The source of the many health benefits of green tea lies mainly in its polyphenol content. Polyphenols are plant chemicals that work as antioxidants to protect the cells in your body from free radical damage. As we know, free radical damage contributes to aging and chronic degenerative diseases. For example, flavonoids (a type of polyphenol) may play a meaningful role in reducing cardiovascular disease risk through an improvement in vascular function, inflammation reduction, and lipid-lowering effects. Studies have shown, however, that you have to consume five or more cups of green tea per day to actually reap the health benefits or you may take it in supplement form.
Health benefits of green tea include the prevention of the following disease states:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Bacterial and viral infections
- Cardiovascular disease
- Diabetes (reduces elevated glucose levels and increases glucose tolerance)
- Parkinson’s disease
In addition, these polyphenol-rich compounds have been shown to protect against loss of brain cells (improving cognitive impairment) and help boost immune function and prevent cold and flu symptoms. Green tea also contains a chemical called theanine, which has a calming effect.
Some helpful hints in getting the most out of drinking green tea:
- Do not add green tea to boiling water (hot, but not boiling). It can destroy the healthy compounds in the tea.
- Add some lemon to your tea. The vitamin C helps you absorb the healthy nutrients in green tea.
- Do not add dairy to tea – it hinders your body’s ability to absorb the healthy nutrients.
- Typically, the more expensive teas contain higher nutrient levels (try Matcha or Tulsi green tea). Canned green tea drinks will have less.
So relax, drink up, and enjoy a long and happy life!
photo credit: <a href=”https://www.flickr.com/photos/sjsharktank/3743285957/”>sjsharktank</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>