Could Five teas a day keep cancer away? We’ve long been aware that drinking tea is good for us, but a new book with a telling title is doling out this fascinating prevention-centric advice that has us pondering. 

Cancer Hates Tea — written and researched by tea professional (and MIT engineer) Maria Uspenski — explores the potentially profound benefits of a daily tea habit, specifically, five cups a day. Green tea lovers, this ones for you… 

Tea is the most studied anti-cancer plant. Over the past ten years, more than 5,000 medical studies have been published on its health benefits, with over 1,000 of those focusing specifically on tea and cancer. Now keep in mind, this is real tea we’re talking about here, not caffeine-free herbals like peppermint or chamomile. The good news is that the research indicates you only need to consume a little more than a quart of fresh steeped whole-leaf tea each day to bask in the therapeutic benefits of its powerful antioxidants. That’s a five cup a day habit.

5 reasons to try the 5 cups a day habit

BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY Five cups daily can have a measurable effect on boosting your immunity against cancer and other diseases. The research studies that turned me on to tea, and in particular green tea, showed that green tea consumption of three to five cups per day may be preventive against the recurrence of cancer. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) stance on green tea is that research indicates it to be possibly effective against many afflictions, including several types of cancer. Some studies have shown its benefits being measurable in as little as one week of drinking a little over one quart of fresh brewed tea daily.

antioxidants all day When you consume five cups by drinking every few hours throughout the day, it keeps tea’s benefits active in your body. You want to maintain the level of antioxidants in your bloodstream. Timing is everything. The polyphenol antioxidants in tea are best absorbed when drinking it on an empty stomach. If you start drinking tea early in the day and sip it often, between meals, you’re on the right track to netting the maximum benefits for your immune system. You might be thinking, when am I supposed to find the time to make and drink five cups of tea? It may seem like you’re taking on a second career at first, but you really can make it simple. Here are some tips:

Begin your day with tea, as this is the best time of day for your body to absorb its benefits. Even if you need to grab a coffee an hour later, you’re rousing your cells with tea polyphenols, which you can’t get anywhere else.

Cold brew and sip throughout the day. Every morning, fill a 32-ounce water bottle with a tea you cold brewed overnight. Choose a low-caff tea, and this becomes your new “enriched” water.

Keep calm and get an afternoon tea habit going. Tea is a perfect way to reboot before getting into your evening. If you’re not out indulging in a glass of wine for happy hour with friends, steep yourself a favorite tea to unwind at the end of your work day.

Relax + Focus Five cups a day will enhance your overall feeling of well-being in ways you never dreamed of. Tea contains a unique amino acid called theanine that’s like a mash-up of a chill pill with brain juice. In combination with caffeine, it’s especially clever in how it acts on some critical pathways in the brain. This molecule neutralizes the jittery and edgy effects of caffeine, without affecting the mind-focusing aspects. Have you ever noticed that your body reacts differently to the caffeine in tea versus coffee? By promoting alpha brain-wave production, theanine allows you to relax and focus at the same time. It’s complicated, but once you dig down, it all begins to make sense as to why tea is often used to help support meditation. Drinking tea produces some of the same chemical and neurological effects as going into a deep meditative state. One last tip: You’ll be in the express lane to zen if you reduce your coffee and alcohol consumption while increasing your tea intake.

It’s cost effective Five cups a day won’t break the bank. In fact, if you brew your own tea, and ditch a latte or a sugared beverage in the process, you’ll come out way ahead. You can get an amazingly diverse and healthful mix of five cups of tea a day for less than $30 dollars a month. Even the most lavish habit, if you steep your own tea, amounts to less than the cost of a couple of shots of Nespresso or a coffee from your local Starbucks daily.

Five is just right Five cups a day is a good place to stop drinking, too! Keep in mind that too much of anything turns out to be not such a good thing; anything in excess won’t be good for you. Your total caffeine intake is also an important number to keep tabs on. A cup of tea contains between 10 mg and 50 mg of caffeine, depending on the tea type and how long you steep it. By contrast, a cup of coffee has between two to twelve times as much. As positive as your five cups of tea are for maintaining wellness, doubling or tripling that amount isn’t a good idea, and can start to become toxic to your cells. The NIH states that it’s likely safe for adults to drink five cups of tea a day.


The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program. 

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  1. Does black tea count, too? I tend to prefer the taste.

    tpetrovna | 03.07.2017 | Reply
  2. What about matcha powder? Isn’t one cup of matcha tea equivalent to about 5 cups of green tea?

    Molly | 03.08.2017 | Reply
  3. Are there decaf green teas? Are they just as healthful? Also, how do you cold brew tea?

    Jolia | 03.08.2017 | Reply
  4. A tea recommendations?

    Missey | 03.09.2017 | Reply
  5. Thanks for this great post and reassurance – especially that the early morning tea ist best…and bringing this into focus. I have a couple of friends (who luckily survived cancer) I give this to keep on supporting them. Never heard about cold brew overnight – wonder how this tastes – can this be done with any herbal tea?

    Danae | 03.09.2017 | Reply
  6. I LOVE cold brew green tea! It’s the best. That’s my addiction on a daily basis. Great article. 🙂

    Chantelle D | 03.09.2017 | Reply
  7. I have the same question regarding black tea vs green tea. Maybe both are good and green is a bit better? I would love to know

  8. One winter I was drinking about five cups of green tea a day. My thyroid went crazy. I now only have one cup a day every couple of days. Also, it has a lot of naturally occurring fluoride. You might want to do some research if you have thyroid issues.

    Heather Elizabeth | 03.09.2017 | Reply
  9. My daily Kombucha is made of black and green tea. Does it have a similar effect?

    Bunny | 03.10.2017 | Reply
  10. Does white tea work the same?

    Krysten | 03.10.2017 | Reply
  11. Yes, please do a follow-up with best types of tea, brewing methods to get the most benefits, whole leaf only, etc. Don’t want to waste all this tea-drinking if it’s not going to be the most beneficial. Which are considered “low-caff?” I prefer black to green tea, and never see it whole-leaf at the usual local supermarkets. This is good motivation for the extra effort, though.

    Mary | 03.10.2017 | Reply
  12. Thank you!

    Pat Katz | 03.12.2017 | Reply
  13. Is this just restricted to a certain tea? I want to know if I have been drink the correct tea blend or type!

  14. Interesting thoughts.

    james | 03.13.2017 | Reply
  15. We love the questions! Thank you all for your interest. Good news: this post is an excerpt from Maria Uspenski’s book, Cancer Hates Tea, which covers the whole topic in depth (including everything you’ve asked above).

    The Chalkboard Mag | 03.21.2017 | Reply
  16. Amazing! Something I’ll definitely try.

    Jen @ Matcha | 03.23.2017 | Reply

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