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The Wonders of Green Tea



The Chinese have known about Green tea as a powerful medication for over 4,000 years. According to legend, tea was discovered by the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung. It is claimed that some of the leaves accidentally fell into boiling water. The Emperor tasted the resulting liquid and found it highly invigorating. As a result, green tea became part of the Chinese diet and, over time, people discovered many important health benefits associated with the consumption of green tea.

Recent medical studies in both Asia and the West are providing a scientific basis for the claim that drinking green tea has incredibly significant health benefits. Green tea, like black tea, is made from the leaves of the plant ‘Camellia sinensis.’ The difference between the three main types of tea is the way that they are processed. Green tea is unfermented tea, meaning the leaves used for green tea are steamed soon after being plucked to prevent oxidation of the leaves. In this way, the leaves remain green and the active substances within the leaves retain their beneficial qualities. Black teas, on the other hand, are made from fermented leaves and, as a result, have less nutritional value and enzyme content as the green tea.


Modern science has been able to demonstrate that green tea is beneficial to one’s health because of the high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, or flavonoids, it contains. The antioxidants assist your body in fighting against free radicals which cause damage to cells and tissues in your body. The antioxidant element of green tea has been compared to that of fruit and vegetables in several studies. One such study concluded that consuming three cups of green tea per day produced the same amount of antioxidants as eating six apples.


While all tea is healthy to drink, green tea contains the highest level of flavonoids and offers the most health benefits, including:

  • Digestive and respiratory health,

  • Lower cholesterol levels,

  • Protection against high blood pressure,

  • Reduced stress and anxiety,

  • Help with arthritis due to its anti-inflammatory properties,

  • Increases bone density.


Weight loss programs incorporating green tea is another area attracting huge attention. Recent research has suggested that an extract from green tea may speed up fat oxidation. One study showed that after 12 weeks of high-dose green tea extract, there was a significant reduction in weight and waist circumference, along with a consistent decrease in both total and LDL cholesterol. While more research is required in this area, the signs are certainly very encouraging.

REFERENCES:

  1. Chen I-J, Liu C-Y, Chiu J-P, Hsu C-H. Therapeutic effect of high-dose green tea extract on weight reduction: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Clinical Nutrition. 2016;35(3):592-599. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2015.05.003.

  2. Cooper R, Morré DJ, Morré DM. Medicinal Benefits of Green Tea: Part I. Review of Noncancer Health Benefits. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2005;11(3):521-528. doi:10.1089/acm.2005.11.521.


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