Green tea has long been eyed for possible health benefits, including its potential to decrease the risk of certain cancers, its antioxidant properties and its blood-pressure lowering effects. A new study suggests it could also help with the aging process, too.
Researchers from the Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine looked at the green tea-drinking habits of 14,000 older adults, ages 65 and older, for a three-year period, Reuters reported.
The researchers found that the ones who drank the most green tea over these tidy period were also the ones who functioned best in old age -- meaning they didn't have trouble with basic activities like bathing or dressing, according to Reuters. Seven percent of people who drank at least five cups of green tea a day had basic functioning problems, compared with 13 percent of people who drank a cup or less of green tea a day.
"Green tea consumption is significantly associated with a lower risk of incident functional disability, even after adjustment for possible confounding factors," researchers concluded in the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
However, the Daily Mail pointed out that the people who drank the most green tea in the study also had the healthier lifestyles, with diets full of vegetables and fish, low smoking rates and completion of higher education. They also had better social support systems, with more friends and family to lean on than people who drank the least green tea.
Researchers said the green tea effect still held true even after taking these things into account, though, the Daily Mail reported.
For more on the health benefits (and pitfalls) of other warm drinks, check out this slideshow with information from studies and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokeswoman Debbi Beauvais: