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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Green Tea: Good for Body and Soul

Tea has always had a special place in our hearts. And as any tea drinker will tell you, it does indeed relax and calm the spirit. Take it from author C.S. Lewis, who once said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."

New research suggests green tea in particular may have an even more special place in our hearts. It may actually help relax your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for heart disease and clots. When your arteries are more relaxed, blood flow increases, which reduces the risk for cardiac disease.

Healthy subjects were given 6 grams of green tea (the equivalent of about three to four cups of brewed tea), another caffeinated beverage or hot water. Arterial blood flow was measured 30, 60 and 120 minutes later. People who drank the green tea showed increased arterial blood flow compared to the other two groups. Even more impressive was that the heart-healthy benefits lasted up to two weeks for those who drank green tea daily.
In addition to its influence on heart health, green tea is rich in potent antioxidants called polyphenols. Research suggests polyphenols help reduce the risk of breast, stomach, colon, prostate and other cancers. Green tea also is a natural antiseptic and skin protector; applied to the skin, it helps relieve itching, swelling, sunburns and even puffy eyelids.
So brew yourself a pot of green tea, settle down with your favorite book, and relax your body and soul.

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