottoning on, as new Dutch guidelines are encouraging people to drink regular brews.

The guidelines from independent scientific body, The Health Council of the Netherlands, has advised people to drink between five cups of tea a day.

The advice applies only to green or black tea, though, and not other herbal options.

Already, in many leading Dutch schools, children as young as four are encouraged to enjoy milky tea as a lunchtime drink.

“We noted that in the scientific literature in the last 10 years, there are clear signs that drinking tea is good for your health,” Eert Schoten, a spokesman for the health council, tells The Telegraph.

tea

Three to five teas a day keeps the bad health at bay...

“Three to five cups a day reduce blood pressure, diabetes and stroke risks, so this comes as one of our 16 guidelines,” he says.

Tim Bond, from the Tea Advisory Panel says that the guidelines are the same as what he would recommend: “A number of recent studies looking at long term drinking habits have indicated that 3-5 cups of tea are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

“Other studies in the short term looking at risk factors also agree that daily tea consumption in this range are likely to have a positive impact on heart health,” he tells The Telegraph.

We already knew that green tea was a powerful antioxidant and could help fight several forms of cancer, and protect against dementia, but we hadn’t realised that our taste for Twinings and penchant for PG tips was also providing us with hidden healthy benefits.

Great news all round.

 *Pops the kettle on* 

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