If You Aren’t Drinking Green Tea Every Day, This Might Convince You to Start
Put the kettle on—we're raising a cup to the health benefits of green tea.
Green tea may help reduce cancer risk
Research on the benefits of green tea and cancer prevention is still in early stages, but the results are promising. Researchers suspect that polyphenols in green tea help kill cancer cells and stop their progression, an important role to prevent various cancers.
In a study of 472 women with breast cancer, those who drank the most green tea experienced the least spread of the disease. Researchers also found that women in the early stages of breast cancer who drank at least five cups of green tea every day during their diagnoses were less likely to have the disease recur after the completed treatment.
In looking at more than 35,000 women in the Iowa Women’s Health study, those who drank two or more cups of tea a day were almost 30 per cent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who rarely drank tea.
One Chinese study found that men who drank more than three cups of tea a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 70 per cent.
In skin cancer studies, lab animals that were given green tea developed 1/10th as many tumours as animals that were given water. The EGCC in green tea inhibits the production of urokinase, an enzyme that cancer cells need in order to grow. It also seems to stimulate the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells.
Make your heart healthier
Green tea contains significant amounts of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect against heart disease by slowing the breakdown of LDL cholesterol, preventing blood clots, and improving blood vessel function. Green tea benefits also include associations with lower cholesterol and lower rates of artery blockages. People who drink a cup or two a day have a 46 per cent lower risk of developing narrowed arteries. It can even help prevent a second heart attack. In a study of 1,900 patients recovering from heart attacks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the death rate among patients who drank at least two cups of tea a day was 44 per cent lower than among non-tea drinkers.
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For relief from everyday aches and pains, try to sip four cups of green tea a day. The tea contains quercetin, a chemical compound that acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. In a study conducted at Case Western Reserve University, researchers gave mice the equivalent of four cups of green tea a day, then gave them a substance that would normally produce rheumatoid arthritis. The tea-drinking mice were far less likely to develop arthritis than mice that drank water. According to the Iowa Women’s Health Study, women who drank more than three cups of tea a day were 60 per cent less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis than non-tea drinkers. Other research has found that tea’s polyphenols—antioxidant properties—are also anti-inflammatory and improve arthritis-related immune responses.
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Boost your brain
Researchers from the Netherlands confirmed in a recent study that two green tea compounds, L-theanine and caffeine, can significantly boost levels of attention and alertness, building on what is already known about the brain benefits of green tea. The drink is less likely to make you jittery and anxious than other energy-boosting drinks, because it contains lower levels of caffeine than other teas or coffee. In another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers discovered that drinking just one cup of green tea a day made people age 55 and older 38 per cent less likely to experience a decline in their mental abilities. Drinking a second cup daily made them 54 per cent less likely to show mental declines.
You can also feed your brain with this expert-approved MIND Diet meal plan.
Clear up acne
A University of Miami study found that even a mild dose of green tea’s antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds erased almost two-thirds of pimples from people with mild to moderate acne when used twice daily for six weeks. To benefit, make a cup of green tea, let cool, and use as a face wash, or lay the tea bag directly on the skin to act as a compress for particularly bad pimples. For oily skin, mix peppermint tea with the green tea for an oil-blasting wash.
Check out the best foods for healthy skin that naturally glows.
Cut down on stress
Another green tea benefit is that it’s lower in caffeine than most other teas, so you may be able to drink the five cups a day that lowered psychological stress in a large group of people in a study from Japan’s Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. The researchers didn’t identify any particular component of green tea that might have been soothing, but animal studies suggest that one compound, EGCC, had both sedative and hypnotic effects that tamp down the body’s production of stress chemicals.
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Provide off-the-charts levels of antioxidants
Scientists at Tufts University compared the “ORAC” (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a measurement of the total antioxidant power of foods and other chemical substances) of black and green tea and 22 fruits and vegetables, and found green tea brewed for five minutes outranked even so-called superfoods on the produce list. And EGCC, a catechin found in tea (at its highest levels in green tea) has been shown to protect the DNA in cells from cancer-inducing changes. Antioxidants are essential for neutralizing and removing free radicals found in the bloodstream that can damage cells and cause disease. This antioxidant ability may be what’s behind green tea’s role in cancer risk reduction.
Now that you’re familiar with the various green tea benefits, find out the healthiest fish you can eat.