Q: I know green tea is good for me, but what are the real health benefits?
A: No doubt about it, green tea can harness the power of plant protection against disease. A few cups of green tea daily can defend against a host of cancers (most notably colorectal, prostate, oral and skin cancers), provide cardiovascular protection via antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanisms, and even offer therapeutic benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis.
What exactly is in green tea that wards off disease and will put you on the road to better health and longevity? Researchers believe that catechins, or powerful antioxidant plant chemicals (polyphenols), are responsible for the anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and cardioprotective effects of green tea. Scientists have isolated one type of green tea polyphenol called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG for short), which is believed to be the major health-protective component in green tea. (Incidentally, green tea contains 40 percent more polyphenols than black tea.)
So let's get over the Boston Tea Party and borrow a nice habit from the British . . . teatime in the afternoon. But let's instead make it green tea. Bottoms up for better health!