March 8, 2009

The Super Powers of Green Tea

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1:30 PM, 4:30 PM, 6:30 PM, 9:30 PM. I dig through my bottomless pit of a snack drawer and yank out a small bag filled with super powers. I pull out a mug with a picture of my puppy plastered on its side and fill it to the brim with steaming hot water. When I drop the little bag into the mug, a burst of bright green diffuses throughout. A small drizzle of honey and I’m good to go.

When I sip the rejuvenating liquid, I don’t exactly grow a pair of wings or suddenly gain x-ray vision but the health benefits of green tea seem to be quite magical. Packed with powerful antioxidants called catechins, green tea is said to attack cancer-causing free radicals and increase the production of enzymes responsible for a healthy immune system. In addition, recent studies produced results suggesting that catechins may enhance the power of antibiotics up to thirty percent and reverse some of the effects of antibiotic resistance. The antimicrobial aspect of green tea was also analyzed and produced promising results. During a study conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, a reduction of the bacteria Bacillus cereus was observed and was attributed to the consumption of green tea. Dr. Andrew Weil suggests pairing the robust, yet delicate flavors of green tea with citrus. He states, “a new study indicates that adding citrus juice or vitamin C can significantly boost the bioavailability of those compounds, which have been linked to lowered cancer risk as well as improved heart and brain health.”

These impressive new studies have significantly contributed to my overzealous tea-drinking tendencies. With my avid tea-loving roommate at my side, I will continue to relish in the miraculous power of green tea!