"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one." (Ancient Chinese Proverb)
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, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. Green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.
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. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.
To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:
high cholesterol levels
impaired immune function
What makes green tea so special?
The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-
Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the "French Paradox." For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-
Why don't other Chinese teas have similar health-
New evidence is emerging that green tea can even help dieters. In November, 1999, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland. Researchers found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.
Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-
To date, the only negative side effect reported from drinking green tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains caffeine. However, green tea contains less caffeine than coffee: there are approximately thirty to sixty mg. of caffeine in six -
How much Green Tea should I drink?
There are as many answers to this question as there are researchers investigating the natural properties of green tea. For example, Herbs for Health magazine cites a Japanese report stating that men who drank ten cups of green tea per day stayed cancer-
It gets more confusing. A University of California study on the cancer-
How can you make sense of these conflicting claims? Given all the evidence, it is probably safe to plan on drinking four to five cups of green tea per daily. If you're a real devotee, by all means drink more; but whether or not you'll derive added health benefits remains to be determined by further research.
How to Brew a Cup of Green Tea
Producing the perfect cup of green tea is a tricky process. If not handled properly, those same polyphenols that provide health benefits can ruin the flavor, making the tea taste "grassy." It's particularly important not to overbrew green tea. While it's best to follow the manufacturer's instructions for each variety of green tea, here are some general instructions:
The Miracle of Green Tea
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