Have you noticed that green tea is every where these days? Walk into a Whole Foods Market and you can find green tea in hot and cold drinks, lotion, after-shave, shampoo and as a marinade for sirloin strips, tofu and even rice.
What’s the fuss about?
All teas have a high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are rich antioxidants. Green tea in particular has multiple additional benefits in that it is the best food source of a group called catechins. A number of studies over the years have shown that catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Other studies have also found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.
Additional benefits of green and black teas include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. Studies suggest that the caffeine frees fatty acids so you can burn fat more easily. The tea’s antioxidants might also work together with the caffeine to help you burn more calories, so it’s a great pre-workout drink.
So what’s the best way to drink it to get the best results?
- Drink at least three cups per day.
- Let the tea steep for three-to-five minutes to bring out the catechins, and drink it freshly brewed.
- Avoid bottled and decaffeinated version as these have less of the good stuff in them.
- Tip: Tea can impede the absorption of iron from fruits and vegetables. Adding lemon or milk or drinking tea between meals will counteract this problem.
Sources: ”Benefit of drinking green tea: The proof is in — drinking tea is healthy”. Harvard Women’s Health Watch.
Copyright 2013, My Medical Forum