Green tea is the second most popular beverage in the world, second only to water, and has been consumed for at least 5,000 years, according to the University of Maryland. Add some citrus, such as lemon or lime juice, and you’ll make one of the world’s healthiest beverages even healthier.
If you’re trying to kick the caffeine habit, but still need some to get going in the morning, green tea with citrus can help. Citrus juice does not have caffeine, and green tea has less caffeine than other caffeinated beverages. A 6 oz. cup of green tea has 36 mg of caffeine, and a can of cola-style soda has 38 mg and a cup of coffee has 71 mg, according to USDA figures quoted by “Good Housekeeping” magazine.
Vitamin C helps your body create healthy bone, cartilage and muscle tissue, as well as helping you absorb iron from food, reports the Mayo Clinic. Three lemon wedges provide 12 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, according to the Fat Secret food and nutrition database.
Green tea can help keep your heart healthy. People who drink three cups of green or black tea a day cut their risk of heart attack by 11 percent, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The university also reports that green tea lowers total cholesterol levels while raising healthy HDL cholesterol levels, which also helps prevent heart problems.
Possible Cancer Protection
Cultures that consume large amounts of green tea have low rates of cancer, reports the University of Maryland. The university reports that while it is not currently known if there is a direct relationship between green tea consumption and cancer rates, emerging science suggests that the polyphenols in green tea might be toxic to cancer cells. Citrus helps, too. Flavinoids in citrus help protect against some forms of cancer, according to an article published in the August 2008 edition of the “Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.”
Green tea with citrus can help you keep your weight under control, especially if you drink it instead of sugar-sweetened coffee beverages. A cup of green tea has 2 calories, according to Fat Secret, while a popular latte from a national coffee chain has 150 calories. Also, some studies suggest that catechins, compounds naturally present in green tea, might help the body burn fat, reports the University of Maryland Medical Center.