What will the next Superfood be? Giraffe meat? Pineapple leaves? Mr. Clean Magic Erasers? No one knows, but the search for the one consumable that will make us all dewy, nubile, and immortal goes ever onward. Trouble is, the media have cried “Superfood!” (with little real cause) so many times, we mostly just pretend we’re not home, and then try to get the door closed before we’re stuck with another copy of The Watchtower.

"Tea, Lady Elizabeth?" said Mr. Osbourne, ignoring
the catcalls from drunken hecklers on the staircase.

As Hippocrates once said after a game of Frisbee golf, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” There’s certainly something sexy about the idea that we could consume our way to health, especially with our healthy modern consumer appetites. We just need to have someone point us in the right direction, and we will nom whatever it is until we are fit and young and smart as razors. So whither our nomming? Although it’s rarely accorded magic bullet cure-all-that-ails-ya status, there is one consumable that’s consistently shown to have a wide variety of benefits to nearly all your vital systems. It isn’t sexy though: it’s tea.

Tea, for lack of a better word, is good. Tea is right. Tea works.

Science agrees. Want to protect yourself from cancer? Drink some tea. Tired of being fat? Drink some tea. Disease-ridden? Drink some tea. Or just have some really bad breath? Drink some tea.

Not drinking tea right now? What are you, crazy? Full disclosure: I’m currently drinking tea that contains lemongrass, hawthorn root, and hibiscus flowers, and consequently my intellect dwarfs yours, so before you read the last three paragraphs I suggest you go put a kettle on. Otherwise, just read slowly. Maybe try sounding out the words.

In totally non-shocking news, Dutch researchers have just published further evidence linking tea drinking to awesomeness: this time, it’s cardiovascular health. Their work, which comprised meta-analyses of nine studies from other research groups, bolsters other work in the same vein (zing! or maybe lemon zing!). Ras, Zock, and Draijer found that consumption of two to three cups of green or black tea a day increased the median diameter of dilations in the brachial artery by 40% compared to placebo or baseline conditions.

Poor relaxation of the brachial artery is linked to cardiovascular disease, and is frequently seen in individuals with diabetes or hypertension or who are just getting super old, so this 40% is a potentially life-saving number. Ras et al. believe that this effect is caused by components of the tea called flavonoids, the plant pigments that give the tea its colour.

I say, why stop there? If two or three cups a day gives your arteries an extra 40% of bounce and sass, maybe we should start pushing the boundaries of tea consumption, and see what glories can be found in its upper reaches. I plan to drink another twenty cups after this one. And when I've ascended to godhood, try not to be afraid of me. Up, off your knees; dare to look me in the face.