Green tea is believed to have been discovered by the Chinese over four thousand years ago and used for its herbal and medicinal powers. It comes from a plant named Carmellia Sinensis. Unlike black tea, which is completely oxidized, green tea leaves are simply steamed and hence ensure the preservation of useful antioxidants, tannins and flavonoids. The Japanese trade with Europe, especially with the Portugese, in the 1500s brought about the exchange of tea culture. Today, the Chinese green tea has become popular for its detoxifying capacity and therapeutic properties.
The plant Camellia sinensis yields both green and black tea. The tea plant has long been cultivated in China. It’s an evergreen shrub or tree that can grow to a height of 30 feet, but is usually maintained at a height of 2 to 3 feet by regular pruning. The shrub is heavily branched, with young hairy leaves. The parts used are the leaf bud, and the two adjacent young leaves together with the stem, broken between the second and third leaf. Older leaves are considered inferior in quality.
Of the nearly 2.5 million tons of dried tea produced each year, only 20% is green tea. In other words, nearly four times as much black tea is produced and consumed compared to green tea. India and Sri Lanka are the major producers of black tea. Green tea is produced primarily in China, Japan and a few countries in North Africa and the Middle East.
Green Tea Benefits
Out of all of the health benefits of green tea, weight loss seems the most popular application. It is also useful for Detox diets and can be used as a healthy diet drink suitable for every weight loss program. People also use it for other purposes, and this article will give you some great tips and uses of green tea.
What makes green tea so special?
The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.
Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox.” For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.
Why don’t other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
Here are some great benefits, tips and cooking secrets when it comes to green tea:
- The International Journal of Obesity mentions green tea as having poly phenols which produce extra heat in the body and burn calories
- Green tea leaves contain Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, which may be able to obliterate cancer cells without disturbing neighboring tissues
- The University of Geneva showed some studies which prove that people on green tea diets are more likely to use up fats than people not using green tea
- EGCD also helps with escalating the twenty four hour energy outflow of the body
- Green tea reduces the risk of strokes
- It also has a favorable effect on hypertension and LDL cholesterol
- Green tea carries catechin polyphenols which can help delay the reaction of gastric and pancreatic lipases, which are enzymes responsible for converting calories into fats
- Catechin also destroys the bacteria which can cause food poisoning. It also eradicates the toxins produced by these bacteria
- Catechin may be able to stop cancer cells from further growth
- Green tea contains caffeine in moderate quantity, which works as an appetite suppressant (high quantities of caffeine, for example in coffee, can cause medical problems including hyper tension and insomnia)
- Green tea is also good for maintaining good oral hygiene. It contains fluorine, which prevents cavities. It also carries ingredients which suppress plaque formation and bacteria which cause bad breath
- Polysaccharides and other ingredients in green tea help lower blood sugar
- Green tea is rich in the anti oxidant Vitamin E, which slows the aging process
- Cleveland’s Western Reserve conducted a study which shows that having four cups of green tea each day prevents the oncoming of rheumatoid arthritis and can also reduce symptoms in individuals who already have this medical condition
- For four thousand years, Chinese people have been using green tea for treating headaches and even depression
- While the other tea leaves are fermented, green tea leaves are steamed and they retrieve their original medicinal capabilities
- Green tea is also good for your heart
- It improves the function of your immune system
- Green tea diets have certain compounds which promote thermogenesis in the body
- These compounds increase your body’s regular metabolism and also suppress the appetite. This is why it is considered a great diet inclusion
- Green Tea is a natural alternative to prescription drugs for erectile dysfunction such as Stendra and Viagra.
- It has been discovered that men receiving regular dosages of green tea diet support had a significant four percent raise in their 24-hour energy expenditure
- They also found that green tea diet aid reduces the respiration quotient. This means that green tea diet aid causes more fats to burn
- In another study, it was shown that men who were not given green tea diet aid showed only minimal increases in their metabolic rates and almost no reduction in their respiration quotient
- Some substances in green tea modify how the body utilizes the hormone norepinephrine, which is responsible for escalating metabolism and hence leading to diet aid
- Taking fewer calories usually means you have lower energy levels. This means you won’t have any energy to do your weight loss exercises. But green tea contains guarana, which is a well known energy booster
- This way, green tea will give you the energy you need in order to exercise and lose some more pounds
- Siberian Ginseng in green tea gives you a lot of stamina for hard work
- More stamina means more work done
- It boosts your energy
- It also has diuretics which induce sweating, which causes your body perspire and lose liquid weight when you work out
- Most green tea packages come with diet suggestions in the box which, are the original methods of weight loss
- Green tea diet happens to be an excellent source of polycatechin polyphenols, a group of antioxidants which act on free radicals
- Free radicals have harmful effects on the body, since they are the major causes of diseases and aging
- The presence of polycatechin polyphenols in green tea diets gives individuals a better chance of circumventing disorders and keeping themselves healthy for a much longer period of time
- The EGCG in green tea diet also acts with the famous compound caffeine. Interaction of these two compounds causes a green tea diet to encourage thermogenesis in the body
- But no diet can work like a complete miracle. Green tea diets, like all other ones, work best together with additional work outs and diet consciousness from most individuals
- Green tea diets require restraint and compassion to make any significant impact on your weight loss goals
- Weight loss experts and dieticians all agree that weight loss supplements greatly help the dieter in his continuing battle for a toned body
- Green tea extract is the most prominent of the major supplements available on the market
- Green tea has been historically used as a remedy for indigestion, depression and headaches
- It is considered an excellent organic alternative to weight loss supplements
- A journal on the health benefits of plants called Phytomedicine conducted a recent study and published the results which said that people who take green tea extract as weight loss supplement ideally lose about two-and-a-half pounds a month
- Green tea weight loss supplements come in standardized tablets or in capsule forms
- You should always try to choose a green tea weight loss supplement which has ninety milligrams of EGCG and fifty milligrams of caffeine
- Green tea weight loss supplements are normally taken three times a day before meals
- Though green tea weight loss supplements have zero adverse side effects, it is still advised to talk with your doctor before taking them.