For some reason, I grew up believing that microwaving your food and beverages wasn't quite as healthy for you as preparing them via some other cooking appliance. I was taught to boil water in a kettle rather than zapping it in the microwave, for example, and that steamed or stir-fried veggies not only tasted better but were more nutritious than if they were microwaved.
However, when it comes to tea, one food scientist named Dr. Quan Vuong believes that putting your tea in the microwave and heating it up that way actually unlocks the health benefits of your chosen brew better than any other way.
As a scientist at the University of Newcastle on the New South Wales Central Coast, Dr. Vuong's 2012 research focused on extracting compounds in tea and trying to isolate and purify the important components of both black and green tea that generated not only the best taste but the most antioxidant capacities.
Here's the method he found that worked best, as per ABC:
1) First, put hot water in your teacup with your preferred tea bag.
2) Next, heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or so on half-power.
3) Let your tea sit for one minute (you don't want a burnt tongue!)
Dr. Vuong does say that you'll get the best health benefits if you're consuming at least three or more cups of the microwaved tea a day, but as long as it tastes good, any additional benefits are good benefits, right?
For those who enjoy adding lemon to their tea, he recommends that you also microwave the pomace of the lemon (the leftover pulp, skin and seeds after you've juiced a lemon) for five minutes. It apparently brings out the flavonoids, proanthocyanins, total antioxidant activity, and total phenolic content.
So get to zapping!