What if you could improve your risks of getting cancer, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and obesity just by drinking a potion every day? Doesn’t that sound like a fantasy? But research says it’s not. All you have to do is ingest green tea.
Yup, research repeatedly confirms green tea is a super food. And you don’t even have to drink it; you can take it as a pill and get the same benefits. What benefits? Read on.
Research done in test tubes, on animals, and in humans show green tea extracts have health protective effects in:
Cancer – breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin, stomach
Heart disease – blood pressure, vascular epithelial function, inflammation, cholesterol, atherosclerosis
Brain function – increases neuron firing, increases concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, inhibits neurotransmitter GABA (producing anti-anxiety effects)
Type 2 diabetes – improves insulin sensitivity, reduces blood sugars
In addition, studies suggest regular green tea consumption can help reduce abdominal fat and improve weight loss, and may reduce risk of stroke. A recent Japanese study found those with Type 2 diabetes who drank both green tea and coffee had up to a 63% lower mortality risk! In one study green tea extract (800 mg per day for four months) was shown to be as potent as medication at reducing uterine fibroids.
Last, green tea also is a potent DNA methylation adaptogen. Methylation is a process that occurs constantly occurs in the body. When a methyl group (one carbon bonded to three hydrogens) are added to or removed from a strand of DNA, the volume on that gene is turned up or down, changing gene expression that can positively or negatively affect your health. DNA methylation is a big deal, and current research is exploring which foods affect our genes in a positive way. Bottom line, green tea positively affects your genes. No doubt, that is part of its mechanism for improving disease risks.
If you’re going to drink green tea, there are a few things you should know. Don’t add milk to your tea as the proteins in milk may bind with the antioxidants in the tea and negate any health benefits. Also, again because the proteins in foods may bind with the catechins in green tea, it’s best to drink green tea between meals.
For a therapeutic dose, aim for three cups daily. To get the most anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, green tea needs to be steeped in boiling hot water for 10 minutes before removing the tea bag and drinking. Just be aware that the longer it steeps, the more bitter it gets.
If you don’t like the bitter taste of green tea, Dr. Kara Fitzgerald recommends choosing a standardized whole green tea extract supplement. She recommends taking 500-600 standardized green tea extract daily, which will provide about 250-300 mg of a key active component, EGCG, per day.
Getting the most from green tea
“Younger You: Reduce Your Bio Age and Live Longer, Better” by Dr. Kara Fitzgerald