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Secret to good health revealed

With its blood clot-preventing, cancer-fighting, metabolism-boosting skills, green tea is like Superman for your body. Green tea has more antioxidants and that makes it more beneficial.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 04, 2010 18:11 IST
Dr Anjali Mukerjee

Green teaBlack tea has been the beverage of choice for millions of people, including Indians, for years now. However, green tea has been a secret health potion for the Chinese and Japanese for centuries.

So what is the difference between black tea and green tea? It lies in the composition and total amount of antioxidants present in the beverages. The manner in which these teas are processed influences their nutritive qualities. Green tea consists of the dried green leaves of the camellia sinesis plant, whereas black tea is fermented to enhance the taste and flavour. While both contain antioxidants, green tea has more antioxidants and that makes it more beneficial.

The do-gooder
Antioxidants fight off free radicals and better your chances of looking younger and living longer. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants such as catechins and quercetins — also present in black grapes, onions and red wine — which are crucial for good health and longevity. The antioxidants present in green tea are far more powerful than the vitamins C and E in preventing cellular damage induced by free radicals.

How green tea fights ageing
Green tea has been found to have several health benefits. some of these are:
Green tea prevents the formation of blood clots and helps dissolve existing ones, protecting you from heart disease.
Tea seems to help stop the spread of cancer. It works in different ways to block the formation and growth of malignant tumour.
Green tea drinkers have healthier gums and teeth. The polyphenols in the green tea prevent germs from sticking to the teeth.
Green tea drinkers have far better immunity levels than those who drink plain water or black tea.
Green tea prevents the drastic fluctuations in blood sugar.
Interestingly, green tea also improves body metabolism and helps in weight loss. Researchers have found that drinking just five cups of green tea can help you lose up to 70 to 80 calories.

Making green tea
To make a cup full of flavoured green tea, steep a teaspoon of loose leaves or a tea bag in hot water for three minutes, strain through a sieve and drink it warm.
Remember not to add milk or cream while making green or black tea. The protein in the milk will bind with the phenol in the tea and you will not get its antioxidant benefits.
Considered as the latest ‘food fad’ amongst the health conscious, the popularity of green tea is here to stay.