There have been a plethora of health crazes over the past few years touting super foods and specialized diets promising to make us stronger, fitter and younger human beings. Green tea has been purported to prevent anything from Cancer to Alzheimer’s to infertility. While studies on green tea have shown promising results, it’s important to take in mind it’s over marketing as an ingredient in consumer food products. As far as green tea is concerned, there are limits as to it’s effectiveness as a dietary supplement.
Never drink green tea that has been sitting over night: Unlike other teas that can be stored as a cool beverage for later consumption, green tea should be consumed shortly after being brewed unless properly stored so as to inhibit oxidation. Green tea is a known antioxidant. Because of this it can easily oxidize and lose its effectiveness leaving behind harsh tannins. Tannins are often bitter and if green tea is consumed too late, it can cause some mild to severe intestinal distress. If the tea has since become very bitter, It is better to put on another pot and start over.
Drink it in as close to it’s natural state as possible: Many commercial brands attempt to get on the green tea band wagon by infusing a less than significant amount of green tea into their beverages. Lipton promotes a green tea beverage that in actually contains more sweetening agents, preservatives and flavoring agents than the actual green tea leaf, thus rendering any potential health benefits a fairly moot point. Bottled green tea should be somewhat dark, mildly bitter and preferably not sweetened in any way to gain the most health benefits.
EGCG is known to counteract drugs and treatments for certain cancers: Some people undergoing aggressive treatment for blood disorders such as multiple myeloma or some forms of lymphoma are asked not to consume green tea for fear of decreasing the effect of their medication. Some studies show that EGCG may have some degree of cancer causing effects in some cases.
While green tea has shown promise as a potential wonder drug and cancer treatment, It is important not to go overboard. All substances can become toxic in high enough doses.In the meantime, continue to enjoy your beverage in moderation.