Top 5 Benefits of Green Tea
New research suggests the highly-touted benefits of the anti-inflammatory/anti-oxidant compound, EGCG, from green tea, may be neutralized by consuming iron-rich foods at the same time. That’s because iron from foods such as dark green leafy vegetables and red meat binds with the EGCG molecule, rendering it incapable of providing any additional antioxidant benefits in the body. Spinach and kale are examples of iron-rich, dark green leafy vegetables.
To get the most benefit from green tea drinking, it may be wise to drink the beverage between meals, or to eat foods that are naturally low in iron if green tea will accompany the meal. "If you drink green tea after an iron-rich meal, the main compound in the tea will bind to the iron," said Matam Vijay-Kumar, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, Penn State. "When that occurs, the green tea loses its potential as an antioxidant. In order to get the benefits of green tea, it may be best to not consume it with iron-rich foods.”
Of course, the advice also applies to women taking iron supplements. Some women are prescribed these supplements during pregnancy or to counteract anemia associated with low dietary iron. The advice also applies to people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Many patients with this condition drink green tea to help reduce the inflammation in the gut that is a hallmark of the disease. They also frequently require iron supplementation, as their condition is often linked to poor nutrient absorption.
"It is important that IBD patients who take both iron supplements and green tea know how one nutrient affects the other," Vijay-Kumar said. "The information from the study could be helpful for both people who enjoy green tea and drink it for its general benefits, as well as people who use it specifically to treat illnesses and conditions."
"The benefit of green tea depends on the bioavailability of its active components," said Beng San Yeoh, graduate student in immunology and infectious diseases and first author of the study. "It is not only a matter of what we eat, but also when we eat and what else we eat with it.”
Top 5 benefits of green tea:
1) green tea is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants
2) green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials
3) green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer
4) green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight
5) Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels