Rich in polyphenols, green tea exerts powerful anti-cancer benefits. In addition, it is loaded with Vitamins, Minerals and Electrolytes.
Tea has been used as a beverage for almost 5000 years. A legend says that a Chinese emperor accidentally brewed some tea leaves in a pot of boiling water. From then on, the consumption of the beverage spread rapidly through the entire Chinese culture. It then traveled across the world and touched practically every country.
Interestingly, four times as much black tea is manufactured and consumed as green tea, but green tea is a lot healthier and proffers tremendous health benefits.
How Does Green Tea Help Combat Cancer?
Green tea is loaded with free polyphenols, especially flavanoids. These polyphenols are powerful anti-oxidants that prevent free radical damage to the DNA of the cells, the principal cause of cancer development.
- The polyphenols present in green tea augment the action of the antioxidant enzymes present in the colon, lungs and liver.
- Research and laboratory investigations reveal that these potent antioxidants prevent the occurrence of cancer by blocking the formation of cancer causing compounds, such as nitrosamines.
- These antioxidants also suppress the activation of carcinogens, thus preventing lethal damage.
- These polyphenols are free radical scavengers and destroyers. They hunt out the free radicals and cancer-triggering agents, trap and detoxify them.
- Green tea checks cancer of the colon, stomach, pancreas, lung, breast and prostate. Principally, green tea averts the development of breast and prostate cancer.
In contrast to the anti-cancer benefits of green tea, population-based clinical trials indicate that black tea increases the probability of developing cancer, especially, cancer of the gall bladder, rectum, and endometrium.
Green tea supplies a generous dose of vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K. It provides loads of riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron and nickel.
What is Green Tea?
Both green and black tea are derived from the same plant Camellia sinensis. Green tea differs from black tea in the manufacturing process.
To manufacture black tea, the leaves are left to oxidize. For the duration of the oxidation, enzymes of the tea convert the polyphenols in to elements that offer much less anti-cancer activity. As opposed to this, green tea is manufactured by gently steaming freshly cut tea leaves. Steaming prevents the enzymes from altering the polyphenols and converting them into other substances, and hence, their anti-cancer activity is intact.
Some Precuationary Considerations While Using Green Tea
Green tea is known to interfere with the action of warfarin, a blood thinner, used by cardiac patients having elevated levels of serum cholesterol. However, the consumption of the beverage in small doses and in constant amounts, does not adversely influence the action of the drug.
Biofactors, Nakachi, K., S. Matsuyama, S. Miyake, M. Suganuma and K. Imai, Preventive Effects of Drinking Green Tea on Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease, 2000