29 Jul Tea Time!
Fancy a cup of tea? For a variety of reasons, perhaps you should! Not only does tea provide that sweet, precious caffeine that so many of us crave (no judgments there — we’ll talk about that getting a grip on that in the future), but some tea can have far-reaching health benefits. Specifically, green tea has been long revered for its healing properties and health effects. What sort of health effects, you ask?
Well, for starters, green tea has been found to help prevent multiple types of cancer. Stomach, colon, bladder, pancreatic, esophageal, lung, and breast cancers have all been shown to be reduced in frequent green tea drinkers. The secret to this cancer-busting power are chemicals called polyphenols in green tea, which act as powerful natural antioxidants. But these chemicals and others within tea also have other potentially far-reaching health benefits. These include:
- Inflammation: Green tea has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and as you probably know, women with PCOS are always fighting inflammation! Inflammation has profound effects on your brain functioning. These anti-inflammatory qualities can also reduce arthritis.
- Weight loss: Green tea boosts your metabolism, causing you to burn more calories throughout the day.
- Cardiac health: The antioxidant powers of green tea have been shown to inhibit production of cholesterol, leading to healthier arteries and decreased risk of cardiovascular problems, such as heart attack.
- Bone density: Did you know that frequent tea drinkers have significantly higher bone density? Neither did I until I researched this article! Amazing.
- Stress relief: Perhaps the most common reason people like to drink green tea is its relaxing, tranquilizing effects on the brain. This is caused by a chemical called theanine, which can also negate some of the unpleasant effects of caffeine. In addition, theanine enhances production of alpha waves in the brain, which reduces anxiety, lowers cortisol (a stress hormone), boosts creativity, and facilitates a state of relaxed alertness.
Bam! So what’s the only catch with all of these amazing health benefits? Well, in order to get the full benefit of them, you have to drink three to four cups of green tea per day. Have no fear though, there’s no need to stick to simply drinking green tea plain! There are a million delicious ways to prepare green tea. And all green tea does not taste the same, so if you’ve tried it once and didn’t like it, try a different brand or preparation. You can drink it hot or iced; sipping on iced green tea throughout the day is a particularly easy way to get your “dose” of theanine and polyphenols. Here is Dr. Gretchen’s patented (okay, not actually patented!) green tea recipe:
Fill your blender with some organic almond milk and a teaspoon of matcha green tea powder (note that this is not the same stuff you find in a tea bag). Add a little sweetener of your choice. If you’ve ditched sugar, as I would recommend, try some stevia or monk fruit sweetener! Then whirl this bad boy up in the blender for a bit. You can make this recipe either hot, like a latte, or cold. If you want something more smoothie/shake-like, add a few ice cubes. Delicious, sweet, creamy, and oh-so-healthy!
Bushman, J. L. (1998). Green tea and cancer in humans: A review of the literature. Nutrition and Cancer, 31(3), 151–159. http://doi.org/10.1080/01635589809514697
Jankun, J., Selman, S. H., Swiercz, R., & Skrzypczak-Jankun, E. (1997). Why drinking green tea could prevent cancer. Nature, 387(June 2017), 561. http://doi.org/10.1038/42381
Liebert, M. A., Cooper, R., Ph, D., Morré, D. J., Ph, D., Morré, D. M., & Ph, D. (2005). Medicinal Benefits of Green Tea : Part I . The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11(3), 521–528. Retrieved from http://22.214.171.124/files/Medicinal Benefits of Green Tea: Part I. Review of Noncancer Health Benefits_0.pdf
Suganuma, M., Okabe, S., Sueoka, N., Sueoka, E., Matsuyama, S., Imai, K., … Fujiki, H. (1999). Green tea and cancer chemoprevention. Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis, 428(1–2), 339–344. http://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/S1383-5742(99)00059-9