There are numerous benefits that have been attributed to green tea over the years, including its ability to potentially improve concentration, fight obesity, and raise the metabolism. Similarly, the ancient Chinese martial art known as tai chi has been known to potentially help individuals fight inflammatory disease, lower the risk of developing osteoporosis, and improve mental clarity and relaxation. Researchers from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center decided to put the health benefits of green tea up against the benefits of tai chi, and see how they could work together in a study to improve overall health.
In this study, which measured the health benefits of green tea as well as tai chi in combination, the researchers evaluated a group of 170 postmenopausal women. When the experiment began, none of the participants had yet been diagnosed with full blown osteoporosis, although all of them showed some signs of weakening bones due to the aging process. There were assessments taken every three months, to see how the women’s bone strength was faring and what was happening in their bodies.
The study indicated that the polyphenols, one of the major sources of health benefits of green tea, helped to provide high levels of antioxidants to the women. This helped fight the damage caused by free radicals in the bones, leading to improved bone health and fewer indicators that there was any new bone damage. Tai chi alone also was shown to improve bone strength, by improving balance within the body and helping gradually build up strength in the legs and arms. However, the researchers also concluded that it was the combination of these two practices that enhanced the other.
By both drinking green tea as well as practicing tai chi, the sample group that was being tested showed a far greater level of benefits than those who simply did one or the other. The health benefits of green tea were enhanced by the physical activity that was required to perform tai chi, and as a result the women’s levels of oxidative stress were lower. In addition to the effects on bone health, however, it was also noted that the women who were practicing tai chi regularly also reported improvements in their mental health. They reported a greater sense of calm and clarity, both emotionally and physically.
Those who are interested in improving their postmenopausal health may benefit then from the combination of obtaining the health benefits of green tea along with the mental and physical balance of tai chi. The antioxidant levels in green tea are extremely high, which helps battle the aging process in general, through fighting free radicals. According to this study as well as others like it, the combination of both practices also will help to restore bone health and prevent the common fractures or other problems that may be associated with old age and changes in hormone levels over time.