Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world behind water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green. Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer.
All types of tea except herbal tea are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush.
The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is (apparently) due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process. The level of oxidation of the leaves determines the type of tea. Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial poly-phenols. As a result, green tea retains maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols the substances that give green tea its many benefits.
Some health benefits of GREEN TEA are listed below :
- Improves BRAIN function : The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant . What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters. Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory .Green tea also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier.
- Fight against CANCER : According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumorgrowth in laboratory. One large-scale clinical study compared green tea drinkers with non-drinkers and found that those who drank the most tea were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer , particularly women, who were 50% less likely to develop the disease. Studies have also shown the positive impacts of green tea on breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, prostate, skin and stomach cancer.
- Prevents Heart disease : A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease. The study followed over 40,000 Japanese participants between the ages of 40 and 79 for 11 years, starting in 1994. The participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a significantly lower risk of dying (especially from cardiovascular disease) than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day.
- Helps in better EYESIGHT : The antioxidants found in green tea can actually penetrate the tissues of the eyes and produce antioxidant activity. Catechins, an antioxidant in green tea, are capable of being absorbed into the tissues of the eye. A 2001 study published in the journal Experimental Eye Research found green tea can actually prevent cataract-induced blindness. Researchers saw different parts of the eye absorbed varying amounts of catechins, with the highest concentration of this antioxidant found in the retina of lab rats fed green tea extract. The area with the least absorption of catechins was the cornea. These findings suggest that drinking green tea could serve as a protective measure when it comes to eyesight, but its effects have yet to be confirmed in humans.
- GOOD FOR TEETH and GUMS : It is misbelief that drinking green tea can stain teeth. The hot beverage contains tannic acid, which is what gives tea its dark-like color. However, the consumption of green tea can actually be beneficial when it comes to your oral health. Regularly drinking green tea reduced symptoms of periodontal disease, possibly due to the presence of catechin. Catechin reduces inflammation in the body, and therefore, interferes with the body’s inflammatory response to periodontal bacteria. Its ability to control bacteria and lower the acidity of saliva and dental plaque makes it useful for preventing cavities and other indicators of poor oral health.
- Helps in REDUCING WEIGHT : Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials . In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4% . Another study showed that fat oxidation wasincreased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat .
- Helps to fight DIABETES : Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
- SKINCARE : Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
- Lowers CHOLESTROL Level : Research shows that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL (“good”) cholesterol in both animals and people. One population-based clinical study found that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not drink green tea. Results from one animal study suggest that polyphenols in green tea may block cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestine and also help the body get rid of cholesterol. In another small study of male smokers, researchers found that green tea significantly reduced blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.
There are little to no known side effects or contraindications to drinking green tea for adults. Those with severe caffeine sensitivities could experience insomnia , anxiety, irritability, nausea or upset stomach.
Those taking anticoagulant drugs such as Coumadin/warfarin should drink green tea with caution due to its vitamin K content.
If taken with stimulant drugs, green tea could possibly increase blood pressure and heart rate.
Green tea supplements however, contain high levels of active substances that can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, or medications. Green tea supplements are unregulated by the FDA and may also contain other substances unsafe for health or with unproven health benefits. Always check with a physician before starting any herb or supplement regimen.
In particular, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those with heart problems or high blood pressure , kidney or liver problems, stomach ulcers, or anxiety disorders should not take green tea supplements or extracts.
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