You may have heard that Japan has the highest percentage of centenarians (people aged 100 or above) of any country in the world. Japan’s Health Ministry just released the latest figures, and there are more than 28,000 centenarians living there today. More than double the number here in the U.S. There are probably many reasons (including a diet high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids), but I find it intriguing that 80 percent of them drink green tea every day.

You’ve read about the healthful properties of green tea many times in ETR. For one thing, it’s high in polyphenols. These antioxidants help protect your cells from the “fire” of daily metabolism.

A new study of more than 40,000 Japanese men and women indicated that those who drink a lot of green tea do live longer. The research also revealed that green tea may protect against heart disease. And the more you drink, the better. Those who drank five or more cups a day had rates of heart disease 16 percent lower than those who drank only one cup a day – and their rates of death were 26 percent lower.

I usually prefer tea made from the whole herb – but if you don’t like to drink it, green tea extract is available at most health food stores. I recommend 500 mg to 700 mg daily. (Check the label before you buy to make sure it has the antioxidant EGCG, which is 25 to 100 times more powerful than vitamins E and C.) But remember … green tea has a moderate amount of caffeine.

(Source: Reuters)

[Ed. Note: There’s a list of Dr. Sears’ preferred antioxidants – and how to use them – in his book The Doctor’s Heart Cure.]

Al Sears has written six books and more than 500 articles in the fields of alternative medicine, anti-aging and nutritional supplementation. He enjoys a worldwide readership of millions spread over 123 countries and has appeared on more than 50 national radio programs, ABC News, CNN and ESPN. In The Doctor’s Heart Cure, Dr. Sears exposes the real causes of the modern epidemic of heart disease with practical how-to advice for building real heart strength and resistance to disease without drugs. It is available in nine languages and remains a bestseller three years after its publication. His 12 Secrets to Virility sheds light on the huge environmental and nutritional problems with virility in our modern world and gives men a step-by step guide for maintaining health, strength and masculinity as they age. It became a bestseller during its first month of release. His latest book Your Best Health Under the Sun addresses the myths of the sun’s dangers and gives readers an action plan for restoring this important natural resource for better mood, strength, energy and nutritional health.Dr. Sears is board certified as a Clinical Nutrition Specialist and was appointed to the international panel of experts at Health Sciences Institute, (HSI) a worldwide information service for alternative nutritional therapies. A master gardener and herbalist, Dr. Sears maintains an herbal apothecary of more than 250 organic herbs used for research, education and treatments. Dr. Sears is the founder and director of The Wellness Research Foundation, conducting original research evaluating natural alternatives to pharmaceutical therapies.Dr. Sears is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is board certified in Anti-Aging Medicine. As a pioneer in this new field of medicine, he is an avid researcher and sought-after lecturer to thousands of doctors and health enthusiasts. He is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. As well as being a sports and fitness coach and a lifelong advocate of exercise programs, Dr. Sears is an ACE-certified fitness trainer. He maintains his integrative clinic and research center in Florida, where he has developed novel exercise and nutritional systems transforming the lives of more than 20,000 patients.