What makes green tea so special? Its many health benefits combined with a mild and delicious flavor have brought green tea almost instant fame over the last few years. As more is learned about the cancer preventative properties and other health aspects of the drink, green tea will continue to be among the world's healthiest beverages.
There have been studies across the globe that have now provided firm evidence that green tea inhibits the growth of cancerous cells, effectively reducing your risk of certain types of cancer. Green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer. There are claims that green tea can prevent other forms of cancer as well.
Certain elements in green tea have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, or the bad cholesterol, improving the overall cholesterol ratio. Many scientists now believe that the same natural ingredients found in green tea are responsible for the lower instances of heart disease among the French despite their smoking and diets rich in fats. The same is true of the Japanese. There is a very low instance of heart disease in Japan despite seventy-five percent of Japanese males smoking on a regular basis.
Green tea has been shown in various studies to improve calorie burning in a typical diet. It also is becoming a primary ingredient in many skin care products including creams and even deodorants. Drinking green tea improves your teeth as well by reducing and preventing decay. The same property that destroys plaque forming bacteria in your mouth can also prevent food poisoning.
Interestingly, other popular teas such as black and oolong varieties are made from the leaves of the same tea plant as green tea. However, those varieties of tea don't have the same health properties as green tea. The difference is not the tea plant, but the way the tea leaves are processed. Green tea leaves are steamed rather than fermented. This keeps the EGCG from oxidizing, thus leaving the medicinal value intact. The best aspect of green tea, however, is not its overwhelming health benefits; it's the delicious flavor that brings you back for another cup - regardless of how healthy you think you're being.