I like getting cozy with a mug of tea on cold days and these days, it's widely accepted that tea — especially green tea — is good for you. But do you know why? Take my quiz to find out . . .Take the Quiz
Riddle me this: what helps protect the eyes, guards the heart, boosts metabolism, and fights cancer? Why green tea, of course! As if sipping on the tasty drink weren't enough, the reasons to include it in your diet seem to keep piling up. But before you go guzzling your next cup, consider adding a splash of lemon juice.
According to some studies, adding a splash of citrus juice (lemon is optimal) to your green tea can help maximize the effectiveness of the catechins, a powerful antioxidant, in the drink. When lemon juice is included in the mix, the cancer-fighting catechins are five times more likely to survive the digestive process and work their magic. If the yellow fruit isn't your cup of tea (pun intended), try orange, lime (here's a recipe for a green tea lime cooler), or grapefruit. So go ahead and give your next batch of tea a super squeeze.
The term superfood is no joke, especially when it comes to green tea. Besides a little caffeine boost, antioxidant-rich green tea also protects the skin, cuts cancer risk, and delays the aging process. A new study reveals that green tea may also protect the eyes. Talk about an overachiever.
The study found that the catechins in green tea can penetrate eye tissue, spreading antioxidant love to the peepers. Using lab rats, researchers measured eye tissue for catechin absorption after feeding them green tea extract. They found that certain areas of the eye — like the retina — absorbed more catechins than other areas. The area with the least absorption was the cornea. In total, catechins were detected in the eye area for 20 hours.
This is a big break for researchers because it suggests that green tea might help protect from a variety of eye diseases like glaucoma. Just another reason to justify a mid-afternoon tea break!
I know the word catechins sounds like a furry underwater sea anemone, but it's actually a type of flavonoid, which are compounds known for their antioxidant properties. Soy products, wine, citrus fruits, and tea are great sources of flavonoids. They're big in the health world because they're believed to help lower cholesterol, prevent cataracts, and have anti-cancer abilities. Catechins have been linked to a reduced risk of stroke, heart failure, cancer, and diabetes. When combined with regular exercise, catechins have also been shown to delay some forms of aging. This healthy compound can be found in green tea, black tea, Oolong tea, beans, grapes, apricots, apples, red wine, and chocolate. So be sure to include these in your diet. And don't forget to exercise, either.