Health professionals having been talking up the advantages of drinking green tea for years because of all those wonderful, protective antioxidants, but do we know how much tea to drink, why we should drink it, and when to get the healthiest results?
Let’s see how much you know about green tea.
1. Drinking green tea can prevent cancer.
False. While ongoing studies search for a link between green tea and lowering the risk of cancer, there is no proven evidence that it will prevent cancer. However, it is said, that drinking 3 cups of green tea per day has helped women with cancer to reduce their risk of cancer recurrence by more than 30 percent.
2. Green tea helps lower cholesterol.
True. While the FDA claims there’s not credible scientific evidence, research has shown that polyphenols in green tea lowers overall cholesterol levels and raises "good" cholesterol in both animals and people.
3. Green tea can help with weight loss.
True. According to food scientists at Penn State, green tea may slow down weight gain. “Obese mice that were fed a compound found in green tea along with a high-fat diet gained weight significantly more slowly than a control group of mice that did not receive the green tea supplement,” said Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences.
4. Green tea can help ease anxiety.
True. A study from Japan found that drinking five cups of green tea per day may reduce stress by 20 per cent and improve psychological well-being. However, be careful of caffeine if you know it affects your anxiety level.
5. The amount of tea consumption is important to gain the most health benefits.
True. Although researchers have not determined the daily recommendation for drinking freshly brewed green tea, people in Asian countries usually drink at least three cups daily using 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried tea in a cup of boiling water, steeped for 3 to 15 minutes.
6. There’s the same amount of antioxidants in iced tea as hot tea.
False. Iced tea contains lower amounts of catechins compared to a cup of hot tea because more water is added to iced tea, diluting the concentration. If you want the same level of antioxidants in iced tea, double the amount of tea you would use in a hot cup.
7. You get more antioxidants from freshly brewed tea.
True. Don’t waste your money on that bottle of green tea in the vending machine. Researchers have discovered only 3 milligrams of flavonoids in instant, bottled, and decaffeinated teas compared to almost 150 milligrams in freshly brewed tea.
8. It is best to drink green tea with a meal.
False. Studies have shown that green tea may decrease the absorption of iron and folic acid of a nutritious meal, so consider drinking between meals instead of a snack.
Now that we know a little more about tea, go brew yourself a cup or 3 and reap the benefits.
Warning: Because green tea contains caffeine, check with your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a serious anxiety disorder.
Sources and more reading:
WebMD - Healthy Eating & Diet - Quiz: the truth about green tea. 24, October, 2011
Fitness Magazine - Fit Stop - 5 Facts about Green Tea. Web. 24, October, 2011
American Cancer Society - Find Support & Treatment - Green Tea. Web. 24, October, 2011
Science Daily - Science News - Protective Properties of Green Tea Uncovered. Web. 24, October, 2011
University of Maryland Medical Center - Complementary Medicine - Green Tea. Web. 24, October, 2011
Science Daily - Science News - Green Tea Helps Mice Keep Off Extra Pounds. Web. 24, October, 2011
Reviewed October 24, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith