Drinking green tea may do more than just quench your thirst. It may also improve your health. Green tea has been used for thousands of years in Asia as a viable health tonic. This type of tea comes from unfermented tea leaves and is high in antioxidants. It's simple and quick to prepare and has a mild taste. If you prefer a sweeter tea, honey is a good alternative to sugar that may also be a healthy choice.
Treating the Common Cold
Drinking a warm cup of green tea if you have a cold and are feeling fatigued can ease your symptoms. The steam from the tea assists in opening nasal passages to allow easier breathing. The University of Maryland suggests green tea may also help ward off the effects of the cold and flu. Adding honey to your tea has the ability to soothe a sore throat, a common symptom of a cold.
Laboratory tests show that certain antioxidants, called polyphenols, found in green tea may help prevent certain types of cancer such as skin, prostate and colon cancer. According to a paper published in 2005 in the "International Journal of Cancer," an active compound in green tea, known as EGCG, helped block cancer growth by restricting blood flow to abnormal cells. Studies on laboratory animals show promising results. However, more human trials are needed to fully understand the benefits green tea carries for cancer.
Green tea and green tea extract are heavily marketed as a weight-loss aid. The University of Maryland says that green tea can aid in weight loss and maintenance. One study published in the " American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" in 2005 found that consuming catechin-rich green tea reduces body fat and lowers LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. Other research suggests that combining green tea with caffeine may also boost your metabolism, which increases your body's ability to burn fat.