Green tea, formerly produced in China, is now cultivated throughout the world. It is derived from the leaves of a small tree, which is called as Camellia sinensis. This herbal tea has been a traditional remedy for countless diseases for centuries. Asians have employed green tea in their overall well being and fitness. Should this tea be a sine qua non in our regular diet? Yes, because this crown gem is the best of both worlds that not only prevents certain ailments but also cures a variety of illnesses.
10 Health Benefits Of Green Tea
This beverage has a leverage! Listed below are several important, valuable reasons to fall in love with this beverage:
1) A Proven Cardiotonic
Recognized as a heart-healthy beverage for decades, the modern day science today recommends green tea for patients with cardiovascular problems like deranged lipid profile, hypertension, angina, and heart attack. This splendid drink prevents the LDL (bad cholesterol) from being oxidized. The oxidized form of LDL is a major risk factor for all types of cardiac issues. The formation of this oxidized bad cholesterol takes place when the LDL particles come into contact with free radicals. Free radicals are extremely damaging ions, which initiate an oxidative damage throughout the body, including the heart. Since the green tea is packed with terrific antioxidants like catechins and xanthines (flavonoids), it precludes the free radical-induced oxidation of LDL and the eventual oxidative mutilation to the coronary and carotid arteries (arteries of the heart and brain, respectively), where the oxidized LDL gets deposited and encourages the organization of atheromatous plaques, stuffed with lipid debris (fats). These plaques serve as a smoking gun behind all types of cardiac diseases.
Hence, you can very well perceive how the green tea acts as a cardiac keeper through the beneficial ingredients that it encloses.
The antitumor capabilities of this delectable brew are a bit disputable. That being said, certain observational studies suggest that the polyphenols in green tea may justify its role in preventing cancer. Selected investigations performed on animals confirmed that the polyphenols contained in green tea, specifically EGCG (epigallocatechin 3-gallate) are potent antioxidants, which act as “free radical scavengers,” hence, averting the free radical induced DNA mutation (DNA mutation is the vital step in the production of cancerous cells) and impeding the development of cancer cells. The second accepted hypothesis is that EGCG generates free radicals only in cancer cells, destroying the energy powerhouse of cancer cells, i.e. mitochondria, and thereby inhibiting the proliferation and expansion of the tumor cells.
3) A Fat Burner
Are you among those poor folks who are weary of trying hard to lose weight? Let me share a secret with you then! Try steeping a green tea bag in a mug of warm water and brew it on a daily basis (not to mention, without the processed sugar). You will soon commence noticing a difference in your belly fat; this is due to the abundance of weight losing blends confined in green tea. The methylxanthines (caffeine and theophylline) and catechin polyphenols account for its slimming down qualities. A research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that the green tea extract augmented metabolism by enhancing the energy expenditure and oxidation of fat over a 24-hour period. These impacts are due to the activation of the sympathoadrenal system (the fear, fight, and flight system, which when activated provokes stimulating effects all over the body), thereby accelerating metabolism and preventing and/or alleviating obesity.
4) Revs up the Immune System
Kick starting your day with this outstandingly useful beverage will bolster the immune system, energizing you and your immune system. It not only mitigates the flu symptoms, yet regular consumption of green tea will in essence ward off the flu virus (and other microbes) from actually intruding into your body. This is again because of the plentiful antioxidants in this tea, which counteract the irreparable damage secondary to free radicals, leading to a vigorous immune system. A healthy immune system implies an enhanced body resistance against bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.
5) A Marvelous Anti-Inflammatory
Scientific studies implicate catechin-stuffed green tea as an extraordinary anti- inflammatory drink. As aforementioned, the free radical counteracting properties of catechins, particularly EGCG shield against the oxidative inflammatory damage and tissue injury. It is therefore helpful in various inflammatory rheumatological disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and gout. The EGCG in green tea defends against the joint cartilage destruction via inhibiting the pro-inflammatory free radical-inducing cytokines like interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). These cytokines play a pivotal role in damaging the cartilages of joints, which is the hallmark of OA.
6) The Brain goes sky-high!
Green means go! Green tea acknowledged for its mental concentration, attention, and memory (including working memory) enhancing brain powers, is currently under extensive investigation for its implications in Alzheimer’s disease. A study available in the Academic Journal of Psychopharmacology demonstrated that green tea extract actually amplifies the electrical connections in between different parts of the brain and thus, boosts working memory tasks like learning, recalling, calculating, judgment, and manipulating skills. Overall, green tea functions as an enthralling cognitive enhancer, priming your memory to retain as much difficult information as it could. One logical underlying cause for this brain strength is the presence of caffeine in green tea, albeit the caffeine content in green tea is not as much as that in coffee, plus the caffeine effects in green tea are counterbalanced by its L-theanine concentration (as mentioned below).
7) A Natural Aspirin
I will have to admit that green tea is the best thing since sliced bread. Substantial evidence regarding green tea in reducing the risk of stroke is ubiquitous; its mode of action is akin to the famous anti-platelet medications like aspirin and clopidogrel, which are prescribed to patients either as a prophylaxis (prevention) for stroke or as a treatment for managing an acute episode of a stroke. Subjective analysis executed on animals with green tea extracts reported that the catechins in green tea displayed significant antithrombotic effects (which in turn were due to its antiplatelet activities). Platelets are the blood cells responsible for blood clotting. An antiplatelet is an agent that inhibits the platelet aggregation and, thereby, hampers the formation of a thrombus/blood clot, which is apt to plug and block the arteries, whether coronary or the brain arteries and is the core cause of developing a paralysis attack/stroke.
8) Renders an Unruffled Frame of mind
Various studies performed on patients suffering from mental illnesses like depression and anxiety demonstrated that the amino acid L-theanine in green tea serves a dual purpose via possessing both anti-depressant and anti-anxiety features. This amino acid induces the production of alpha waves in the brain. Alpha waves generate during the period when you are awake (with eyes closed), such as that during a state of deep mental relaxation/mindfulness meditation. These waves are the doorway to our subliminal messages that controls our subconscious mind. Is not that incredible how this amazing tea delivers the same serene state of mind that is attainable by deep mental relaxation! Wow!
On top of that, L-theanine accentuates the levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters (aka chemical messengers) like dopamine and serotonin in conjunction with GABA, which is an inhibitory calming neurotransmitter produced in our brain. According to T’ien Yiheng “Tea is drunk to forget the din of the world,” and this is rather accurate when it comes to green tea.
Nonetheless (a healthy tip from me), do not overlook the stimulating effects derived from the caffeine present in green tea; it is satisfactory if you are sipping the tea during the day and no more than 2-3 cups in 24 hours (see “Precautions” section at the end).
9) An Antidiabetogenic
Historically accepted for improving high blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes, green tea serves as a relatively economical, natural antidiabetic substance. Pertinent excerpts from a study include augmented expression of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (aka PPARγ) and inhibition of the growth and differentiation of fat cells, called adipocytes (obesity being one of the coexisting symptoms in type 2 diabetes). PPARγ controls the metabolism of glucose and production of fatty acids, facilitating lipid and glucose uptake, thus, reducing the lipid and glucose levels in your blood. For the same reason, the experts currently prescribe PPARγ agonists called thiazolidinediones as antidiabetic medications.
10) A Surefire Tactic for Getting Rid of Wrinkles
The skin retains extra free radicals than any other organ because the skin has the capability to convert ultraviolet light (from the sun rays) into its free radicals. These free radicals contribute to the premature appearance of wrinkles and an aged skin, since they crash the wrinkle-preventing natural collagen of the skin. The green tea mask is now becoming a favorite recommendation by several dermatologists to avoid getting those elephant wrinkles, as it is full of potent antioxidants. To create a green tea mask, all you will need is approx a tablespoon of grounded green tea leaves and a tablespoon of yogurt (substitute yogurt with water and a little amount of coconut oil if you have a dry skin). Mix the concoction well, apply it over your face, leaving it on for 15-20 minutes, and then rinse it off.
Repeating the above tip for at least one to two times per week will give you a youthful and refreshed skin at the drop of a hat. Nowadays, several cosmetological brands are formulating green tea anti-aging creams comprising of high concentrations of EGCG.
Green tea is well thought-out to be safe and beneficial when consumed in moderate amounts. Nevertheless, excessive consumption of green tea can lead to irritability, insomnia (difficulty falling asleep), palpitations (the racing heart), and arrhythmias (electrical disturbances in the normal conducting system of the heart), due to its theophylline and caffeine content.
The Bottom-line: Better be safe than sorry!