Good news for the 170 million people worldwide who have hepatitis C—help might be a cup of green tea away. A flavonoid found in the potent beverage inhibits the hepatitis C virus from entering liver cells, a new study in the journal Hepatology found. That’s particularly helpful for the many patients who don’t respond to standard treatment, as well as people undergoing liver transplants because of the disease, who have a high risk of being reinfected.
And that’s just the latest in a long list of the drink’s benefits. Put the kettle on now, and check out a few ways green tea helps your health. Green tea can:
1. Bring down your heart disease and cancer risk. Green tea’s powerful antioxidants have been found to reduce lung cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, stroke and heart attack risks. To add an extra boost, squeeze in a lemon — the vitamin C helps your body absorb more of the antioxidants.
2. Lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Three cups a day gives you the antioxidants you need to bring down these numbers.
3. Help you lose weight faster. Drink a cup before your workout and you might boost your fat burn. Studies suggest that the caffeine frees fatty acids so you can burn fat more easily. The tea’s antioxidants might also work together with the caffeine to help you burn more calories.
4. Prevent arthritis. Imbibing green tea daily might help keep your joints healthy, preliminary research suggests.
5. Keep allergies at bay. Japanese researchers found that the compound EGCG (the same one that might fight hepatitis C) found in green tea may help stop your body from reacting to allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust.