Green tea contains some very special compounds known as “polyphenols.” Polyphenols are made up of phytochemicals and these phytochemicals have some significant health-boosting properties. Polyphenols are antibacterial and antiviral, as well as being strong antioxidants. One polyphenol in particular, “epigallocatechin gallate” (or EGCG) has been shown in clinical trials to enter cells and shield DNA from hydrogen peroxide (a potent free radical).
Green tea has also been shown to protect against cancer, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce clotting of the blood. Green tea has been implicated in regulating blood sugar and insulin levels, and is even thought to promote the burning of fat. But the list is not finished yet! Here is some breaking health news: researchers have now discovered that green tea could protect against the ill effects of cell phone radiation.
A scientific team at the School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, China, performed a study to investigate the possible protective effects of green tea polyphenols against electromagnetic radiation-induced injury in cultured rat cortical neurons. In the study, green tea polyphenols were used in the cultured cortical neurons and exposed to 1,800 MHz EMFs by a mobile phone. The research team found that mobile phone irradiation for 24 hours induced marked neuronal cell death. They also found that the cell deaths caused by the mobile phone irradiation were inhibited significantly by green tea polyphenols. The researchers concluded that green tea exerts a protective effect against mobile phone irradiation-induced injury on cortical neurons.
A few tips for making a good cup of tea: steep for three minutes to release all the health-promoting compounds. And researchers say that tea packed in tea bags actually releases more polyphenols than loose leaves. Apparently, the tea in tea bags tends to be broken down into smaller particles, which helps more polyphenols to be dissolved in the hot water.
One final bit of health advice: add lemon to your green tea. Green tea has some very special antioxidants called “catechins.” But now research has revealed that catechins are not so easily absorbed — just because you drink green tea, doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re getting all the antioxidants you think you’re getting. The problem is that catechins can be unstable in non-acidic environments. This means that, when traveling through the intestines, less than 20% of the total amount of catechins you take in remain after digestion. A little bit of lemon in your green tea can help to solve this problem.