BY: DUSTIN BATTY
At this point, green tea is practically considered a panacea, a cure-all with no limit to its health benefits. The University of Maryland Medical Center website says studies have shown that green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that help with a wide range of medical conditions.
Drinking green tea every day can help prevent heart disease and the hardening of arteries. Drinking it also lowers cholesterol and helps prevent the development of type 1 diabetes. It reduces the risk of liver disease and even reduces the effects that harmful substances like alcohol have on the liver. It has even been seen to reduce the chances of getting cancer and to slow the effects of a slew of cancers, including cancer of the bladder, breast, esophagus, lungs, ovaries, pancreas, prostate, skin and stomach.
According to Authority Nutrition, the benefits of drinking tea don’t stop there. They suggest that it can slow the aging process, improve brain functions and memory, helps burn fat, improve physical performance, lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and improve dental health.
And, of course, having a nice cup of tea after a long day is a good way to relax.
But these are just the ways in which green tea is beneficial to our health. According to a Science Daily article, the most recently discovered benefit of green tea does not involve drinking it. Instead, green tea is the ingredient that will make soft superconductors possible.
Soft superconductors are going to be an important element of the next generation of wearable electronics. Superconductors are essential because they provide a long-lasting source of energy; however, current superconductors are rigid and would be uncomfortable to wear. Attempts to create soft superconductors in the past have been unsuccessful, but an innovative team at the CSIR – National Chemical Laboratory in India decided to take an unconventional approach: they bathed polymer gels in a green tea extract.
The polymer gels became infused with the polyphenols of the green tea, the same antioxidant that makes the tea so medically beneficial. The polyphenols allowed the polymer to be uniformly coated with silver nanoparticles, to which “conducting gold and poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)” were added to make a superconductor. This process created a durable product that had enough power to “operate a heart monitor, LEDs or a Bluetooth module.”
This power output will only improve as the technology is further developed. Though you won’t see them in the food isles, the soft wearable electronics of the near future may well use green tea as a main ingredient.