It turns out that drinking a cup of tea not only wards off the winter chills but can actually have numerous health benefits, as well. All kinds of tea contain a type of antioxidant known as polyphenols (in the case of tea, these polyphenols are reservatrol and flavanoids). It is also true that green tea has stronger concentrations of antioxidants than black tea – this is because green tea is processed for a shorter period of time, which preserves the antioxidants found in the tea leaves.

Based on the powerful health benefits of antioxidants, drinking green tea has been credited with reducing high blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, promoting weight loss, lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol, and lowering blood sugar levels which can reduce the risk of diabetes. Green tea has even been said to help reduce bad breath!

Reduce Cancer Risks By Drinking Green Tea
Several clinical studies are cited by the University of Maryland Medical Center which suggest that both green and black tea help protect against various forms of cancer. Women under the age of 50, who drink at least 3 cups of green tea per day, appear 37% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who do not drink tea. Of women who had already been diagnosed with breast cancer, green tea was more likely to slow the spread of the disease in women who were in the earliest stages of cancer.

A study of women with ovarian cancer showed that the women who lived the longest were the ones who drank the most tea. Green tea has been shown to have some positive effects for people with lung, pancreatic and prostate cancers, but more studies need to be done in these areas. It has also been determined that the properties of both green and black tea can cause cells to be less responsive to chemotherapy, meaning that people on chemotherapy should not drink green or black tea (or use extracts from these teas.)

Green Tea Can Lower The Risk of Heart Disease
An article published by the University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that both green and black tea can lower the risk of heart disease, particularly the risk of coronary artery disease. Population-based studies have shown that drinking tea can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levers. In fact, men drinking 3 cups of tea per day reduced their risk of heart disease by 11%.

Drinking Green Tea May Lower Cholesterol
There are research studies that support the fact that drinking green tea and increase the level of HDL (or good) cholesterol, while lowering total cholesterol. A small clinical study done with men who smoked indicated that green tea can significantly decrease the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol. The results of another study suggested that the polyphenols found in green tea work in the intestines to block cholesterol from being absorbed into the body.

Jump Start Your Weight Loss With Green Tea
While drinking green tea is not an entire weight loss plan by itself, it can contribute to increased weight loss. It is believed that the polyphenols, specifically the catechins, are responsible for the slight thermogenic effect produced by drinking green tea. Especially when combined with the caffeine in the tea, the polyphenols raise the body temperature just enough to boost the metabolism and speed up weight loss.

However, it should be noted that this thermogenic effect does not last very long and it is necessary to continue drinking green tea throughout the day to burn any significant number of calories.

Control Your Blood Sugar Level While Enjoying Green Tea
By regulating glucose on the body, green tea has been used to control blood sugar levels. Some studies have shown that green tea may even prevent the onset of Type One diabetes, and slow its progression after development.

Can Green Tea Even Reduce Bad Breath … and the Common Cold?
By now you may think that green tea is some kind of miracle supplement, as it can have a positive effect on virtually every physical condition suffered by humans. But did you know that the polyphenols found in green tea have also been shown to reduce the bacteria which cause bad breath?

A study reported on webmd showed that green tea extracts added to toothpaste virtually eliminated bacteria and fought off viruses. In a separate study, black tea (which does not contain antioxidants as strong as green tea) was able to reduce the bacteria which cause bad breath by 30%. Just think what the effects of green tea would be, given their stronger antioxidant properties.

A Few Cautionary Words About Green Tea
Tea is an herb, and like all naturally occurring substances, it can interact with other herbs, supplements and medications and trigger unwanted side effects. Any herbs should be taken with the supervision of a professional herbalist with knowledge of botanical medicine.

Because of the caffeine content present in green tea, people with heart problems, kidney problems, stomach ulcers, anxiety or other mood disorders should not drink green tea or take green tea extracts. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use green tea.

Otherwise, drink up and enjoy the health benefits of a couple of cups of green tea per day.