Next time you pause for a coffee break, maybe you should think about stopping for a “spot of tea” instead.
While I’ve told you a lot of good news recently on the health benefits of that cup of java, some even better news has just come out about tea — specifically, green tea.
While regularly drinking green tea is right up there with some of the top health-promoting habits you can have, some new research has added another dimension to those benefits.
In fact, this study found that green tea can even lessen the harmful effects of some really bad dietary choices, ones that can have you packing on the pounds, elevating your blood sugar, and doing damage to your brain.
Drink to your health
Green tea is one of those things that we all know is good for us… even if we don’t know exactly why!
But it turns out this beverage is even more powerful than we originally believed.
It’s a lot more than just a healthy alternative to drinking coffee!
According to researchers from China (where else would they study green tea?), “The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combating obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment.”
A cup of tea is right on par with Big Pharma’s prize drugs? Wow.
And that’s not to mention how you can dodge the horrific side effects that come along with your typical meds for dementia, diabetes, and weight loss.
In this current research, mice were split into three groups. One got the regular lab chow and water, the other a very high-fat diet with fructose added to their water, and the third that “bad” diet with the addition of a beneficial compound found in green tea, called EGCG.
After 16 weeks, the EGCG mice appeared to be immune to the common negative effects of eating all that junk! They didn’t pack on the pounds as seen in the second group that ate the same foods (just without the addition of the EGCG). But that’s not all.
They were even less resistant to insulin — which means consuming all that sugar did not put them on the fast track to diabetes!
Plus that, they also didn’t show as much damage done to their neurons, and their brain-cell inflammation was significantly reduced. When the researchers tested their memory by sending them through a water maze, they aced the test.
Of course, EGCG, which is technically known as a “phytochemical,” has been previously studied quite a bit in both people and lab animals.
And the findings have consistently shown that this compound, found abundantly in green tea, can do some amazing things.
- It’s a cancer fighter in a cup! EGCG is an amazingly powerful antioxidant that’s been found in studies to actually kill off cancer cells. One lab study done six years ago discovered that it can even inhibit tumor growth.
- It promotes heart health. EGCG is known to lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease and stroke. Those heart benefits have been identified in people who drink around five cups of green tea a day.
- It can be a brain booster over ice. This new research isn’t the first time that green tea has been found to benefit the brain. One published study done in 2012 discovered that EGCG can enhance brain function — especially in parts of the brain that are the hardest hit by killer diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This amazing compound is also actually able to stimulate the creation of neurons in the brains of mice.
If you still would prefer to keep refilling that cup of Joe during the day, EGCG can also be found in numerous supplements, sometimes along with “green tea” listed on the ingredient label.
Another good way to sneak some green tea perks into your day — especially this time of year — is to make some frozen tea pops. For that, you’ll want to use a type of green tea that’s sold in powder form, called “matcha.” Matcha has a much stronger taste than what you’re probably used to — but it also contains far more EGCG.
There are plenty of recipes online for matcha pops, but basically you’ll want to mix the powder with some yogurt and almond or coconut milk, add a sweetener such as honey or stevia, and freeze in a pop mold.
“Green tea compound may protect body and brain” Alice G. Walton, July 31, 2017, Forbes, forbes.com