“From time immemorial, green tea has been associated with health benefits, and modern research continues to uncover the ways in which tea does, in fact, contribute to positive health,” states Lester Mitscher, Ph.D., co-author of The Green Tea Book.
So What’s the Secret?
One of green tea’s secrets is the fact that this tea contains a high level of antioxidants, higher even than many fruits and vegetables. Especially high in green tea is the antioxidant EGCG which deactivates harmful free radicals before they can damage the body. They subdue the free radicals that would otherwise contribute to any number of harmful diseases like cancer, heart disease and even premature aging of the skin.
While most Americans still prefer coffee as their beverage of choice in the morning, you may want to think about pouring yourself some green tea instead of iced coffee.
“Research shows that drinking three to six cups of green tea daily lowers the risk of everything from heart attack and stroke to skin and breast cancers,” notes Mitscher, who – as University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas – has been researching the chemistry of green tea and other herbal medicines for many decades. Even if you can’t stomach three cups of tea per day, any amount of tea that you drink conveys health benefits.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
Because the caffeine in green tea boosts the body’s rate of burning calories, it is believed that green tea helps with weight control. It is a modest bump in energy expenditure so don’t expect it to be a miracle weight loss product but it does give your body an extra boost that may be what you need to get over a plateau. Green tea can also make exercised based weight loss more successful. The Journal of Nutrition published a study finding that participants who got a combination of exercise and a daily beverage supplying caffeine plus 625 mg of catechins (antioxidants found in green tea) for 12 weeks had a greater loss of belly fat than a control group who got caffeine and exercise but not the green tea catechins.
In addition to aiding in weight loss, green tea also helps fight cancer and protect your heart health. Drinking any type of tea provides health benefits for the body so feel free to pour a cup that suits your tastes. But if health goals top your list when choosing your tea of choice then keep in mind that you’ll receive the greatest health benefits and health-enhancing antioxidants come from green tea.