Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer. The useful parts of green tea are the leaf bud, leaf, and stem. Green tea is not fermented and is produced by steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures. During this process, it is able to maintain important molecules called polyphenols, which seem to be responsible for many of the benefits of green tea.
Polyphenols might be able to prevent inflammation and swelling, protect cartilage between the bones, and lessen joint degeneration. They also seem to be able to fight human papilloma virus (HPV) infections and reduce the growth of abnormal cells in the cervix (cervical dysplasia). Research cannot yet explain how this works.
Green tea contains 2% to 4% caffeine, which affects thinking and alertness, increases urine output, and may improve the function of brain messengers important in Parkinson’s disease. Caffeine is thought to stimulate the nervous system, heart, and muscles by increasing the release of certain chemicals in the brain called “neurotransmitters.”
Antioxidants and other substances in green tea might help protect the heart and blood vessels.
Here are 10 amazing health benefits of green tea.
1) Weight Loss. Green tea increases the metabolism. It is thought that the antioxidants catechins and caffeine in green tea may have a role in helping the body burn more calories – sometimes referred to as speeding up the metabolism – which can help weight loss. Green tea preparations used for losing weight are extracts of green tea that contain a higher concentration of catechins and caffeine than the typical green tea beverage prepared from a tea bag and boiling water. A well-conducted review from 2012 of 18 studies involving 1,945 people found no significant effect of drinking green tea on weight loss.
2) Diabetes. Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
3) Heart Disease. Scientists think, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
4) Esophageal Cancer. It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
5) Cholesterol. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
6) Tooth Decay. Studies suggests that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions
7) Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
8) Depression. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
9) Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial. Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
10) Skincare. Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
Add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves to a cup of boiled water, preferably in a tea strainer. Let steep for five minutes. Pour over ice if you prefer a cold beverage. Most experts recommend three cups daily. And don’t worry, it contains a lot less caffeine than coffee or black tea.