Green Tea Health Benefits
The benefits of green tea have been touted by the Chinese and Asian cultures for centuries. Finally, the West is catching on and is discovering the healing properties of this simple beverage. In the past, it has been used to help with headaches, depression, general malaise and other disorders. The Chinese have used green tea as a medicine for at least 4,000 years.
Currently, research is being done to find evidence of the health benefits that are associated with green tea. The evidence is staggering.
Research at the University of Purdue showed that there is a compound in green tea that inhibits the growth of cancer cells.
Research has shown that drinking green tea may be helpful for people with cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, infection, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol and reduced immune function.
A publication in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute in 1994, showed that consuming green tea actually offered a 60% reduction to the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women.
Studies have shown that drinking green tea lowers cholesterol and improves the “good” cholesterol (HDL) while decreasing the “bad” cholesterol (LDL)!
Green tea has certain properties that give it its healing abilities. It is very rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly EGCG. EGCG, epigallocatechin gallate, is a very powerful antioxidant. It inhibits the growth of cancer cells and can actually kill them, yet it does not harm healthy tissue. It has also been shown as being quite effective in lowering LDL cholesterol – the “bad” cholesterol. It has also been shown to inhibit the abnormal formation of blood clots which are the leading cause of heart attack and stroke.
At this time, the only drawback to green tea, its only negative side effect, is that it contains caffeine. This can lead to insomniaespecially if you are more sensitive to caffeine. The good news is that green tea contains less caffeine than coffee. There are also decaffeinated versions of green tea that are available. But if you drink the tea early in the day, before 4 pm, you should have no problem falling asleep. One worry with the caffeine is that it may become addicting. So use your best judgement.
You may find it interesting that green tea may also aid dieters. The University of Geneva performed a study where they gave men caffeine and green tea These men burned more calories than men who had only caffeine or were given a placebo.
Black tea and green tea are not the same. While they all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, the difference is how they are processed. Oolong and black teas come from fermented leaves. This causes the EGCG to be converted to other compounds. These compounds are not as effective in treating disease. Green tea leaves, on the other hand, are steamed. This process prevents the EGCG from being oxidized. Thus, the green tea is richer in EGCG and is not corrupted in any way.
Glyconutrients supplements are another way to help your body get healthy antioxidants into the body. In fact, studies have shown that glyconutritionals help the body to create its own natural antioxidants.