In Okinawa, Japan, for example, Buettner watched one 104-year-old “make jasmine tea, squatting in the corner and pouring hot water over tea leaves as the room filled with a delicate, floral aroma.” Indeed, Okinawans call their tea shan-pien, or “tea with a bit of scent,” which combines green tea leaves, jasmine flowers and a bit of turmeric.
And, of course, science has plenty to say about the healthful virtues of green tea. Researchers are most smitten with catechins, antoxidants that show up in green tea, as well as foods like cocoa. Why might they help so many Okinawans break 100? Catechins and other compounds in green tea can lower the risk of stroke, heart disease and several cancers. One review study also found that drinking green tea slightly boosts metabolism.
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