Green Tea for Health

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For the past few months there have been numerous (but not new) reports on the benefits of drinking tea, especially the green kind! Naoki's family has a beautiful green tea farm in Mie, Japan and they are ready to ship 2007 spring leaves. The cut off date to order will be this Thursday, May 10.

This green tea tastes different and has a sweeter and fresher flavor than what is available in most stores here. It can be cold brewed as well as served hot. Please allow boiled water to cool for a few minutes before adding the delicate tea leaves to prevent burning, which can alter the taste. Hadaseicha's tea is dark green in color, has a bold taste and was carefully harvested by Naoki's parents. Orders are available only once a year and large orders can be stored in the freezer to preserve freshness. My mother likes to order the teabags in bulk and repackage them to give as gifts to her health-conscious clients.

7 Reasons to Drink Green Tea
Posted Tue, Feb 27, 2007, 11:54 am PST

The steady stream of good news about green tea is getting so hard to ignore that even java junkies are beginning to sip mugs of the deceptively delicate brew. You'd think the daily dose of disease-fighting, inflammation-squelching antioxidants - long linked with heart protection - would be enough incentive, but wait, there's more! Lots more.

CUT YOUR CANCER RISK
Several polyphenols - the potent antioxidants green tea's famous for - seem to help keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body, by discouraging their growth and then squelching the creation of new blood vessels that tumors need to thrive. Study after study has found that people who regularly drink green tea reduce their risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer.

SOOTHE YOUR SKIN
Got a cut, scrape, or bite, and a little leftover green tea? Soak a cotton pad in it. The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. Try it on inflamed breakouts and blemishes, sunburns, even puffy eyelids. And that's not all. In the lab, green tea helps block sun-triggered skin cancer, whether you drink it or apply it directly to the skin - which is why you're seeing green tea in more and more sunscreens and moisturizers.

STEADY YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE
Having healthy blood pressure - meaning below 120/80 - is one thing. Keeping it that way is quite another. But people who sip just half a cup a day are almost 50 percent less likely to wind up with hypertension than non-drinkers. Credit goes to the polyphenols again (especially one known as ECGC). They help keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.

PROTECT YOUR MEMORY, OR YOUR MOM'S
Green tea may also keep the brain from turning fuzzy. Getting-up-there adults who drink at least two cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears that the tea's big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

STAY YOUNG
The younger and healthier your arteries are, the younger and healthier you are. So fight plaque build-up in your blood vessels, which ups the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds years to your biological age (or RealAge), and saps your energy too. How much green tea does this vital job take? About 10 ounces a day, which also deters your body from absorbing artery-clogging fat and cholesterol.

LOSE WEIGHT
Oh yeah, one more thing. Turns out that green tea speeds up your body's calorie-burning process. In the every-little-bit-counts department, this is good news!

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Tea drinkers may have lower skin cancer risk

May 4, 2007 11:07:37 AM PST

People who unwind with a cup of tea every night may have a lower risk of two common forms of skin cancer, new research suggests.

In a study of nearly 2,200 adults, researchers found that tea drinkers had a lower risk of developing squamous cell or basal cell carcinoma, the two most common forms of skin cancer.

Men and women who had ever been regular tea drinkers -- having one or more cups a day -- were 20 percent to 30 percent less likely to develop the cancers than those who didn't drink tea.

The effect was even stronger among study participants who'd been tea fans for decades, as well as those who regularly had at least two cups a day, according to findings published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

However, the findings do not mean it's okay to bake in the sun as long as you have a cup of tea afterward. The researchers found no evidence that tea drinking lowered skin cancer risk in people who'd accumulated painful sunburns in the past.

Nor did the study look at the relationship between tea drinking and malignant melanoma, the least common but most deadly form of skin cancer.

Still, the findings support the theory that tea antioxidants may limit the damage UV radiation inflicts on the skin, according to the study authors, led by Dr. Judy R. Rees of Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

In particular, a tea antioxidant known as EGCG has been shown to reduce burning on UV-exposed skin.

The current findings are based on interviews with 770 New Hampshire residents with basal cell carcinoma, 696 with squamous cell carcinoma, and 715 cancer-free men and women the same age.

Tea consumption was linked to a lower skin cancer risk, even with factors such as age, skin type and history of severe burns considered. However, tea drinkers who'd suffered multiple painful burns in the past did not have a lower risk of skin cancer.

It's possible, the researchers explain, that the antioxidants in tea are enough to limit skin damage caused by moderate sun exposure, but not the "more extreme" effects of sun exposure, such as cancer-promoting damage to the DNA in skin cells.

SOURCE: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, May 2007.

Jeanette Lee Hada

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