Forget Trump starting WWIII or even the woes of our Great Barrier Reef, in today's worrying news of the day it seems that we've all been totally underestimating the power of our humble microwave. Turns out, it's the key to unlocking some of tea's many health benefits - which is quite a surprise given how many people have become secretly suspicious of microwave radiation (myself included) in recent years...
The evidence was brought to our attention by University of Newcastle researcher Dr Quan Vuong. The food scientist specialises in finding ways to "add value" to natural products by extracting bioactive compounds with antioxidant capacities. In layman's terms, this means that microwaving your black, white or green tea actually works to extract, isolate and purify the caffeine, theanine and polyphenol compounds found in tea, reports abc.net.au.
For the record, theanine is an amino acid that helps to promote relaxation and polyphenols are antioxidants which help to reduce cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol and assist with things like hypertension and diabetes. In other words: theanine and polyphenols are very good for you.
So how to unleash these supposed extra benefits of tea? Dr Vuong suggests pouring hot water in your mug (with a teabag, obvs), then microwaving your cuppa for 30 seconds before letting it rest. Apparently the method works on loose leaf and herbal brews, too. While we know reheating a cold cup of tea in the microwave tastes like absolute sh*t, just remember that green juices and activated charcoal tasted like garbage at first... until we learned how great they were for the body.
Might be time to start using your microwave again, kids.