I can already feel I’m getting my first cold of the season. This morning I woke up with swollen glands, a tight chest and sniffly nose, and I know it won’t be long before we all start dropping like flies.
This year I want it to be different, for me at least, so I’ve been doing a little research on the benefits of green tea, and from what I can see, it has plenty of potential not only for autumn and winter, but year round good health.
Unlike black tea, it avoids the fermentation process, retaining the maximum amount of antioxidant and poly-phenols (the substances that gives it its benefits). Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients which have a powerful effect on the body, reducing free radicals associated with ageing, and assisting in the prevention of many life threatening diseases.
Studies have been undertaken that indicate that green tea can lower the risks of developing breast and prostate cancer, amongst others. Oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer, and the protective effect that antioxidants have may lower the risks.
Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of deaths in the world (have to be honest and say I had thought it was cancer) and good old green tea has shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol.
It is also said that green tea can improve brain power. If like me you thought that Green tea was free from caffeine, you’d be wrong. But that’s not all bad. It contains less caffeine than coffee and can give you a buzz without the jittery effects so often associated with coffee drinking. It may have it’s disadvantages but caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, and memory. Green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine which has anti anxiety effects and studies show that L-theanine and caffeine lead to improved brain power.
Green tea can not only improve brainpower in the short term, but can also protect the brain in later life. Its catechin compounds can have protective effects on neurons, indicating it can potentially lower the risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Some studies also show that catechins can kill bacteria, lowering the risk of infections.
It is also associated with better dental health, a reduction in bad breath and fewer throat infections. Bye bye swollen glands!
Last on my fact finding mission was the improvement green tea can give to physical performance. It increases metabolism resulting in the burning of fat, and can increase energy.
Now if that’s not enough to make me reach into the cupboard a little more frequently, I don’t know what is.
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NB. This information is not advice and should not be treated as such. Please consult with your doctor before you change your diet, should you be concerned about any medical conditions.