28/01/2016 05:20 GMT | Updated 26/01/2017 05:12 GMT

Breast Cancer: Green Tea's Amazing Properties!

Have you ever wondered if there is anything you can drink to help prevent breast cancer? Well the latest research shows that there certainly is. Many studies have shown that green tea has amazing anti-cancer properties, which make it an ideal drink for anyone trying to live a healthy life.

A pleasant drink, it always reminds me of enjoyable evenings in Chinese restaurants. However, who would have thought that this light refreshing drink could be so protective of our health in so many ways? Tea has been a well-loved drink for thousands of years and green tea in particular is a favourite drink in the Far East.

But what is so special about green tea? Well, one review of studies looking at 74,000 women found that those who drank green tea regularly had a much lower risk of getting breast cancer than those who did not. This was an extremely valuable piece of research because it was a review of thirteen independent studies carried out in eight different countries.

How does Green Tea Work?

• It contains hundreds of plant chemicals called catechins. One of the most potent is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful antioxidant.

• Chemicals in green tea can stop tiny tumours or clusters of cells getting the blood supply they need to grow. In order to survive these cells need oxygen and nutrients just like any other living thing. To bring these to the site of the cancer cells they need to grow new blood vessels. This is called 'angiogenesis'. Green tea can help prevent this.

• Green tea can also help lower oestrogen. This is important as 70% of breast cancers are oestrogen positive and this hormone causes them to grow and proliferate.

• After the menopause, women do not produce oestrogen from their ovaries. However, the body can still get oestrogen by converting male hormones. Studies have shown that green tea can stop this happening to some extent.

• Green tea can help reduce inflammation, which is an important cause of many conditions including breast cancer.

How to Use Green Tea

It should be brewed for more than just a few minutes, eight to ten would be best. Try to buy organic green tea, as some non-organic varieties have been found to contain DDT, which is an oestrogenic pesticide. If you really don't like it, capsules of concentrated tea are available.

Strangely enough adding turmeric to green tea can also make its anticancer properties more powerful. This gives us the benefit of synergy where two anti-cancer foods taken together dramatically increase the value of each other. So both become more than the sum of their parts. Similarly adding lemon can also make your tea more potent.

Traditional cultures have done this for thousands of years. Adding lemon to tea has been done for centuries and Asian children were often given tea with added turmeric when ill.

So after reading this why not sit down and relax with a nice cup of green tea and when you do think about all the good it's doing you?

Relax and Enjoy!

Incidentally, green tea is just one example of the hundreds of foods that contain anti-cancer properties. Keep watching this site for more!

Hilda Glickman is a lecturer at the Open University and author of the new bestselling book, Take Breast Cancer off Your Menu, How to Prevent Breast Cancer or Stop it Returning, New Evidence Reveals Amazing Protector Foods