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Green tea to fight flu and build better bones

Posted Jan 06 2011 9:07am

green tea

We hear a lot about green recently. What’s all the hype about it?  Media say that it might help prevent cancer, and even help us to lose weight.  Is there any truth about those claims?  Well, yes there is. In fact, theres many more health benefits to green tea than what you might have heard already.  As example, did you know that green tea can help to fight flus, to detox naturally and that drinking it helps you can have the same bone building effects then calcium and exercise?  Here’s a sort list of the many health benefits of green tea.

Health benefits of green tea

  • help lose weight
  • anti-inflammatory
  • prevent cancers, especially colorectal, breast, stomach, prostate, pancreatic, lung , ovarian and bladder cancers
  • lowers bad cholesterol
  • help blood pressure
  • anti-aging
  • help your live longer
  • help prevent memory loss
  • fight heart diseases
  • protects the brain
  • improve insulin response
  • protects the kidneys
  • builds bones (fight osteoporosis)
  • help detox from chemicals
  • protects the liver
  • increase exercise endurance
  • fights flu

How it works:

The main active compounds in green tea are its powerful antioxidants called catechins. Catechins are especially good to fight free radicals, the tiny molecules responsible for damaged DNA, cancer, blood clots and arteriosclerosis.

One of the main benefits of drinking the famous green brew is the cardiovascular system protection. Green tea’s antioxidants improve blood vessels flexibility, prevent blood clots and clogged arteries. While it is beneficial for everybody, it’s interesting to note that this particular health benefit from green tea is even greater in women. Science hasn’t still found why though.

For weight loss, caffeinated green tea is the best, as caffeine helps to oxidate fats, but decaf green tea works too. However, be careful with green tea supplements as it could lead to liver problems.   A word of caution concerning supplements: drinking green tea is usually better than supplements since there are many compounds in green tea that works in synergy, something that might not be the case with green tea supplements.

Smokers, ex-smokers and people who have been in contact with second hand smoke in their life could particularly benefit from drinking green tea.  Not only does green tea help to detox from chemicals, it also have a strong effect in lung cancer prevention.  In fact, green tea can lower your lung cancer risk of up to 18%.

And for those who eat dairy products to avoid osteoporosis, know that green tea increase bone density the same way exercise and calcium does, without the downsides of consuming milk.  This can be very interesting, especially for vegans and people who choose to avoid dairy products.  The truth is that even if dairy products are still advertised as the best thing to build bones, clinical studies tend to show the opposite.  Many scientists are still looking for the reason behind this, but the fact remains that more a population eat dairy products, higher is their osteoporosis incidence. In this particular case, green tea and exercise can offer an interesting solution.  Bone building effects of green tea might explain why Asian population have the lowest incidence of osteoporosis, even if they consume little to no dairy products at all.

So how much green tea you should drink?  1 to 3 cups a day can help you get the health benefits described above.  On a final note, beware of bottled green tea. Those tea are often processed and very little antioxidant, if any,  is left in them.  If you like the taste and the convenience of bottled green tea, brew a pitcher of fresh green tead, add lemon and maybe a dash of your favorite natural sweetner if you like sweet tea, and fill a reusable bottle with this.

Do you drink green tea?  Do you have a favorite type of green tea? What’s your opinion on this?

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