Benefit of Green Tea
by Bob Ellal
Why drink green tea, when we’re a nation of coffee drinkers? Living to be a ripe old age without the catastrophic illnesses that plague the industrialized Western world is an excellent reason. In China and Japan, the benefit of green tea has been shown to be legion: People in those countries, who typically consume fairly large quantities of green tea, have far lower rates of cancer and heart disease than people in the West. Coincidence? Science says “no.”
One benefit of green tea is the antioxidant properties of its active ingredient, catechin, a phytochemical that has shown to be promising in eliminating free radicals, which are highly reactive molecules that can damage the body at the cellular level. This damage leaves the body susceptible to cancer, heart disease and other degenerative diseases. Free radicals are caused when stress, ultra-violet rays, cigarette smoke or other pressures alter oxygen; antioxidants such as catechin prevent free radicals from damaging cellar DNA. (Anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea, greentealovers.com)
Thus we see that in China and Japan, green tea-drinking countries, the population has a far lower rate of breast, colon, skin, pancreatic, esophageal and stomach cancers than in countries in the West. Despite being a nation of smokers (approximately 75% of men), Japan has a far lower rate of heart disease than in the West. The evidence points to the benefit of green tea as the reason.
Let me present a case: I am a four-time cancer survivor (bone lymphoma), which I battled between 1991 and 1997. I’ve been clear of cancer for eight years. I am an avid practitioner of Chinese mind/body exercises called chi kung, but I also am an avid believer in the benefit of green tea. It’s replaced my morning coffee, and I drink several cups throughout the day. Despite the fact that it contains caffeine (about 1/3 as much in a cup of green tea as in a cup of coffee) it also has a relaxing quality, and I can consume it in the late afternoon without it affecting my sleep. Clear of cancer for eight years!
In addition to being a valuable weapon in the fight against cancer and heart disease, the antioxidant benefit of green tea also are believed to prevent the breakdown of neurotransmitters. Thus, it may have an important role in the prevention of age-related and brain degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
The benefit of green tea also extends to dental health. It inhibits the growth of oral bacteria and plaque, and helps prevent tooth decay. Fewer trips to the dentist—that’s reason alone to drink it!
Serve it up hot or cold, winter or summer. Use lemon, sugar, or honey—if you find it necessary at all. But skip the milk. It may bind to the antioxidants and prevent their absorption into the body. The point is this: It’s worth making a pretty simple lifestyle change to receive the tremendous health benefit of green tea. How hard is it to brew a tea bag?