There’s evidence green tea is beneficial to your health, and scientists are looking for more health benefits of green tea, including possible anti-cancer effects.
Tea has been used for thousands of years in China and Japan for medicinal purposes. And modern day researchers are looking to see if tea — especially the green type — actually does benefit health.
Green, black, and oolong teas all came from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, but they are prepared using different methods. Green tea is made by lightly steaming fresh tea leaves, and it may be this process that results in the potential health benefits of green tea.
Different types of tea all contain natural substances, including amino acids, caffeine, and a large group of plant chemicals called polyphenols. Polyphenols known as catechins are powerful antioxidants — substances that may prevent potentially disease-producing cell damage during natural bodily processes and from exposure to certain chemicals. Compared to black tea, green tea contains much higher concentrations of catechins, especially one called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). And the large dose of EGCG in green tea has garnered attention from scientists.
In fact, researchers are studying green tea and the EGCG it contains to see if green tea can help treat certain health conditions and even potentially protect against heart disease and cancer, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.
While there are more claims about the health benefits of green tea than hard evidence, studies have shown green tea is likely a healthy addition to most people’s diets.
March 21, 2018
Janet O’Dell, RN