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Green tea, one of the world's most widely consumed beverages, is a delicious source of antioxidants and other phytonutrients, making it easy to obtain the 2 to 3 cups per day recommended for optimal intake of its health-giving polyphenols. With lemon and honey, a classic blending of complementary flavors, green tea can be a soothing hot beverage or an energizing iced refreshment. The combination also offers particular health benefits.
Green Tea Antioxidant and Weight-Loss Benefits
Green tea's high content of powerful flavonoid antioxidants, in particular, epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, provides numerous potential health benefits, including cancer and heart disease prevention, notes Harvard Health Publications. This beverage also offers weight-loss benefits, according to a study published in the February 2013 "Journal of Medicinal Food." Participants who consumed green tea daily for four weeks and participated in a program of weight training showed significantly increased lean body mass and resting metabolic rate - a measure of how many calories your body burns while at rest - compared to a control group that exercised but did not drink green tea.
Green Tea With Lemon Benefits
Drinking green tea with lemon improves the health benefits of the tea, according to researchers at Purdue University. Citrus juice brings out green tea's antioxidants, making them more available for your body to absorb. Catechins, which prefer the acid environment of the stomach, become degraded in the more alkaline conditions of the small and large intestine, where nutrient absorption takes place. Lemon juice can increase the amount of catechins your body extracts from green tea by up to six times. While compounds in tea can inhibit iron absorption from foods in your diet, drinking your green tea with lemon reduces that effect.
Lemon provides a range of important nutrients, including phenolic antioxidants vitamin C and carotenes - antioxidants in the vitamin A family. Herbalists and traditional medicine practitioners recommend lemon as a diuretic - a substances that promotes urine production - and as a remedy for gingivitis, or inflamed gums. Together with honey, lemon juice is used as a folk remedy for treating colds. Essential oils in lemon offer antimicrobial benefits.
A rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, honey provides magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, copper and zinc as well as vitamins A, B-complex and C. Choose darker-hued honey for higher antioxidant content, advises the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Green tea with honey and lemon may also improve cold symptoms. Honey reduced nighttime coughing in children in a study published in a 2014 issue of "Canadian Family Physician." The researchers found that just a single dose of honey was enough to relieve discomfort and soothe a cough. However, if you have a prolonged or serious cough, you should consult a doctor.