Every superfoods list needs a healthy beverage or two. Green tea is rich in antioxidants that may offer health benefits and has no calories (unless you add lots of milk and sugar), so it frequently makes the cancer-preventing superfoods lists.
How Green Tea May Protect You From Cancer
Green tea contains antioxidants called catechins that may slow down the growth of cancer cells. In laboratory studies, catechins stop free radical damage to cells and reduce the number and sizes of tumors. The most commonly studied catechins, called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), may cause cancer cells to die, rather than grow and spread. In human research, two large studies found that people who drank more tea were at a lower risk of developing certain cancers, while another study showed no correlation. The research isn’t conclusive, however, as other dietary and lifestyle factors can affect the outcomes. Clinical research is needed to determine whether or not green tea can really prevent cancer.
How Is Green Tea Different From Black Tea?
Green tea and black tea both come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. Black tea is made when the leaves are allowed to ferment. Green tea leaves are steamed or heated immediately after picking to prevent fermentation, and they contain more of the polyphenols than black tea.
How to Enjoy Green Tea
There are many brands of green tea available that are conveniently packaged in tea bags. Simply place the tea bag in a cup, add hot water, steep for two minutes or so and remove the bag. There’s very little mess and no waste because you brew each cub individually.
Tea bags are convenient, but quality differs widely. You can buy loose leaf green teas for an unbeatable flavor. You’ll need an infuser (Buy Direct). Place the leaves into the infuser, set the infuser into an empty tea cup, and add the hot water. Experts suggest that you use boiling water and a longer steeping time for a higher polyphenol concentration. If you like the loose leaves, you may wish to invest in a teapot with an infuser built in (Buy Direct), rather than steeping each individual cup.