Why it is special to me and why it’s good for the body.
I drank my first cup of green tea in a small Oak Harbor, WA restaurant in 1985. My Navy husband had orders to Okinawa Japan. A good friend told me that a retired Navy couple had just opened a restaurant at the back of the little strip mall where her store was. The wife was a native of Okinawa Japan and the menu was made up of her favorite dishes. Green tea was brought to the table with the menu.
Scientific information that suggests it is a rich, natural source of antioxidants. Most of the green tea research to date has focused on cancer prevention. During the 1980s populations studies found lower rates of cancer in Asian populations who regularly consume green tea. Since then, scientists have been trying to find out why green tea drinkers are less likely to develop cancer, what specific green tea components act to prevent cancer, and exactly how green tea works in the human body. Scientifically important findings suggest that green tea may prevent the following types of cancer in humans: bladder, colon, esophageal, pancreas, rectum, and stomach. Information from both animal and human studies suggests antioxidants in green tea may lower cholesterol; reduce the risk of dying from heart disease, and control blood pressure.
In a 25-year study, tea drinkers consuming more than 8.5 oz. of tea each day had much less risk of dying and a lower rate of first heart attacks than those who drank less tea. Men in the study whose antioxidant intake was greatest had one-third the risk of death from coronary heart disease. In another test tube study, scientists report that antioxidants decrease blood cell clumping, which reduces blood clotting and other risks that commonly happen before heart attacks and strokes. Although the data is ground breaking, more studies with humans are needed to establish the heart benefits from drinking green tea.
Scientists suggest green tea helps the liver in two ways – by protecting liver cells and by triggering the immune system. Green tea antioxidants have been shown to protect the liver against toxins like alcohol and chemicals in cigarette smoke. Although the scientific information about the effects of green tea on the liver is limited, the results look promising and should be studied in greater detail in the future.