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The Health Benefits of Green Tea

March 19, 2004


The Chinese have known about Green tea as a powerful medication for at least 4000 years. According to legend, tea was discovered by a Chinese emperor called Shen Nung. Some tea leaves accidentally fell into boiling water, and he tried it and found it invigorating. Green tea became part of the Chinese diet and many important health benefits were attributed to it. Now recent medical studies in both asia and the west are providing a scientific basis for the claim that drinking green tea has very significant health benefits.

(By Lorraine Bevan)

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 produced. Green tea is unfermented tea meaning that the leaves used for green tea are steamed soon after been plucked in order to prevent the oxidation of the leaves. In this way the leaves remain green and the active substances within the leaves retain their qualities. Black teas on the other hand are made from fermented leaves and as a result have less nutritional and enzyme content as the green tea. Thus green and black teas have different chemical properties.

Modern science has in recent times been able to demonstrate that green tea is beneficial to one’s health and this is mainly due to the fact that tea contains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols or flavonoids. The antioxidant activity of tea has been compared to that of fruit and vegetables in a number of studies. One study concluded that consuming three cups of tea a day produced a similar amount of antioxidants as eating six apples. Antioxidants help your body fight against free radicals which cause damage to cells and tisuues in your body.

While all tea is healthy to drink, it is green tea that contains the highest level of flavonoids. Recent medical studies suggest green tea to be beneficial in many areas including the following:

-Digestive and respiratory health.

-Lowers cholesterol levels

-Boosts your immune system

-Reduces high blood pressure

-Arthritis – anti-inflammatory effect.

-Oral hygiene – due to antibacterial properties.

-Skin conditions such as acne

-Lowers blood sugar

Weight loss is another area that is attracting huge attention. Recently published research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that an extract from green tea may speed up fat oxidation. A study was conducted of ten healthy men over a period of 6 weeks. It was discovered that those men who were given green tea extract burned more calories per day than those who were not given the extract. Much more research needs to be conducted in this area but the signs are certainly very encouraging.

Anyone for tea!

Lorraine Bevere is the owner and operator of
FOG Tea which is
a premier source of information about tea. For questions or
comments about this article, please visit:
http://fogtea.com

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One Response to “The Health Benefits of Green Tea”

  1. Lorraine Bevere on September 3rd, 2005 3:30 pm

    Green Tea and Cholesterol facts

    A green and lush oasis in the middle of a scorching dessert. A cool breeze on a hot summer night. A bright light in the end of a cold and dark tunnel. Green tea and cholesterol.

    For the millions and millions of people suffering from high cholesterol green tea may be that light. You can browse and search the Internet for topics on green tea and cholesterol and would come up with hundred of hits.

    Cholesterol, triglycerides, the protein apoB in LDLs, are words dreaded by humans of the modern age. This new century is expected to become the century of medical miracles, the green tea, lowly as it may sound looks very promising as several researches have shown. This could be the decade of green tea and cholesterol.

    More good news is it’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and cancer. Several studies have shown that the antioxidants are present in green tea. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. Another research done by the University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. In another study by the University of Kansas determined that EGCG may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

    And more good news! It’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and high blood pressure. Habitually drinking 5 to 10 cups a day of green tea lowers high blood pressure.

    For more that 4,000 years the Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. So it’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and depression!

    Drinking green also is reported to be helpful with rheumatoid arthritis, Cardiovascular disease, infection, and impaired immune function.

    Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, especially epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a good anti-cancer element. Polyphenol limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet.

    There’s more! It’s not just green tea and cholesterol; it’s also green tea and weight loss. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a report that found out that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine.

    How about green tea and tooth decay anyone? Its bacteria-destroying abilities kill the bacteria that cause dental decay. So it’s not just green tea and cholesterol, it’s also green tea and bacteria.

    Why is it that it’s green tea and cholesterol not oolong tea or black tea? As we all know there are 3 types of tea, green, oolong and black. All of these come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. But why green? Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized while black and oolong tea leaves are made from dried or fermented leaves, which causes loss of EGCG.

    We should have learned speaking mandarin or fukien a long time ago and got to know green tea and cholesterol lowering the Chinese way.

    There is more to green tea and cholesterol, search the web and get to know more of the heath benefits you may get from green tea. Does anyone know how to say green tea in Chinese?

    Lorraine Bevere is well known for documenting the amazing qualities of green tea.
    Discover other tea “secrets” at her site http://www.fogtea.com

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