What are the main green tea health benefits?

It is widely accepted that green tea benefits the health and is a popular alternative to highly-caffeinated tea and coffee. In fact green tea can offer a wide variety of health boosts, with some studies also suggesting it can help prevent strokes, lower cholesterol, prevent diabetes and protect against dementia.

Brewing good health

It must be emphasised that not all the claims for green tea benefits are backed up by medically-recognised evidence. Some studies are limited or inconclusive, but the general benefits of drinking green tea regularly are widely acknowledged.

The antioxidants in tea are one of the drink's most conspicuous aids to health. These antioxidants, called catechins, counter the free radicals that can cause damage to DNA. You can get your antioxidants from wine and dark chocolate, but green tea is obviously more virtuous.

Recent studies have also indicated that green tea may reduce the severity of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Green tea can lower blood sugar levels by inhibiting enzymes that turn carbohydrates into sugars. In this respect it can help protect against diabetes.

Green tea may prevent the onset of Alzheimer's or dementia. A comparative study of people aged 80 and over found a significant statistical difference between those who drank ten cups of green tea a day and those who didn't

Dutch studies have indicated that taking green tea can help reduce clogging of the heart's blood vessels, particularly in women. It also helped subjects to lose weight more rapidly. Although not a miracle diet supplement, it is apparent that green tea can help improve the health of the obese.

Cure in a cup?

Studies in China and Japan have suggested that green tea benefits can include fighting the spread of cancer. These studies are compromised somewhat by the very different diets of Asian subjects and further research is necessary to isolate the role of green tea. It does contain a compound which inhibits blood cell growth which could also slow cancer growth.

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