In Week 4 of 52 Weeks of Health I challenged you to drop the soft drinks and replace them with a combination of iced (or hot) green tea and water. I promised an answer to the question, Why is green tea so healthy for you? There are still many studies ongoing, but below I have summarized some of the findings.
- is rich in antioxidants which may help mitigate oxidative stress caused by the presence of free radicals. (Oxidative stress is a factor in many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and others.)
- has antibiotic/antimicrobial properties. Studies have shown green tea’s ability to fight bacteria on its own and to assist antibiotic medicines. (Source 1, 2, 3)
- may help lower your blood pressure a little. (Source 4)
- may help you to have healthier teeth and gums as one study showed modest decreases in periodontal disease among those who regularly drank at least one cup of green tea daily. (Source 5)
- may protect your eyesight from glaucoma and other eye diseases caused by oxidative stress. (Source 6)
By the way – drink your tea with a twist of lemon, lime, or orange. At least one study seems to show that the presence of citrus may keep the healthy catechins in tea from breaking down before your body can absorb them. (Source 7)
Also – drink your green tea freshly brewed without sugar. Bottled green tea shows a decline in the amount of beneficial antioxidants and probably includes additives and sugars which are potentially harmful, thereby defeating the purpose of drinking the tea.
For more information on studies related to green tea see the sources listed below and http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm.
Source 1: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1389172300800389 Antimicrobial effects of green tea polyphenols on thermophilic spore-forming bacteria
Source 2: http://ukpmc.ac.uk/abstract/MED/2677434/reload=0;jsessionid=RBlm5AqJN7Mtsxlc6ddw.19 Antibacterial and bactericidal activities of Japanese green tea
Source 3: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/03/080330200640.htm Green Tea Helps Beat Superbugs, Study Suggests
Source 4: http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/164/14/1534 The Protective Effect of Habitual Tea Consumption on Hypertension
Source 5: http://www.joponline.org/doi/abs/10.1902/jop.2009.080510 Relationship Between Intake of Green Tea and Periodontal Disease
Source 6: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9032602 Green Tea Catechins and Their Oxidative Protection in the Rat Eye
Source 7: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/mnfr.200700086/abstract Common tea formulations modulate in vitro digestive recovery of green tea catechins