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5 Facts About Green Tea

Written on May 26, 2011 at 9:56 am , by

green tea cup

Photo courtesy of Spark People

If you drink tea because you enjoy the taste, great. But with all the news, studies–and, sometimes lack of research–we wanted to break down the truth about green tea.

1. While green tea is rich in antioxidants, studies have shown that the bottled varieties of tea don’t even come close to the antioxidant levels you’ll find in home-brewed green tea. Researchers found as few as 3 milligrams of flavonoids in premade (bottled) teas, compared with up to 150 milligrams in the kind that is brewed at home. To get the most of your tea, steep it at home for 6-10 minutes, then enjoy it either hot or iced. (This will save you money, too!)

2. It should be noted that green tea extracts and green tea supplements have not been as widely studied as the fresh-brewed beverage itself has been. Most research on the health benefits of tea applies to tea drinking alone. Whether any of these benefits can be achieved by taking a pill or extract, drinking an energy drink with EGCG added, or eating a packaged food product that contains extracts of green tea is questionable. Many of these products contain so little green tea that they’d offer no benefit at all. Others may contain high levels that can be unhealthy (see warnings below). Your best bet is to stick with a fresh-brewed cup of tea and not spend extra on costly functional foods or supplements.

3. Green tea may decrease the absorption of iron and folic acid. Therefore it is best to be drink tea between meals rather than using it as your mealtime beverage. Wait 1-2 hours between eating foods rich in iron and folic acid and drinking tea to maximize your absorption of these nutrients.

4. Research indicates green tea MIGHT be effective for: Improving cholesterol levels, preventing low blood pressure, reducing the risk or preventing the onset of Parkinson’s disease, and preventing cancers of the bladder, esophagus, ovaries and pancreas. However, more research is needed before anyone can say it’s likely to help.

5. Currently, there is not enough evidence or research to say that green tea for sure aids in: Weight loss, Type 2 diabetes prevention,  prostate cancer prevention, breast cancer prevention, lung cancer prevention, or gingivitis. Many times, when you read or hear about the potential benefits of something, it’s because a study’s research is news.

Go deeper: Read the complete article from Spark People about the truth on green tea.


More From Spark People:

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  • http://www.ehealthyone.com ehealthyone

    Listed below is a good article on green tea…

    Green Tea Prevents Brain Aging and Chronic Disease

    Author: John Phillip

    The healing capacity of green tea has been understood and cultivated by the Chinese for more than 5,000 years. Western medicine has been very slow to embrace the many health benefits attributed to drinking green tea, as it has been with many super foods known to lower the risk of chronic disease.

    Researchers now have conclusive scientific evidence that green tea can protect the brain against developing Alzheimer`s disease and can play a vital role in protecting the body against cancer. Health-minded individuals can take advantage of the ancient Chinese tradition of drinking tea each day to naturally protect their health.

    Green Tea Becomes a Powerful Antioxidant When Digested
    Green tea contains compounds known as catechins (EGCG) that are powerful antioxidants known to scavenge free radicals and lower the risk from many illnesses. In the past, scientists have been unable to validate the specific effect of these catechins once they are broken down in the body through digestion. We now have confirmation that EGCG becomes more potent when subjected to post-digestive enzymes in the stomach.

    Scientific research conducted at Newcastle University and published in the journal Phytomedicine explains how our body activates green tea compounds to provide enhanced disease protection. Lead researcher Dr. Ed Okello found “when tea is digested by enzymes in the gut, the resulting chemicals are actually more effective against key triggers of Alzheimer’s development than the undigested form of the tea.”

    The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer`s disease that is known to be a progressive and irreversible disorder resulting in loss of cognitive function. It is widely accepted that the disease is the result of damage from hydrogen peroxide free radicals and an inability to efficiently clear amyloid beta proteins that form brain plaques.

    Green Tea Extract Shown to Protect the Aging Brain
    In this study, researchers showed that compounds in the post-digestive tea extract were able to selectively bind with toxic chemicals in the brain and protect the delicate neurons and synapses that are essential to learning and forming new memories. Dr. Okello explained “green tea has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and what we have here provides the scientific evidence why it may be effective against some of the key diseases we face today.”

    In addition to being a powerful neuroprotective agent, green tea compounds are effective anti-cancer agents. The study authors were able to show that the digested tea catechins were able to slow the growth of tumor cells in an experimental cancer model. A strong association has always existed between tea consumption and lowered risk from cancer and this study provides conclusive evidence of the healing power of this natural agent.

    Green tea has stood the test of time for more than five millennia and is finally validated as a critical tool in our health management regimen. Most adults will want to drink 2 to 4 cups of tea each day to take advantage of the healing benefits of this natural super food.

  • http://twitter.com/urteaweightloss mary downey

    There really seems to be great benefits from green tea

  • http://www.mynutritionalsolutions.com/nutritional-supplement-blog Nutritional Solitions and Supp

    Green tea is beneficial for so many health concerns. Another great article on Green tea can be found here http://www.mynutritionalsolutions.com/nutritional-supplement-blog/green-tea-benefits-nutritional-supplements/