The benefits of green tea have been touted by doctors and green tea drinkers for many years. One look at the grocery shelves shows how popular this tea has become. Once, there were only a few green teas to choose from, and those always had to be brewed; today, however, there are many different brands of green tea as well as pre-brewed bottled versions. A look at the claims of green tea enthusiasts show that it is well worth getting up to speed on the topic, whether or not you ultimately add green tea to your diet.
Researching Green Tea Benefits
Green tea has been studied for many years to determine what, if any, health benefits it offers. The main segments of research have been in the areas of heart disease and cancer. However, it has also been studied, although not as extensively, for other health benefits such as lowering cholesterol, preventing stroke, and possibly preventing or delaying the onset of dementia. Regardless of whether or not the results are complete, one thing has been proven about green tea: it has many antioxidants that are helpful in maintaining a healthy body from the inside out.
Introducing Green Tea’s Beneficial Antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that are able to fight free radicals in the body. Free radicals are the molecules in the body that cause aging, disease, tissue damage, and more. Many free radicals enter the body through pollution in the air, smoking, poisons, and more. Antioxidants neutralize these in the body and prevent them from causing damage. Antioxidants can be found in many foods and supplements, including green tea and even blueberries.
The antioxidants in green tea are catechins. These antioxidants are more concentrated in green tea than other teas because the leaves are not overprocessed. The main catechin, EGCG, is present more abundantly in green tea than in other teas; it is this catechin that has shown promising results in treating cancer, heart disease, and many other health issues. However, research is still necessary to determine why the human body is not able to use all of the EGCG and to find a way to make it more bioavailable (usable by the body). Regardless, even the amounts the body can use are very beneficial.
Green Tea Benefits for Health
Catechins have been shown to be beneficial and can aid in prevention and treatment of many health conditions, which makes green tea the perfect beverage for possibly treating a myriad of conditions.
- Heart disease: Some of the tests conducted thus far have pointed towards daily consumption of green tea helping to prevent the incidence of heart disease, particularly in male patients. This is said to be due to the antioxidants being dilators, meaning they keep the arteries from clogging. Green tea also lowers cholesterol, one of the leading factors in heart disease. The ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol improves when green tea is regularly consumed.
- Cancer: Multiple studies have shown drinking green tea to be related to a reduced incidence of lung cancer. Many Asian studies have been performed that link green tea to a reduction in the number of cases of breast cancer, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic cancer cases. While tests are still being conducted in labs, doctors and scientists do agree that there are health benefits from drinking green tea. However, they also stress that it is crucial to note that people in Asian countries drink green tea on a regular basis, not just occasionally, and that this might be related to the health benefits.
- Weight loss: People who regularly drink green tea have been shown to lose more weight and at the same time reduce their LDL cholesterol than people who do not drink green tea. This finding has led to many companies manufacturing green tea supplements and advertising the weight loss aspect. Some speculation is that the caffeine helps the body oxidize fat cells. Drinking green tea raises the body’s metabolism, which causes the body to burn more calories and increases the oxidation of fat.
- Healthy teeth and gums: Drinking green teas keeps your teeth healthy by attacking the bacteria in your mouth that causes plaque.
- Anti-aging: The antioxidants in green tea help keep your skin younger looking by fighting the free radicals that attack the body and can cause wrinkles. Antioxidants also help to heal cells that have been damaged over time.
- Acne: Drinking green tea can also help clear acne. The catechins in the tea are antibacterial and help to fight off acne-causing bacteria in your body. Additionally, it is an anti-inflammatory that will reduce any facial swelling caused by acne. The benefits are seen both in drinking green tea and in making a facial mask of green tea, honey, and milk.
- Improved endurance: Scientific studies have shown that taking green tea extract in capsule form for a period of time can increase endurance and athletic performance by as much as 24 percent. This is a significant discovery for athletes and others who depend on their body being able to endure the rigorous workouts they put it through.
- Glaucoma: Studies have shown that the antioxidants in green tea are able to fight glaucoma. There was originally concern that the antioxidants in green tea could not penetrate tissue in the eyes; however, testing has shown that this is not true and that the benefits from green tea do extend to the eyes. The catechins that are in green tea include lutein, vitamin E, vitamin C, and zeaxanthin, all of which are known to be eye-healthy vitamins.
- Liver disorders: Large amounts of green tea are beneficial to liver health, according to some clinical studies. The antioxidants in green tea help to reduce liver inflammation. This inflammation can come from toxins that are affecting the liver, such as alcohol.
- Digestion: It is a well-known fact that green tea stimulates digestion and reduces flatulence. It is also suggested that it might prevent digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome.
- Diabetes: Green tea stabilizes blood sugar, which is a key factor in preventing diabetes. It can also be used as an added tool for helping control diabetes once it is present.
These and many other health benefits are just a sampling of the benefits doctors and scientists have found in green tea. One thing to remember, however, is that the benefits do not come from having an occasional glass of green tea; it is from continual consumption of tea on a regular basis.
Forms of Green Tea
If you want to reap the health benefits from green tea, but you do not like the taste, you can go to your local pharmacy or health food store and purchase green tea in a capsule. These capsules are extracts of green tea and have the same antioxidants and catechins that are in the beverage. You do need to make sure you are purchasing a top-quality product and not one that has added ingredients. Look for pure green tea extracts, and you will have the best for your health.
Now that you know how green tea can benefit your health and possibly even be your fountain of youth, set yourself up with a tea time and reap the benefits for yourself.
©2012 Off the Grid News