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