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Combo Plate: Tea is tops, hidden sugars, lickable furniture and more

Ice-cream-cookie-ottoman 

--Thirsty? There's nothing quite like a refreshing ... cup of hot tea. Drinking tea is better for you than drinking water because it not only quenches and rehydrates but comes with added health benefits, claims a new study. Time magazine has the full pour.

--Quite the sweet tooth: The average American consumes at least 64 pounds of sugar per year, and the average teenage boy at least 109 pounds. You think you don't eat that much sugar? Think again: Check out this look at the hidden sugar in your food at the Huffington Post.

--More food predictions for 2011: Chef Jose Andres says we'll be eating our veggies this year -- and we'll like it. Two other predictions, via Inc.: Finger limes will become more widespread (they're a very cool citrus already familiar to readers of David Karp's weekly Market Watch report), and restaurants will have more tasting menus. Good news for folks, like me, who can never decide what we want: Now we can try it all.

--And it will never melt: If you're going to have an ottoman, might as well make it an ottoman shaped like an ice-cream sandwich, am I right? This one will set you back a cool and creamy $1,050. More details at Incredible Things. Indeed.

--Partying like a Celtic? Last week, scientists unearthed a 6,000-year-old winery in Armenia. This week brings a similarly welcome discovery: Archaeologists have discovered evidence that a 2,550-year-old Celtic settlement was home to some pretty high-quality suds. "Thousands of charred barley grains unearthed ... came from a large malt-making enterprise," according to a paper published online earlier this month. Thus, this conclusion in Wired: "Early Celtic rulers of a community in what's now southwestern Germany liked to party, staging elaborate feasts in a ceremonial center. The business side of their revelries was located in a nearby brewery capable of turning out large quantities of a beer with a dark, smoky, slightly sour taste."

--You'll get no argument from me: Twinkies can help you lose weight. Really. That's what Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University says. I somehow missed this story when it first made the rounds in November, but I still feel compelled to share the good news.

--Got any suggested links for Combo Plate? E-mail me at rene.lynch@latimes.com

-- Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo credit: Incredible Things

 
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