Drinking green tea is a healthy habit

Water pouring over a cup of green tea leaves

March 7, 2024 — Green tea is an ancient drink that has developed a reputation as a superfood in recent years. Experts weighed in on its potential health benefits in a March 1 Today article.

Both green and black tea come from the same plant, but their leaves are processed differently. Green tea does not undergo oxidation like black tea does, which better preserves the plant’s healthful antioxidants, Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in the article.

Tea contains polyphenols, a type of antioxidant linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The dominant polyphenols in green tea, called catechins, may reduce risk of some types of cancer, although evidence is limited.

Fung said that green tea may help reduce blood sugar, and surprisingly, help prevent tooth decay as it naturally contains fluoride. It does not, however, meaningfully help with weight loss, she said.

Fung recommends drinking at least three cups a day of green tea—preferably plain, or with some lemon or honey. There are green tea extract supplements, but it’s more enjoyable to slow down and savor a cup, she noted.

Drinking green tea is a healthy habit, especially if it’s a replacement for sugary beverages, Fung said. “You’re drinking fluids, and when we are getting our fluids from tea, hopefully we are not getting it from soda.”

Read the Today article: Is green tea good for you? Drinking it every day can provide these health benefits

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