Next to water, tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. There are health benefits to drinking a variety of teas, and the more pure the leaf in your brew, the better. Green Tea leaves, which don’t go through an oxidation process, have the richest nutrient profile. Public health scientists report that people who drink at least four cups of green tea daily have a lower overall risk of cancer; additionally, pre- and post-menopausal women have a lower overall risk (or “lower overall incidence”) for breast cancer.
Green Tea contains powerful micro nutrients called polyphenols. One of these, known as EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), plays an important role in cancer prevention. Lab tests and animals studies show that EGCG inhibits an enzyme required for cancer cell growth. Purdue University researchers found “EGCG, in lab studies, was also able to kill active cancer cells with no ill effect on healthy cells.” These chemicals are powerful antioxidants with “scavenging” activity that can protect cells from damage.
Green Tea for health enhancement and cancer prevention is well established. However, there hasn’t been extensive research on the effect of tea and/or tea polyphenols in human cancer treatment. Scientists are pursuing clinical trials to determine the role of green tea consumption, as well as a dietary supplement of EGCG, in the treatment of different cancers.
To reap the health benefits of tea, drink pure, fresh hot or iced tea. The processing necessary to bottle tea for supermarket shelves actually degrades the quality and availability of nutrients.