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The Skinny On: Green Tea

Green Tea is so good for you. But do you have any idea why?

The reason lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. HUH? Basically EGCG is a powerful antioxidant that lowers LDL cholesterol levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots. Ahhh... but there is more.

Drink it to keep your mind sharp. A 2006 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that elderly Japanese people who drank more than 2 cups of green tea per day had a 50% lower chance of having cognitive impairment than those who drank less or who consumed other tested beverages.

For another reason to drink green tea

Drink it if you smoke, though if you smoke you should ultimately quit. In May 2006, researchers at Yale University School of Medicine pointed to what they called an "Asian paradox," which refers to lower rates of heart disease and cancer in Asia despite high rates of cigarette smoking.

Fit's Tip: Stick to green tea if you are looking to tea for its health benefits because all teas are not created equal. Why? Well, green tea leaves are steamed, which allows the EGCG to be preserved. Most other tea leaves are fermented and the fermentation process destroys the EGCG.

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