Green-tea-benefits from lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure to reducing your risk of heart attacks and strokes are available by drinking just three to four cups per day. Significant green-tea-benefits also include strong anti-cancer properties.
All real teas come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. In the wild these plants are really trees. When cultivated on tea farms or plantations, they are trimmed to the height and configuration of bushes. Young leaves at the top of the bushes are picked and dried a few times each season.
The difference between black and green tea is that black teas are fully fermented and green teas are not. More of the natural flavonoids (catechins) are preserved in green teas. These flavonoids are more powerful antioxidants than vitamins A, C, and E in preventing free radical damage to cells that can trigger chronic disease and speed aging.
Green tea helps to protect the immune system, aids digestion and prevents cavities and gingivitis. Green tea is also an effective anti-viral and anti-bacterial agent.
High levels of the powerful antioxidant quercetin as well as special cancer-fighting flavonoids enrich green-tea-benefits. Quercetin is a flavonoid that has shown great promise in preventing cardiovascular disease. It is found in the highest concentrations in green tea, cranberries, kale, dark chocolate and apples. You can increase the antioxidant punch of green tea by adding a couple of pinches of turmeric and it doesn't change the taste.
Several studies have shown a strong correlation between flavonoid intake and a reduction in heart attacks and strokes. Quercetin is also a powerful histamine inhibitor, making it great for hay-fever and sinusitis. Try green tea with some cinnamon or dark chocolate. I eat one or two squares of dark chocolate (minimum of 70% cocoa) with a cup of green tea twice a day. Dark chocolate has been found to help lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation.
Flavonoids found in tea bind excess iron and reduce inflammation. This makes them very important for treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (an inflammatory condition of the colon and small intestine - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). Additionally, flavonoids from green tea extract not only reduce inflammation and protect against free radicals but also inhibit the growth of “Clostridium”, which is a very bad "bug".
The antioxidants found in green tea helps maintain cholesterol levels that are already in the normal range and are good for skin and teeth and can be used as part of your diet plan to help maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
Consumption of green tea or white tea has been shown to improve cognitive ability. This is because white and green tea contains the flavonoid (epicatechin) that has been shown to prevent oxidation of LDL and HDL in the brain, which become harmful only when oxidized.
Studies have shown that both black and green tea enhances insulin activity. Decaffeinated tea offers the same benefit but adding milk impedes the effect on insulin. It is thought that the catechins in tea that seems to most enhance insulin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is an anti-oxidant polyphenol flavonoid isolated from green tea.
Green tea is rich in vitamin K, which helps maintain bone density. However, if you are taking a prescription drug for anticoagulation be sure to discuss with your physician because vitamin K reverses the effect of the drug. Green tea leaves also contain L-theanine, an amino acid, that has a beneficial effect on cognition and mood. A recent study also indicated that L-theanine in green tea may reduce anxiety in stressful situations.
Is green tea a magic bullet? No. But green-tea-benefits can with a healthy lifestyle including exercise, tobacco avoidance, and good nutrition result in a longer and healthier life.
See our resource page for references and suggested reading.
"tea." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011.
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