The Chinese and Japanese have used green tea for medicinal purposes for centuries. For good reason. There is plenty of scientific research that shows drinking green tea lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, fights coronary inflammation, ensures healthy teeth, and helps prevent cancer.
However, sipping green tea alone won’t protect you from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, or infection. Researchers say people who derive the most potent effects from green tea drink it as part of a healthy diet that includes lots of veggies and fruits. Hot, unsweetened, caffeine free versions are best. However, even a cup of green tea that isn’t caffeine free has only half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee.
Like every other “hot” health product, green tea has triggered a ton of knockoffs, touting extracts as ingredients in juices, dressings, frozen yogurts, even pasta sauces. Best bet? Read the nutrition labels. Many of these new products contain a ton of added sugar. One trendy version of green tea you might look for is called “matcha”. The potent powder has more caffeine than the leaf varieties of green tea. It smells and tastes “grassier”. But if you enjoy a sweeter, creamier version of green tea, or want to rev up your smoothie, or yogurt, “matcha” might be right for you.
Experts say green tea is not “botox in a bottle”. It may or may not protect your skin from sun damage. And it can interact with your medications, so don’t take any green tea supplements without telling your doctor. But if you like it, drinking 2 to 3 cups of green tea a day may improve your health as you age