The steady stream of good news about green tea is getting so hard to ignore that even java junkies are beginning to sip mugs of the deceptively delicate brew. You'd think the daily dose of disease-fighting, inflammation-squelching antioxidants - long linked with heart protection - would be enough incentive, but wait, there's more! Lots more.
CUT YOUR CANCER RISK - several polyphenols - the potent antioxidants green tea's famous for seem to help keep cancer cells from gaining a foothold in the body, by discouraging their growth and then squelching the creation of new blood vessels that tumors need to thrive. Study after study has found that people who regularly drink green tea reduce their risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, and/or prostate cancer.
SOOTHE YOUR SKIN - Got a cut, scrape, or bite, and a little leftover green tea? Soak a cotton pad in it. The tea is a natural antiseptic that relieves itching and swelling. Try it on inflamed breakouts and blemishes, sunburns, even puffy eyelids. And that's not all. In the lab, green tea helps block sun-triggered skin cancer, whether you drink it or apply it directly to the skin - which is why you're seeing green tea in more and more sunscreens and moisturizers.
STEADY YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE - Having healthy blood pressure - meaning below 120/80 - is one thing. Keeping it that way is quite another. But people who sip just half a cup a day are almost 50 percent less likely to wind up with hypertension than non-drinkers. Credit goes to the polyphenols again (especially one known as ECGC). They help keep blood vessels from contracting and raising blood pressure.
PROTECT YOUR MEMORY, OR YOUR MOM'S - Green tea may also keep the brain from turning fuzzy. Getting-up-there adults who drink at least two cups a day are half as likely to develop cognitive problems as those who drink less. Why? It appears that the tea's big dose of antioxidants fights the free-radical damage to brain nerves seen in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.