Tea Health Benefits
Studies that support the health benefits of tea drinking are constantly hitting the headlines. Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. But today, scientific research in both Asia and the West is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea.
For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Recent studies have shown green tea has far greater antioxidant protection than the well known polyphenols in antioxidant vitamins such as C and E. Green tea’s antioxidant activity is particularly important for preventing lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is a factor in the spoilage of oils and fatty constituents of foods. This spoilage often plays a key role in the build up of atherosclerotic plaque.
Blood Presure Reduction
High blood pressure is know to create very serious problems for the vascular system and contribute to atherscloerosis. Atherscloerosis leads to heart disease, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases. Green tea has been extensively tested and been found to be highly beneficial in lowering blood pressure and aiding the recovery of heart attack victims.
The anticancer effects are the result of green tea polyphenols blocking the formation of cancer causing compounds as well as effectively detoxifying or trapping cancer causing chemicals. The forms of cancer that green tea appears most effective in preventing are cancers of the gastrointestinal tract such as stomach, small intestine, pancreas and colon. Also, green tea has shown preventative properties for lung cancer and estrogen-related cancers such as breast cancers. A report from the National Cancer Institute found that Chinese men and women who drink green tea have a reduced risk of developing esophageal skin cancer.
Cholesterol is usually seen as the ‘bad guy’ for causing many diseases in adults, but it’s a chemical that is naturally present and necessary in our bodies for important processes such as manufacturing cell membranes and fusing cells. But there is ‘good’ cholesterol and ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Researchers found that by drinking green tea the ‘bad’ cholesterol can be reduced, and tea-drinkers can eat almost twice the foods containing cholesterol as a those who don’t drink green tea, but still have an equal cholesterol count.
Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity
Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which are effective in treating everything from tooth decay to HIV. In studies green tea has even protected rats from cholera, and has been shown to inhibit the spread of disease. Green tea can aid with relieving influenza or diarrhea. In general catechins help boost the strength of the immune system.
Reduction of Blood Sugar
About 60 years ago, Dr. Minowada of Kyoto University noticed that sugar in the urine of patients hospitalized for diabetes fell markedly during periods when they participated in a Tea Ceremony. Modern science is studying and confirming this.