Green tea is perhaps the only food which is packed with all the ingredients needed for a healthy life. It is a beverage which the doctors will ask to drink and drive because the only side effect it seems to produce is insomnia, that too in very few cases.
The modern world has come to be aware about the miraculous abilities of green tea in the very recent times but the Chinese have believed in it since more than 4000 years. They firmly believe that drinking regular cups of green tea will improve your health and provide longevity as well.
Folklore aside, even scientific research has proved that green tea contains many ingredients which can keep a lot of diseases at bay. With a slightly pungent flavor, you will probably be a little reluctant to replace your cup of strong aromatic coffee, but once you do, you will not regret it.
Green tea has been attributed with a lot of health benefits mainly because they have been found to have high amount of flavonoids and cathecin polyphenols. Both flavonoids and polyphenols are highly powerful anti-oxidants and the large content of these in green tea is what makes it so special.
Another reason why green tea is packed with so much of beneficial nutrients as compared to black tea is because unlike the normal tea leaves, green tea leaves are slightly steamed before drying and so the nutrients are preserved intact. Black and other varieties of teas are all fermented due to which most of the beneficial constituents are lost. There are many proven and unproven benefits of this healthy brew and knowing a few of them might tempt you to take a few sips.
Green tea and heart diseases:
Although FDA has refused to let manufacturers and retailers from putting any labels claiming that green tea has heart disease preventive properties, but preliminary research and studies have shown that it is effective. Green tea is one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants, beating even the highly popular Vitamin C.
It’s oxidizing properties helps to get rid of harmful toxins from the body, purifying the blood and preventing heart diseases. It is highly effective in bringing down the bad cholesterol levels and increasing the good one which prevents thrombosis, a condition where abnormal blood clots are formed and leads to strokes and heart attacks.
A research done on the Japanese have shown that they have a very low rate of deaths due to heart attacks and heart diseases even though majority of the men are smokers. This has led to the positive assumption that green tea is effective in preventing heart attacks and heart ailments.
Green tea and obesity:
Although research has not definitely proved that green tea will help you to lose weight but new studies are emerging which might point to green tea being helpful in controlling obesity. The polyphenols in green tea helps in preventing the absorption of harmful cholesterol in the body and assists in excreting it from the system.
Animal studies have also shown that green tea has a lowering effect on our appetite which might be another reason why we lose weight. It improves digestion and the metabolic rate thereby aiding the body in losing weight. Green tea drinkers also tend to consume less caffeine and sugar unlike black tea and coffee drinkers, effectively reducing the intake of fats. People who have replaced their coffees and teas with a cup of green tea have reported positive effects in their metabolism and digestion.
Green tea and cancer:
Cathecin polyphenols contained in green tea are powerful anti-oxidants and are also able to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. It can prevent the growth of tumor cells and can kill cancer cells without harming the healthier tissues inside the body.
Again medical research has not conclusively proven the fact, but many population studies do show that green tea is effective in preventing several types of cancer like breast and ovarian cancer, bladder cancer, esophageal and pancreatic cancer, lung cancer. Other types of cancer which are claimed to be prevented through green tea are prostate, skin and stomach. However, all these studies have only been based on comparative population studies and does not have any medical authentication.
Green tea and diabetes:
Some preliminary studies have shown that green tea can effective control Type I diabetes and also prevent it from developing further. This has mainly been attributed to the fact that green tea helps control the glucose level in the body. It also helps to inhibit the escalation of insulin levels in the body which normally happens during diabetes.
Green tea and beauty care:
Because of the anti-oxidizing properties of green tea, it is being increasingly used in beauty treatments and regimens. It also helps in controlling the damage done by free radicals and UV rays. Many skin care products are now packed with green tea extract claiming to provide many benefits.
The tall claims of commercial products aside, green tea has indeed been found to have beneficial effects in case of skin aging signs like wrinkles, saggy skin etc. It has also been found to reduce the impact of the harmful effects of sunlight and also to prevent acne. Skin cancer and skin disorders like rosacea was also found to be inhibited with the use of green tea.
Green tea and the pearly whites:
A study published in the American Journal of Periodontology suggests that green tea effectively controls periodontal diseases. This health benefit has been credited to the presence of cathecin in green tea. Green tea is also being increasingly used in mouth care products like tooth paste, mouth wash etc. Green tea also has antimicrobial properties which help in strenghthening the teeth and gums and also reduce mouth odor. So if you want to keep all your teeth, better drink a cup of green tea.
There have been very few negative effects documented about green tea till date and which can very easily be prevented. The main side effects associated with green tea have been found to be because of the caffeine content in green tea but unlike other caffeinated products, green tea has less detrimental results.
However sugar should be avoided when consuming green tea as it will negate the positive effects and also should be avoided in empty stomach if you suffer from acidity or gastric. If you keep these things in mind then drinking a few cups of green tea everyday will bring in a healthy change in your life.