What’s so Great about Green Tea?

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.

Green Tea

  • 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

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4 comments

  1. Naomi Aho

    Hi RoseAnne,

    Does it make a difference if it is decaffeinated?

    Thanks for all your help and insight!

    Naomi

    • I’ve seen differing opinions on that, Naomi. Naturally occurring caffeine seems to have some beneficial qualities (in moderation) and I also read somewhere that the removal of caffeine takes some of the phytonutrients in the process. The decaffeinated tea would still contain some of the benefits therefore, just not as much. How’s that for ambiguous?

  2. sweetopiagirl

    Reblogged this on Inspiredweightloss.

  3. Liz Brown

    I’ve been trying to drink green tea but have to say I have had a problem doing so. I don’t like the bitter taste and that is either hot or cold. In fact, I think it is just plain nasty. lol
    But this week I have found a green tea that I don’t just like. I love it!!! It’s Chai Green Tea and STASH is the brand. Renys has it and so does Shaws. I don’t know if Hannaford does or not. The great part about this tea is that I like it both hot and cold! So if any of you like chai tea but don’t like green tea, give the chai green a try. You might be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

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