Green tea is hailed worldwide for its health benefits. "There's a lot of research on green tea because there are some phytochemicals, some antioxidants," says Dr. Fatma Huffman, head of Florida International University's dietetics and nutrition department. Like many of our super foods, it is rich in antioxidants, but what sets it apart is its concentration of epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG.
- EGCG: This potent antioxidant has been shown to prevent cardiovascular disease and can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. "It's very good for blood flow in general and any condition that's related to having good flow," says Rebecca Berman, a registered dietitian and licensed nutritionist at Palm Beach Dietetics.
- Catechins: These polyphenols, the most potent of which is EGCG, may be relevant to cancer prevention, according to the National Cancer Institute.
Drink it Because
Green tea has been used to prevent cancers including breast, stomach and skin, according to the National Institutes of Health. If you have a genetic predisposition for these cancers, consider incorporating green tea into your daily diet.
Try This: Matcha Smoothie, from Bee Organics
Matcha is the fine powder form of green tea and can be used in a variety of recipes. It holds the same antioxidant health benefits as green tea, and a little bit goes a long way.
- 1/2 banana
- 3 small dates
- 1 tsp. matcha
- 1/4 cup pineapple
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- Place all ingredients in blender and pulsate until desired texture is achieved.