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. Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. Green tea offers health benefits; that much we have known for years. Yes, a multitude of studies over the years have linked green tea consumption with cancer and heart disease prevention, lower cholesterol levels, increased fat burning, lower risk of developing diabetes and stroke, and deterring dementia.
Researchers have found that the antioxidants in green tea can hinder the growth of cancer cells and even kill them off. 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 oesophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent.
In fact, 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.
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-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Meanwhile, skin preparations containing green tea – from deodorants to creams – are starting to appear on the market.