Green tea provides health benefits

Prevention of cancer possible quality of green tea

Tea is often praised by consumers for its natural, soothing qualities and relatively low caffeine content. It comes in a variety of flavours and contains few to no calories. Tea’s many benefits make it a great hot beverage with which to start one’s morning, or to help one relax after a hard day’s work. Beyond the enjoyable taste, certain teas have many natural medicinal properties.
Although many teas are good for you, green tea is the powerhouse in terms of health benefits. Do you need help keeping physically fit? Green tea boosts metabolism and increases fat-burning properties. It has also been shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. One study even found green-tea drinkers to be at an 18-per-cent-lower risk of acquiring type-II diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and reducing blood-sugar levels.
How can this simple drink do so much? Green tea contains high levels of catechins, antioxidants which fight cell damage. People who drank high-catechin tea daily were shown to have a significantly lower body weight, BMI and waist circumference than those who did not. Drinking green tea delivers these compounds to your body and helps you stay fit and healthy.
Catechins also help to increase activity in the working-memory area of your brain. Drinking green tea may help to prevent the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease and protect neurons to lower the risk of Parkinson’s. Drinking green tea can even improve your dental hygiene. Catechins inhibit growth of streptococcus mutants, which are the primary bacteria-causing plaque formation, cavities and tooth decay. Green tea has even been shown to reduce bad breath!
Perhaps the most amazing quality of green tea is that it can play a significant role in the prevention of certain cancers. Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been shown to reduce the risk of breast, prostate and colorectal cancers by 22 per cent, 48 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively. Several studies show those who drink green tea regularly to be at significantly lower risk for many other types of cancer as well. In fact, one study found that those who drank a significant amount of green tea on a daily basis lived longer than others, in general.
Drinking green tea on a regular basis can help one maintain a healthy lifestyle. It is a delicious and comforting drink which you may be grateful for 50 years down the road. While eating well and exercising are necessary parts of a healthy lifestyle, perhaps we should change the saying from “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” to something a little greener.
Alyssa BeLong is the 2015-16 Health Intern with the Wellness Centre.

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