It’s not just the green tea, but a bunch of other elements along with the green tea, that seem to be helping Japanese green tea drinkers have longer lives, according to a study in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association.
While there’s a link between green tea and long life, things aren’t really cause and effect, Mark Schrimsher, the head of CalorieLab, Inc., told JAMA.
“Green tea is a traditional beverage, and consumption is highest among Japanese of normal weight who otherwise eat a traditional Japanese diet of fish, rice, tofu, miso, fruit, and vegetables,” says Mr. Schrimsher, who has lived in Japan. He added that those Japanese who don’t eat as “well” – downing beef, bread, candy and fried foods – face shorter lives.
“No food or beverage, on its own, will increase your life span or reduce your risk of developing a chronic disease,” said Susan McQuillan, a registered dietitian. “You’re not likely to see any health benefits from drinking green tea unless it’s part of an overall healthy lifestyle that includes smart diet choices, reduced stress, and enough exercise to help keep you fit.”