For many, no drink is more synonymous with good health than green tea, the ancient Chinese beverage known for its soothing aroma and abundance of antioxidants. By some estimates, Americans drink nearly 10 billion servings of green tea each year.
The health benefits of tea stretch across the spectrum -- green, black or white all promise to fight free radicals and hydrate you, among other benefits. But green tea may have the advantage on one front: It's less processed and therefore the good guys (antioxidants, in particular one variety called EGCG) are more concentrated. Tea's health benefits are largely due to its high content of flavonoids — plant-derived compounds that are antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties.
Additional benefits for regular consumers 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. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.
- "Benefit of Drinking Green Tea." Harvard Health, n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
- Klein, Sarah. "Green Tea Benefits: How The Drink Improves Your Health." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 20 Oct. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.
- "What’s in Your Green Tea?" Well Whats in Your Green Tea Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Feb. 2014.