Food

The Many Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

It Also Inhibits The Growth Of Tumors When tumors form, they quickly generate a life of their own by causing new blood vessels to form that… Trista - November 25, 2019
Without treatment, cancer cells can proliferate. Shutterstock

It Also Inhibits The Growth Of Tumors

When tumors form, they quickly generate a life of their own by causing new blood vessels to form that supply them with their own cache of nutrients. They are then able to continue growing by diverting nutrients away from healthy cells and hoarding them for themselves. The result is a double whammy – the body is less able to defend itself from the tumor because it has fewer nutrients, and the tumor has more.

But the EGCG in green tea actually helps prevent these blood vessels from forming. Studies have shown that tumors treated with EGCG, along with the polyphenols found in green tea, are smaller and have fewer blood vessels.

Science is getting ahead of the game. Shutterstock

Laboratory Studies Show Immense Success

Most of the studies that have been done on green tea and cancer have been done in a laboratory rather than on human subjects. All testing must go through rigorous laboratory trials before it can be done on humans to make sure that it is safe.

Laboratory studies on green tea have shown immense benefits of green tea as a cancer-fighting agent, particularly the high levels of EGCG that it contains. Everything from killing cancer cells to shrinking tumors points to its enormous capacities. There seems to be no contest regarding its potency and its use in anti-cancer treatments and therapies. But as always, there is a catch.

It’s not entirely foolproof. Shutterstock

But Human Trials Are Less Clear

Studies done outside of the laboratory, on human subjects, are less clear-cut about green tea’s abilities as an anti-cancer agent. There could be many explanations for this discrepancy, such as the compounds in green tea interacting with cancer drugs or the concentrations in laboratory studies being much higher than in human studies (after all, you can only drink so much green tea).

So as of right now, bodies like Cancer Research UK and the American Cancer Association do not take a stance as to whether or not someone should drink green tea as part of an anti-cancer regimen. There isn’t enough research yet for them to issue an authoritative, conclusive opinion.

But it can still be beneficial for the rest of the body. Shutterstock

Green Tea Can Still Be Highly Beneficial In Cancer Prevention And Treatment

The lack of consensus on human trials and the ambivalence of the American Cancer Association and Cancer Research UK does not mean that green tea cannot help prevent or treat cancer. It can still have immense value, especially when part of a broader regimen that includes eliminating sugar and dramatically reducing meat consumption, along with a higher intake of plant-based foods.

Green tea can be great for preventing cancer and as part of an alternative treatment plan for people who have cancer, but not if it is consumed with large amounts of sugar and a mostly unhealthy diet. Drinking green tea is not an excuse for an overall poor diet.

Help your leukocytes get ahead of the game. Shutterstock

It Can Help Boost The Immune System

Cancer ravages the body to the point that people suffering from it find that their overall functioning is dramatically weakened. They may have a poor appetite, weaker muscles, and brain fog, along with an immune system that has been pulverized.

With all of the body’s resources being used to fight cancer, little is left for the immune system. As a result, people fighting cancer tend to easily fall prey to simple infections that they would ordinarily be able to fight off. While green tea may not directly benefit the immune system (though it might), it can help the body’s overall fight against infections that can quickly become overwhelming.

Try smaller cups of green tea if you’re not a big fan of the flavor. Shutterstock

It Can Help Improve Overall Health And Restore Optimal Functioning

If having cancer wasn’t enough to reduce the body’s ability to function, cancer treatments can be overwhelming. Going through radiation and chemotherapy can leave people both physically and emotionally drained, and some die from the treatment rather than from cancer itself.

Drinking green tea as part of a healthy lifestyle that is designed to build the body’s functioning back up can be of astonishing benefit. It will neutralize the free radicals that can become overwhelming and cause even more damage to the body. It will also help clear the brain fog that comes with cancer and help boost the person’s mood.

Powdered matcha can be added to anything these days. Shutterstock

Make Green Tea Part Of A Holistic Anti-Cancer Lifestyle

The less-than-stellar success of green tea as an anti-cancer agent in human trials seems disheartening, but it shouldn’t be. Green tea can be a crucial part of a holistic lifestyle that is designed to prevent cancer or treat it through alternative means. A holistic lifestyle of health and well-being must include regular exercise and healthy foods.

Drinking green tea while eating hamburgers and chili cheese fries is a bit self-defeating. But green tea with fresh-squeezed vegetable juice and a plant-based meal will have multiplied benefits and help make sure that you either don’t have cancer or that you will win the fight against it.

Promote brain health. Shutterstock

Green Tea Reduces The Risk Of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Odds are that someone you know either has Alzheimer’s or died from the disease. Alzheimer’s is caused by a build-up of amyloid plaque in the brain, which prevents neurons from sending messages to each other and ultimately causes the neurons to decay and die. The result is memory loss, to the extent that the sufferer loses the ability to perform daily tasks, including getting dressed and bathing.

Another neurodegenerative disease is Parkinson’s, a condition in which neurons that control dopamine production die. The result is a loss of muscle control, so the person eventually starts using a wheelchair. But drinking green tea has been consistently shown to reduce someone’s chances of developing a neurodegenerative condition.

Alzheimer’s is more than just forgetting things. Shutterstock

Green Tea Can Prevent Alzheimer’s

An alarmingly high number of people are developing Alzheimer’s disease, and many are concerned about what they can do now to prevent it from developing in the future. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing it, but they can reduce their chances or delay its onset until later in life. The key to preventing Alzheimer’s is green tea.

This is because the compounds in green tea protect the brain and help prevent the development of the amyloid plaques that cause Alzheimer’s. Additionally, the catechins in it help improve the flow of blood within the brain, which helps keep it clear of toxins and other damaging elements.

Keep your memory sharp with green tea. Shutterstock

Green Tea Actually Improves Memory Function

One study in Switzerland used MRI scans of people’s brains to determine how green tea might affect brain function. What the researchers found was that among participants who drank green tea, there was much more activity in the brain associated with memory. More studies are necessary to confirm results, but what seems to be clear is that green tea can significantly help with memory.

The jury is out as to how much the memory-processing part of the brain is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s. But there is no question that activities and diets that promote memory are beneficial for people who already have Alzheimer’s and can improve their overall quality of life.

You may not notice the difference, but it’s working. Shutterstock

It Organizes The Brain’s “Memory Lines” More Efficiently

Connectivity in the brain is organized along a default pattern that researchers know as the default mode network or DMN. The DMN connects different parts of the brain, such as the memory center, to other regions. It is involved in processes that range from moral reasoning, how we imagine the future, empathy, and the sense of self.

The symmetry between the brain hemispheres along the DMN helps with memory retention and even reduces aging. And MRI studies have shown that green tea helps to organize the memory lines within the DMN more efficiently so that overall brain function is improved. In other words, the brains of people who drink green tea are more efficient and less aged.

A healthier way to manage your brain and body. Shutterstock

These Benefits May Be Synergistic With A Holistic Lifestyle

There still needs to be a lot more research done in terms of how much green tea consumption is the causative factor in stronger brain functioning. What could be the case is that people who drink green tea are more social, and they drink much green tea when they are around other people. And indeed, being social has its benefits on brain health.

The jury is out on just how much green tea is responsible for the improved brain health of people who drink it. But what is conclusive that, as part of a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, regular social engagement, and unprocessed food, green tea can improve many, many aspects of health and well-being.

Sources:

31 Types of Tea: Profiles, Potential Benefits, Side Effects, by Michael Joseph. Nutrition Advance. October 29, 2019.

Are There Health Benefits to Drinking Green Tea? by Mahammad Juber. WebMD.

10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea, by Kris Gunners. Healthline. January 17, 2018.

Could drinking tea boost brain connectivity? by Tim Newman. Medical News Today. September 16, 2019.

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