Green Tea: The Health Benefits

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Hey, come over here for a minute. I have a secret. Shh, I don’t want to talk too loud, it’s a 4000 year old Chinese secret. Are you ready? If you drink at least four cups of green tea a day, you’ll be a healthier, happier individual. What? You’re not impressed with my secret? You will be by the time you’re done reading me then, I promise.

“Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.” This is an ancient Chinese proverb, and trust me, these guys don’t say something unless they can back it up. For 4000 years, maybe longer, the Chinese and people all over Asia have been using green tea as a medicinal treatment for everything from headaches to depression. Pretty impressive considering that they live considerably longer and healthier lives than most Americans. And here is why.

It seems as though the secret to Asian success at healthy living began to eat away at scientists, both in Asia and in the West. And you know scientists, once they’re baffled they begin study after study to answer any question or resolve any doubt they may have. In 1994, the first batch of results were released about this liquid phenom called green tea. They showed that it reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by almost sixty percent. Amazing! So if one little tea leaf could do this, then what else could it be capable of? Hmmmm…

Aside from significantly lowering the risk of esphageal cancer, more recent studies have shown that the catechin polyphenols (a very special compound in green tea) not only inhibits the growth of cancer cells, but also has the ability to destroy them as well, all without harming any healthy tissue in the process. This is great news for anyone who is undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation.

Are you suffering from high cholesterol? Well we have the answer for you too. Green tea has been shown to not only lower the overall total cholesterol, but is so powerful it raises the HDL (good cholesterol), which is the body’s best defense against it’s enemy, LDL (bad cholesterol). But wait, there’s more.

Green tea is also high in levels of EGCG, an anti-oxidant that is twice as powerful as resveratrol (a phytochemical found in plants that in renowned for its anti-cnacer and aging effects). These levels of EGCG inhibit the formation of blood clots, which are the leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. In fact, although 75% of Japanese men are smokers, they have an extremely low incident of heartdisease. But how can this be, you ask? Because the EGCG in green tea basically negates the effects that smoking has on the body.

If extra pounds are plaguing you, green tea may be able to rescue you. It has been shown that not only does its properties aid in burning more calories, but it also has a thermogenic effect, meaning that it’s also great at burning fat. How many women are smiling right now? I know I am.

Finally, tooth decay. Yes, tooth decay. Green tea has an ability to kill bacteria and this helps prevent the build up of dental plaque. Maybe that next trip to the dentist won’t be so bad after all. And if you have that morning breath, use some of that green tea you just brewed as a mouthwash. Yes, it will kill those atrocious odors in no time, leaving you free to talk nose to nose with anyone, free of embarrassment. You’ve got to love it.

The amount of green tea that should be consumed daily is completely up to you. I love it and can drink in upwards of seven or eight cups a day. Health professionals have said that to receive the health benefits green tea has to offer, you should drink at least four to five cups. Others have said that it takes at least ten cups to do the job. My theory? Something is better than nothing. However, if you buy the prepackaged Lipton green tea in a bottle and think you’re doing yourself a favor, I’m here to burst your bubble. With all of the sugar, additives and preservatives they place in with it, you might as well be drinking a Pepsi. Natural is the best way to go, maybe with a drop of honey or a bit of fresh squeezed lemon or orange juice.

Now that you know my secret, I hope you use it wisely and pass it on. I raise my tea mug to you and wish you the best. Here is to good health and a long life!

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