Green tea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries. It is more than just a tasty, hot beverage. Its healing properties are still being studied today.
Green tea is also a healthier option owing to the way it is processed. All types of tea are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia sinensis bush. The level of oxidation of the leaves determines the type of tea. The green leaves for green tea are steamed, which helps in preventing catechins from oxidizing. Green tea as such is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. Green tea is green because it is not fermented!
The nutritional value of green tea is very high. The main green tea nutrients are polyphenols (catechins), caffeine (called theine), tannin (flavonols), theophylline, theobromine, fat, wax, saponins, essential oils, carotene, vitamin C, vitamins A, B1, B12, K and P, flouride, iron, magnesium, calcium, strontium, copper, nickel, zinc, and trace of elements such as molybdenum and phosphorus.
Catechins are the major group of polyphenols in green tea and the most active catechins are called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Other catheins compounds are: catechin, gallaogatechin (GC), epicatehcin (EC), epigallocatechin (EGC), epicatechin gallate (ECg). EGCG is a powerful antioxidant that helps in slowing down the aging process.
1. Oral Health: Along with the natural fluoride found in tea, polyphenols and catechins are associated with killing bacteria that cause tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease-the number one cause for tooth loss
2. Bone Health: Routine tea consumption, especially for more than 10 years, has been associated with decreasing the risk of osteoporotic fractures. It is believed that tea helps diminish bone loss through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.
3. Wight Loss: Obesity is one of the biggest problems challenging the world today. An inactive lifestyle, combined with the craving for junk food and drinks is leading to several obesity-related complications like heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes, hypertension etc. The catechins found in tea, specifically green tea, create thermo-genesis, the production of heat within the body which is related to burning calories.
4. Heart Health: Tea consumption is also associated with a lower risk of heart disease and stroke. Green tea contains tannins that are known to lower cholesterol naturally in the body. Tannins help in reducing the level of LDL (low-density lipoproteins) cholesterol in the body, which can cause plaque build-up in the arteries, thus causing blockages.
5. Healthy Skin: Green tea has a number of properties that help you achieve that glowing skin.These benefits can be derived from consuming as well as applying green tea externally. Green tea protects against sun damage by its action on free radicals and also reduces inflammation. Polyphenols present in green tea have been known to slow down the appearance of signs of ageing.
6. Anti-Allergenic: EGCG found in green tea blocks key cell receptors that produce histamine and immunoglobulin E (IgE);compounds that are involved in producing an allergic response, thus helping in stopping your body from reacting to allergens like pollen, pet dander and dust among others.
7. Healthy Hair: Green tea is known to inhibit the growth of DHT (Dihydrotestosterone), which is known to hinder hair growth and cause hair fall. Green tea is also known to stimulate hair growth and soften the hair. It contains polyphenols, Vitamin E and Vitamin C, which are known to boost lustrous hair.
8. Managing Blood Pressure: Green tea contains caffeine, which is not good for people who suffer from hypertension. But because the percentage of caffeine is very low in green tea with positive effects on the overall health of the heart, it helps in managing diabetes and cholesterol, thus managing high blood pressure.
9. Reduces Stress and depression: Polyphenols present in green tea help the brain to maintain a steady supply of glucose. Apart from the anti-oxidants, green tea also contains a compound called thiamine, an amino acid that helps in relieving stress and anxiety. Thiamine also works great as an anti-depressant.
10. Immunity Builder: Green tea has anti-oxidants along with polyphenols and flavanoids that help in boosting the immune system of the human body, thus helping you fight against infections. This further prevents you from getting a cold or flu and even if you do the Vitamin C present in green tea combats the same.
11. Helps with Asthma: For people who have severe asthma issues, green tea is quite useful as it contains theophylline, which claims to relax the muscles that give support to the bronchial tubes, thus reducing the severity of asthma.
12. Healthy Liver: Green tea is also good for your liver as the anti-oxidants present in it help to get rid of harmful free radicals that help in keeping your liver in a healthy shape. It reduces the risk of getting a fatty liver.
Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins, which are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidation damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder. Additional benefits for regular consumers of green include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green tea can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function.
Go Healthy, GO GREEN!!