Green tea is packed full of antioxidants. But do you also know the health benefits of green tea earned it a spot on the American Institute for Cancer Research’s (AICR’s) list of Foods That Fight Cancer?
According to the AICR, “In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells. Other studies involving green tea have shown similar protective effects in tissues of the lung, skin and digestive tract.”
So what makes green tea so special?
Green tea contains polyphenols and flavonoid––both of which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are the “chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing them from causing damage.”
Free radicals are what we might consider the bad guys. They are “highly reactive chemicals” that––in high concentrations––can damage your cells, cell membranes, proteins, and your DNA. In turn, they could cause the the development of cancer and other health conditions.
You can be exposed to high concentrations of free radicals with long sun exposure and smoking (both first- and second-hand smoking). That’s why you always hear doctors urging you to wear sunscreen and stop smoking; they are the best ways to prevent high concentrations of free radicals.
A third best way? Drinking green tea.
According to the AICR, “one class of flavonoids called catechins has recently become the focus of widespread study for their anti-cancer potential. Tea is the best source of catechins in the human diet, and green tea contains about three times the quantity of catechins found in black tea.”
Spice Up the Green Tea!
If you’re boring like me, than drinking green tea straight is fine with you. I usually make a big batch at the beginning of every week, let it cool to room temperature, then dump it in a pitcher and stick it in the fridge. No fuss.
But if you need a little more excitement, here are a few ways you can spice it up. Try one of these this summer and let us know how it goes!
Honey Mint Green Iced Tea
This summer ready recipe by Will Cook For Smiles is easy to make and adds honey to sweeten the drink. I live by the motto I’d rather eat my calories than drink them, so when I made this recipe, I only used 2 tablespoons of honey. The result was just enough sweetness to balance the bitter taste of green tea.
Apple Infused Iced Green Tea
This recipe from According to Laura Jean is categorized as good for the fall, but I think it’s perfect for the summer as well. The natural sweetness of the apples balances the green tea, and adds another delicious dimension to this drink.
Blackberry Mint Iced Green Tea
Not only does this beverage by Joy Love Food look like the perfect summer beverage, it tastes like it, too! The blackberries and dash of honey add a completely new punch to green tea that’s both unexpected and refreshing.
Do you have any favorite green tea recipes you can’t do without? Share them in the comments!