Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. These antioxidants help fight free radicals – damaging compounds in the body that chance cells, damage our DNA, and can cause cell death. It is believed that these free radicals contribute to aging and the development of heart disease and certain cancers, as well as other health problems. Polyphenols found in green tea can help neutralize the effects of free radicals and may reduce and prevent the damage they cause.
Here are then top 10 proven health benefits of green tea:
1.Lowers Total Cholesterol: It's been proven that green tea helps lower total cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol (the good kind). One study found that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not drink green tea.
2.Cancer Prevention: Several studies have shown that green tea may help protect against certain cancers. For instance, cancer rates are lower in countries such as Japan where people regularly consume green tea. Researchers also believe that polyphenols help kill cancerous cells and stop them from growing.
Breast Cancer: Studies have suggested that polyphenols in green tea inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells. One study of 472 women with various stages of breast cancer found that women who drank the most green tea had the least spread of cancer. This was especially true in premenopausal women in the early stages of the cancer. The study also found that women with early stages of breast cancer who drank at least 5 cups of green tea a day before being diagnosed with breast cancer were less likely to have the cancer return after they completed treatment.
Ovarian Cancer: In a study, researchers found that women who drank at least one cup of green tea per day lived longer with ovarian cancer than those who did not drink green tea. Those who drank the most green tea lived the longest.
Pancreatic Cancer: In a study, those participants who drank the most green tea versus non-drinkers, were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer. This was particularly true for women. Those who drank green tea were half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer than those who drank less or none.
Prostate Cancer: Studies have found that green tea extracts prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells. A large study found that the risk of prostate cancer decreased with increased consumption of green tea.
Skin Cancer: The main polyphenol in green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), has been linked to anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help to prevent the development and growth of skin tumors.
3.Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Green tea has been linked to help reduce inflammation associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD. Those who suffer from IBD are at higher risk of colon cancer, therefore green tea can help prevent colon cancer in those with IBD.
4.Diabetes: Green tea has been used to control blood sugar levels. An animal study suggests that green tea may help prevent the development of type 1 diabetes and slow the progression once it has been diagnosed. Because those with type 1 diabetes have difficulty producing insulin, which helps convert glucose into energy, green tea may help their bodies to regulate glucose.
5.Weight Loss: Studies have suggested that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. One study found that green tea and the caffeine in it improve weight loss and help maintain a healthy weight.
To receive all the health benefits of green tea, try consuming 1-2 cups a day. But remember to leave out the refined sugar!
University of Maryland Medical Center