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Introduction to the health benefits of Green Tea
Is green tea good for you? That is a question that seems to be coming up a lot lately as the world finds more reasons to enjoy drinking tea on top of its amazing flavor.
It’s difficult not to like tea, a favorite beverage all over the globe, most especially in Asia where it has been enjoyed for centuries now, not only for its delicious flavorful varieties, but, also because it is believed to have a good number of amazing medicinal effects for the body. Many researchers have been intrigued of this popular notion and have involved themselves in various researches for its benefits, particularly that of green tea.
What are some of the health benefits of green tea?
Primarily, powerful natural antioxidants called polyphenols present in green tea sends a lot of people, both scientists and health-conscious individuals, raving about its health benefits. It not only helps in maintaining good health but contains cancer fighting properties. Catechins, which are a type of polyphenol, hunt for free radicals that cause damage to the DNA and develop into various forms of cancer and other diseases. Green tea, unlike black and oolong tea doesn’t undergo fermenting therefore its catechins are more concentrated and gives off more potency.
Studies show that drinking at least four cups of green tea on a daily basis can effectively produce anti—cancer properties. In one study done in Japan, women with breast cancer with increased consumption of green tea during pre and post-surgery exhibited decreased levels of cancer recurrence.
Consistent with this finding was the result of studies made in China revealing that the higher the volume of green tea consumed by participants in the study, the lesser their chances to have various kinds of cancer.
Aside from inhibiting cancer growth, green tea is also known to host other medicinal benefits.
Green tea is a fat metabolizer, helping the liver in its function. A study in the US pointed this out when overweight men, with no changes in other factors, who were made to drink tea thrice a day recorded burning up to 200 more calories daily in addition to increasing energy levels of the participants.
In addition, several medical studies show that green tea can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. LDL or what is commonly known as bad cholesterol, which can lead to atherosclerosis and thrombosis, is lowered with regular drinking of green tea because of its potent antioxidant effects that avert formation of bad cholesterol in the arteries. Hypertension is also significantly managed due to the action of green tea as an ACE inhibitor as it blocks the effects of angiotension- converting enzyme (ACE). Basically, its anti-oxidants work to dilate and improve the flexibility of blood vessels.
Green tea also works by inhibiting the production of amylase, the enzyme responsible for breaking down sugar to be absorbed into our bloodstream therefore; it helps lower blood sugar levels that lead to diabetes.
Another medicinal benefit derived from drinking green tea is that its chemicals strengthen a body’s immunity against bacteria and viruses by stimulating gammadelta T-cells, as supported by findings from a research conducted at Harvard University
Drinking about ten cups of green tea daily also gives protection against Alzheimer’s disease according to a new study conducted on a group of people aged 80 and above from whom majority did not experience impairment of cognitive skills as compared to another experimental group who didn’t drink green tea.
To add to the long list of health benefits, green tea is also believed to help fight allergies, prevent bad breath and food poisoning, and help manage symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
According to researchers in Japan, tests have proven that a compound found in green tea inhibits an allergic response from taking place by blocking the production of immunoglobulin E and histamine which are primarily responsible for triggering allergic reactions.
As an anti-bacterial agent, it contradicts food poisoning caused by bacteria and, at the same time, oral bacteria in the mouth that is the cause of bad breath and cavities are killed, thereby providing good oral hygiene.
Lastly, anti-oxidants in green tea pretty much do the same action as anti-inflammatory drugs in the way that Cox-2 gene is stopped from producing inflammations, the major symptom of rheumatoid arthritis.
While more studies need to be conducted to validate further the medicinal effects of green tea on our health, it is already safe to say at this point that taking a few cups of green tea on a daily basis definitely contributes towards total wellness.
As always, if you want to drink green tea because it can have health benefits we say go for it. But to be clear, we aren’t doctors, we only love tea and read things online. So don’t take this as any medical advise or anything like this. We just researched what we could and tried to make a fun and easy to read article to try to help summarize what we have found online.