The Chinese have long claimed that tea possesses the power to heal, including relief of upset stomachs, bladder infections, headaches, arthritis, heart disorders and tumours. Western scientists are recent converts – particularly when it comes to treating heart disease and cancer. Here's why you should be drinking more of the green stuff....
Immune boosting: socialising, commuting, intense exercising and long hours in the office can combine to create a combination of cold-inducing pathogens and a weakened immune system . Drinking green tea can help boost yours. In fact, several studies have shown that green tea has anti-viral properties; one study found that taking green tea capsules helped prevent healthcare workers from catching the flu, and another found that Japanese school children who drank green tea for six days a week or more were less likely to catch the flu.
Stress relieving: putting on the kettle and curling up with a warm drink can be relaxing, especially if your day has been super busy, but drinking too much caffeine has its downsides and can lead to further anxiety and trouble sleeping. If you find yourself taking too many coffee-breaks with colleagues and friends, try switching you order to green tea. Not only does green tea have half the caffeine as a regular cup of coffee but it also gives you a slight lift and better focus without any of the buzz.
So what is the
secret of green tea. Its many benefits lies in its 30 or so polyphenols – chemical
compounds that act like antioxidants but are in fact far more powerful than
vitamin C, E or even beta-carotene. Due to these, green tea has a two-pronged
health effect: it lowers cholesterol and delivers
free radical protection to all the body’s cells. As a cancer preventative tea
is a piping hot contender for its ability to increase the good enzymes that
metabolise carcinogens. One particular polyphenol – EGCG – has been shown to
reduce both tumour growth and incidence – and FDA trials on an anti-cancer drug
containing this chemical are currently under way.