According to new scientific research by the Chinese University of Hong Kong, green tea may help to keep eyes healthy and ward of diseases like glaucoma. This is believed to be because green tea contains catechins – powerful antioxidants which provide a range of protective effects on the body1.
The scientists undertaking the research used rats to see if there was any effect in the eye after they were fed green tea. There was, and the study documented the catechins working their way into the eye tissue and being absorbed by the retina, lens and other parts of the eye; reducing the level of oxidative stress on the eye for 20 hours2.
Other conditions that green tea has been indicated for include; digestive complaints3, cardiovascular problems like abnormal blood clotting4, and certain types of cancer including oesophageal cancer5.
The catechins, or antioxidants, found in green tea are thought to have a positive effect on the body because they help to neutralize free radicals – particles which are known to cause cell damage and potentially even cancer6. Free radicals are unstable molecules which move around the body looking to steal an electron from healthy cells, in turn causing them to become free radicals too. Antioxidants roam the body looking for free radicals, and lend them an electron. This then stabilizes them and allows them to be passed harmlessly out of the body through urine7.
For these reasons, many people choose to drink green tea on a regular basis. For those who don’t like the taste, green tea capsules may be an ideal way to incorporate it into their diets.
?Sources 1 Relax, Sip & Enjoy (2005). Catechins. http://www.relaxsipenjoy.com/catechins_flavonoids_antioxidant_powers.aspx 2 HealthDay News (February 19, 2010). Green tea may ward off eye disease. http://www.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=636161 3 Astronutrition (2007). 5 Benefits of Green Tea. http://astronutrition.com/blog/5_benefits_green_tea 4 The world’s Healthiest Foods (2010). Green tea. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=146 5 Parkinson, R. (2009) Green Tea Health Benefits. http://chinesefood.about.com/library/weekly/aa011400a.htm 6 Hawkins, E et al (2007) Green tea. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm
7 Cancer.About.com (2009). Antioxidants and Cancer. http://cancer.about.com/od/alternativetreatments/a/antioxidants.htm