Know Food Now The Health Benefits from Green Tea | Know Food Now

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Health Benefits from Green Tea

I couldn't find an old Chinese proverb about the efficacy of green tea, but there probably is one. The Chinese have been using green tea as a medicine for 4000 years. And they have good reason.

Green tea is rich in polyphenols especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate.  EGCG for short, it acts as an antioxident and protects cells from damage. Dr. David Serban-Schreiber suggests that green tea prevents the growth of new blood vessels needed for cancer tumor growth and causes the death of cancer cells by apoptosis, without harming surrounding tissues.  (p 132-133 Anticancer A New Way of Life)

Drinking green tea is beneficial for lowering LDL cholesterol and inhibiting the formation of blood clots. It's advantages are also associated with rheumatoid arthritis, infection, impaired immune functions, dental decay, and dieting. 

To get the most benefit from green tea, it is necessary to prepare it properly. One factor is steeping it for enough time to effect the release of the catechins and not ruin the flavor. This varies depending on which site you consult, but Dr. Serban-Schreiber said ten minutes is ideal.  Another consideration is the water temperature which should be lower than boiling. There are so many rules and "recipes" for preparation,  especially for Japanese green tea, that a tea ceremony might be in order.

Not into ceremony and preparation?  Some advocate that eating green tea powder is more beneficial.

The jury is also out on the "dosage".  Dr. Serban-Schreiber recommended 2-3 cups a day and it is unknown what added health benefits might be attained by drinking more, but moderation is key until you know how your body reacts. If caffeine affects your sleep, definitely avoid imbibing at night.

Bottom line, there is no reason not to drink green tea. Adopting a green tea habit  is a behavior change you can make today.

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