We’ve all heard about superfoods in the last decades and the buzz generated around the “keep-fit” or “healthy-living” lifestyles and social circles. Now, the focus seems to have shifted to green tea.
Is it really new though, or are we just seeing the result of progress in marketing, packaging, transportation logistics and commercialization?
After all, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries in the treatment of ailments such as headaches and even depression. The leaves are supposedly richer in antioxidants than other types of tea because of the way they are processed. Additionally, green tea contains bioflavonoids, which are known to fight infections.
Does drinking green tea protect you from cancer?
There is no evidence drinking green tea protects against different types of cancer.
A review from 2009 involving 51 studies, with more than 1.6 million participants, looked for an association between drinking green tea and cancers of the bowel, prostate, breast, mouth and lungs.
The concluded evidence of a link between green tea and cancer was weak and “highly contradictory”.
A more recent 2015 study looked at the cancer-fighting effects of a compound found in green tea when combined with a drug called Herceptin, which is used in the treatment of stomach and breast cancer.
Can green tea aid weight loss?
It’s thought the antioxidants catechin and caffeine found in green tea may have a role in helping the body burn more calories – sometimes referred to as speeding up the metabolism – which can help weight loss.
Green tea preparations used for losing weight are extracts of green tea that contain a higher concentration of catechins and caffeine than the typical green tea beverage prepared from tea bag and boiling water.
A well-conducted review from 2012 of 18 studies involving 1,945 people found no significant effect of weight loss from drinking green tea.
Does green tea cut cholesterol?
Another good-quality review from 2011 found drinking green tea enriched with catechins led to a small reduction in cholesterol, a main cause of heart disease and stroke.
However, it’s still not clear from the evidence how much green tea we’d need to drink to see a positive effect on our health, or what the long-term effects of drinking green tea are on our overall health.
Superfood, elixir of life, or trend; and whether we drink it, eat it, wear it or cook with it; green tea has been part of life for a long time, and will probably continue to be so long after we have gone, . Proven or not; the benefits, the social aspect of the drink, or the sheer relaxation; make it worthwhile to give drink tea a try.