Health Benefits of Green Tea

  • Sumi Mathai
  • | December 09,2016
  • | All Articles/

Health Benefits of Green Tea

 

Embrace your green tea and here’s why

One drink. Innumerable benefits. That’s green tea for you. It’s that best friend you should have and should be hanging out more with if you are planning to lead a healthy life.
Green tea has been around for for a long time now, offering to make our lives better and healthier.

So what exactly is green tea?

Did you know green tea is made from the same plant that also gives us the normal tea? The plant is called Camellia Sinensis. Green tea is made by drying or slightly steaming the tea leaves whereas normal black tea is made by fermenting the leaves. This fermentation changes its color and flavor, while raising the level of caffeine and tannin in it.

Why does the world love green tea?

Green tea comes with many health benefits ranging from life-affirming to life saving. Studies show that green tea is helpful in the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart problems, cardiovascular diseases, high cholesterol levels, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, tooth decay, and many others.

So, what are the magical ingredients in green tea that make it all possible?

Along with caffeine, which gives green tea its characteristic taste, bitterness and stimulating effect, green tea is also rich in a group of chemicals, called Catechin Polyphenols (Commonly known as Tannins, which contribute to bitter taste and astringency). These Catechin Polyphenols include Catechin, Epicatechin, Epicatechin Gallate (ECG), Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), and various Pro-Anthocyanidins. They are also known as Flavonoids, and are very powerful antioxidants. Flavonoids, together with some amino acids like Theanine, are responsible for the potent flavor of green tea.

Furthermore, green tea also contains Amino Acids such as Theanine, Butyric Acid & Lignin; Xanthine Alkaloids such as Adenine,

Dimethylxanthine, Theobromine, Theophylline and Xanthine; Pectin (also found in fruits); saccharides (sugar), Chlorophyll and Triterpene Saponins. Some vitamins, like vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin C and vitamin E are also found in green tea.

It’s a small wonder that green tea gained popularity in a short span of time as people realised its multitudinous health benefits.

Move over apple. It’s green tea’s job to keep the doctor away.

The health benefits of green tea are primarily due to its antioxidant properties that come from its caffeine, catechin polyphenols and theanine content. The major health benefits stemming from antioxidant effects are listed below.

 

ANTI-AGEING:
The free radicals created in the body are responsible for corroding the body in various ways, one of which we see as the signs of aging and the related symptoms. The main job of antioxidants is to neutralize the oxidants or free radicals present in the body and green tea is very rich in antioxidants. Therefore, regular consumption of green tea can effectively delay the signs and symptoms of aging.

STIMULATING:
Caffeine & Tannins, despite their potentially adverse effects on health in the long run, act as very powerful stimulants. That is why a cup of tea makes you feel fresh and highly energized. Tea is an easy and ideal solution to counter fatigue, laziness, sleepiness and lack of energy, and to improve blood circulation.

IMMUNITY BOOSTING:
Research shows that people who regularly drink green tea do not fall victim to common bacterial and viral infections as easily as those who do not add green tea to their diet. The message is clear. Green Tea boosts the strength of the immune system. The Catechins present in green tea prevent bacteria and viruses from attaching themselves to cell walls in order to infect them.

ASTRINGENCY:
This is yet another powerful benefit of green tea. Astringent substances trigger contractions in muscles and tissues, while toning up muscles and skin. Even if you do not wish to drink green tea, a simple, daily mouthwash with green tea can cause sufficient contraction in your gums to keep them firm and tight on the teeth.

ANTI-CARCINOGENIC:
Apart from causing premature aging, free radicals are also responsible for causing certain types of cancer. The Catechins present in green tea neutralize these free radicals, prevent formation ofcarcinogens like nitrosamines and reduce the risk of cancer for people who regularly consume green tea. Green tea is now being clinically used and prescribed as a home remedy to aid in the prevention of cancer, particularly for those patients at high risk for cancer in the colon, rectum, pancreas and intestines.

REDUCING CHOLESTEROL:
Green tea has been shown to be effective in reducing cholesterol levels to some extent, probably due to its alkalinity.

CARDIAC & ARTERIAL HEALTH:
Certain components in green tea prevent thickening of the blood, thereby reducing chances of Arterial Sclerosis, Thrombosis, as well as Cardiac and Cerebral Strokes.

ANTI-DIABETIC:
If not taken with sugar, the alkaline nature of green tea helps to reduce the blood glucose level. Moreover, the antioxidant and astringent qualities of green tea ensure good health and better functioning of the pancreas.

WEIGHT LOSS:
Green tea also helps people lose weight by enhancing the rate of metabolism, thereby promoting a faster consumption of the fat storage of the body. Recently, green tea has replaced many other beverages in the western world as its helps in weight loss, and obesity is still a chronic problem in many places. Drink a cup or two of green tea every morning and you are bound to lose a few pounds of excess weight over a week or so.

STAMINA & ENDURANCE BOOSTER:
You can prove this quality to yourself quite easily. Just have a cup of hot green tea after some rigorous exercise and within no time, you will be ready for a few more sets. Furthermore, it effectively counters muscular pain due to overexertion of muscles. Although green tea isn’t as widely publicized for western athletes due to the dominant energy drink companies in the market, if you visit Japan & China, you will see that green tea is the premiere beverage used by practitioners of martial arts and various other sports.

DETOXIFYING:
Green tea is the best cure for particularly savage hangovers and fatigue caused by the consumption of alcoholic beverages and lack of sleep due to late night parties. Start your hangover with a large cup of green tea with lemon, and the hangover will quickly fade to a bad memory. Green tea with lemon juice is a very good and popular remedy to eliminate the exhausting effects of alcohol almost instantly.
 
So, are you ready to go green? Just make sure you buy only the freshest and most authentic green tea for your consumption. You can have a look at the finest tea available in our country here.

Sumi Mathai

Sumi Mathai is a writer based in Mumbai. Apart from writing she enjoys photography, travelling, watching movies, exploring music and meeting new people.

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