I remember loving going to the Chinese restaurant by my house when I was a kid. It was called the Lotus Garden—we went their frequently enough that we could just say “Yeah,
give us the Kulm Special!” and they brought out our heaping piles of mandarin chicken, fried rice, and pork and seeds.
One thing that I always really enjoyed there was the tea. Tea, in my eyes, was a grown-up drink. So when I got to drink it, I loved it. They would bring out the little metal pots and small cups that were perfect for tiny hands. I would then proceed to put 3 packets of sugar and an ice cube in every cup (3 packets in those tiny Chinese tea cups! Maybe I had a bit of a sweet tooth. I digress).Though I don’t remember, the tea that I was most likely drinking was green tea. Now that I have grown up to care so much about fitness and nutrition, I have learned a lot more about green tea!
Green tea is often portrayed as the secret to a long, healthy, happy life, and with good reason! This plant is primarily grown in China and India. There have been many studies about the benefits of drinking a few glasses of the green stuff. One study talks about how drinking 2-5 glasses improves working memory. There are even some studies that show the properties in green tea may help to stave off Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There have been some studies showing that the properties in green tea can help in preventing and reducing cancer. While these studies have been mildly inconclusive, there have been some positive effects recorded, especially for pancreatic cancer. You can go to the University of Maryland Medical Center website for a list of how green tea affects many different kinds of cancer.
Many of these studies are based in Japan, one of which talked about the benefits of green tea in preventing cardiovascular disease. These studies, however, are skewed by the other factors of the Japanese lifestyle, like lower consumption of red meat and an emphasis on physical activities.
There are a slew of other things that are thought to get benefit from green tea consumption (weight loss, rheumatoid arthritis, skin disease, cholesterol) but the ones that I have listed above are the ones that have the best research associated with them.
Green tea has very few negative side affects. The caffeine in it is small in comparison to coffee and black tea, but not much to worry about unless you are particularly sensitive. However, green tea supplements can lead to negative interactions with other herbal supplements and drugs, so talk to your doctor before deciding to take them.
I hope I have inspired you to go out and get some green tea today!
Pictures fro Pixabay and my mother in 2001