Green Tea Health Benefits
by Webmaster, All4NaturalHealth.com
Many of us enjoy the many proven green tea health benefits without even realizing it. Many of us also find green tea a delicious beverage. I certainly do.
Green Tea is believed to have been used for health purposes in China for over 4,000 years, and has also been consumed for many generations in India, Japan and Thailand.
Many health benefits of green tea are attached to its consumption. In fact, in traditional medicine in China and India, green tea has been used for various purposes, including to improve heart health, as a stimulant and as a astringent (to control bleeding).
Yet, as I carry out my research, I am pretty impressed with the number of studies, both clinical and epidemiological in nature, which validate many of the health benefits of drinking green tea which have been suggested for many years.
The main health-promoting substances in green tea are believed to be polyphenols, plant chemicals with strong antioxidant and health properties. Polyphenols in teas are categorized as catechins.
Green tea has a few main types of catechins, including epicatechin, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epigallocatechin gallate (also known as EGCG) and gallaogatechin. Of these substances in green tea, EGCG is the most studied and believed to be responsible for most of the numerous green tea health benefits.
Catechins in general have been found in studies to be useful in slowing aging, destroying free radicals, fighting viruses, and having overall health-promoting effects on the entire body.
EGCG is a powerful antioxidant found to be stronger than resveratrol, the polyphenol in red wine which is believed to account for lower rate of heart disease in the French, despite a diet high in fat and alcohol.
As an antioxidant, EGCG has also been found to be much more effective at protecting cells from DNA damage than Vitamin C and Vitamin E, and this helps to prevent cancer, heart disease and other serious degenerative conditions.
Green tea also contains substances known as alkaloids, which have stimulating effects, such as caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline.
Black tea, green tea and oolong tea are all made using the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, which was originally cultivated in East Asia. Today, it grows throughout Asia and parts of Africa. Oolong tea and green tea are more popular in Asia, while the same is true for black tea in the US.
The difference between the types of teas is the method of processing. The leaves of green tea are steamed, limiting the oxidization of EGCG. On the other hand, the leaves of black tea and oolong tea are fermented, and EGCG is converted to other substances in the process.
Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented, while black tea leaves are fully fermented. The higher the level of fermentation, the lower the polyphenol (and thus EGCG) content and also the higher the caffeine content of the tea.
Thus, green tea has the highest polyphenol content, while the caffeine in green tea is only one-third to half the caffeine content of black tea. Hence, green tea health benefits would rank above the health benefits of oolong tea and black tea, in that order.
The benefits of green tea are said to extend to the following health conditions:
Green tea health benefits - some research, studies and evidence
Do all the above green tea health benefits sound too good to be true? I thought so too. But there does seem to be quite a number of studies supporting the claimed green tea health benefits.
Green tea and bad breath
Green tea and cancer - green tea health benefits against this serious disease
Green tea and cholesterol levels
Green tea and cognitive impairment
Green tea and diabetes
Green tea and HIV
Green tea and intestinal inflammation
Green tea and liver disease
Green tea increase metabolism - thus possible to use green tea for weight loss
Green tea and skin damage
Reaping green tea health benefits - finding a good source of green tea
As with the health benefits of any food or herb, the green tea health benefits one hopes to reap are only as good as the quality of green tea leaves which one uses. Unfermented green tea leaves are the most unprocessed and best to use. Unfermented and high quality green tea leaves contain more of the health-promoting polyphenols, so be sure to look for such a good source of your green tea.
Please also remember that green tea is not a miracle food, herb or drink. Even as you drink it regularly to enjoy its numerous health benefits, please do maintain an overall healthy diet and lifestyle.
Personally, putting the green tea health benefits aside, I find it a refreshing and delicious beverage. It seems to clear my head, too, and makes my stomach feel better. For myself, I have upgraded green tea from 'love it and drink it occasionally' to 'love it and drink it regularly'.
Brew some for yourself today. Enjoy!
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Share YOUR Knowledge and Experiences on Green Tea
Do you have any experiences, knowledge and information on green tea which would be useful to our other readers? These could include its health benefits and medicinal properties; dosages and amounts to take; potential side effects, adverse reactions and contraindications; preparation instructions; reliable and quality sources; background and history; as well as other related topics. We invite you to share your natural health knowledge and experiences on green tea here. If applicable, please discuss the exact brands and dosages which you used.
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