We have been hearing a lot about the health benefits of green tea, and with over a decade of research the jury must be in with the verdict…
Does green tea have health benefits and is it really good for you? Read on to find the answer…
What is green tea? Most of the green tea is made using the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The Chinese are considered the first to grow it, and the usage spread all over the Far East. There are many varieties and they differ substantially from one another due to growing conditions, production processes and harvest time. There are numerous Chinese varieties, Japanese, Vietnamese and Sri Lankan. Usually the leaves are dried quickly either by steam or by dry cooking in hot pans. This way the oxidation is minimized and that is what gives the green tea its benefits.
The antioxidants that are found in abundance in green tea are substances that are known to scavenge free radicals in the blood. Free radicals can cause plaque in the arteries, and they can interfere in the normal operation of the brain causing dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
Many studies have been published in respectable medical magazines that looked at the benefits of green tea.
In 2006 a research at Yale University looked at about 100 such studies from around the world regarding the benefits of green tea, trying to understand what they called “The Asian Paradox”.
Why do Asian men, who smoke, have less heart problems and less cancer than non-smokers in the Western world?
They wanted to find if the average of 1.2 liters of green tea that is consumed by a person a day in that region provides high levels of Polyphenols and antioxidants to prevent plaque build-up in the arteries. The research which was published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons showed that there is a correlation between green tea and coagulation and decided to recommend that doctors tell their patients to avoid green tea before surgery. Green tea, the researchers said, may prevent the oxidation of the bad cholesterol, which can reduce to plague in the arteries.
In a study in Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, Tennessee, subjects were given pills of green tea extract, and a control group was given a placebo. After 12 weeks, people in the tea extract group had lowered their bad cholesterol by 11.3% to 16.4%, causing the researchers to conclude that green tea can help in reducing plaque and leads to heart attacks.
In 2007 a study performed at the Israel Institute of Technology showed that the main antioxidant in green tea, when was fed to mice with induced Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, prevented new brain cells from dying as well as reverse already damaged neurons.
A recent study at the University of Hong Kong found that the catechins (the main antioxidants) in green tea are absorbed by the lens, retina, and other parts of the eye. It reduced oxidative stress in the eye for some hours, suggesting that green tea might be useful in treating glaucoma.
There are also studies that aim to prove that green tea drinkers lose weight faster than those who didn’t drink the tea. A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than a control group which were given a placebo.
Green Tea Benefits Can Help Fight Those Conditions:
- lower the risk of certain cancers
- Ease pain of rheumatoid arthritis
- Stabilize cholesterol levels
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases
- Boost the immune system
- Promote weight lose
- Reduce tooth decay
- Slows the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease
- Helps the body fight allergies
- Helps fend off infections
- Reduces acne
- Slows the aging process and prevent wrinkles
With so many benefits attributed to green tea, people are asking for it more and more. Many restaurants have added it to their menus as an alternative to regular iced tea. Japanese restaurant serve hot or cold versions of the tea and green tea extracts can be found in pill forms in health food stores. Even soft drink companies have started using it in combination with other ingredients.
Replacing sweetened drinks with green tea can bring about many health benefits, and if it won’t help you lose weight, it might help your body fight intruders and the normal aging process.