Dear Dr. Mo: What are the true health benefits of green tea, are these benefits real and should I start drinking it?
Dear reader: Green tea is one of those foods that potentially has enormous health benefits but for most of them, more research is needed to really ascertain the extent of it for human health outside the lab. For starters, let me mention the 8 great health benefits of green tea that scientists are seriously looking into and I also suggest you read my earlier post which goes into more depth on green tea, its functions and proper preparation.
There’s a group of chemicals in green tea called catechins responsible for a lot of claimed benefits and researchers believe these catechins help prevent the absorption of cholesterol all together but at the same time they increase the absorption of high-density HDL cholesterol, which is the good one.
3. Good for the bones
Green tea is said to improve bone mineral density thus lowering your fracture risk – this is because green tea contains a group of chemicals that stimulates the formation of bone and helps slow their breakdown although more research is needed to corroborate this claim outside the lab.
4. Oral health booster
Catechins again – think about the green tea as a natural mouth wash, like Listerine, only better. Drinking green tea regularly can contribute to a healthier mouth because catechins can help kill bacteria in your mouth.
5. Keeps some cancers at bay
Studies show that green tea benefits include protection against certain cancers, not all of them but the fact is that we just don’t know yet about the full potential of green tea’s compounds. What we do know is that the data are the most substantial for bladder, ovarian and esophageal cancers. It mostly does this by starving cancer cells to death.
6. Helps prevent Type 2 Diabetes
And not only that but it helps prevent its prelude – the Metabolic syndrome a.k.a. the Syndrome X. Studies show that one cup a day isn’t going to cut it – you need up to 6 or more every day to lower your risks for these ailments – but, why not, it’s good for you so give it a go.
7. Heart loves green tea..
Many population-based studies have shown so far that green tea drinking can lower your risk of a heart attack by up to 11%, which may seem small but it is actually quite a significant percentage. Green tea is also suspected to help prevent coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.
8. ..but viruses fear it
Its polyphenols have anti-viral properties and drinking green tea does some good in fighting off viruses.
Yours in health,