Green Tea, An Elixir For Life
What if you had a drink that has been helping people overcome or prevent illness since the times of ancient China? What if I told you it’s far cheaper than bottled water, takes less than two minutes to make at home, and offers a myriad of health benefits ranging from weight loss to cancer prevention?
Those are just some of the advantages of green tea. As its health benefits become more widely known, more and more people are turning to this drink and seeing surprising positive results in their health and appearance. I’ll list the benefits in this article, but first, a word on what makes green tea so beneficial.
Anti-oxidants are chemicals that help reduce signs of ageing, fight free radicals throughout the body, and naturally lower the risk of cancer. Green tea is rich in these, especially the powerful anti-oxidant EGCG. When green tea is ingested, EGCG moves throughout the body cleansing it, attaching itself to cancer-causing agents and eliminating them. Green tea has relatively high levels of anti-oxidants compared to other teas because its leaves are steamed, which preserves the compounds inside them.
Ten Reasons to Drink Green Tea
1) Weight loss. Green tea naturally speeds up the metabolism for a short while, triggering your body to use more fat as fuel. To take full advantage of this, it’s best to drink several cups throughout the day, to give your metabolism continuous boosts.
2) Improved complexion. Green tea is good for your skin; because of its anti-oxidants it has a more powerful cleansing effect than water. The anti-inflammatory properties will alleviate redness and blotchy skin, while anti-bacterial agents in the drink will fight acne-causing bacteria and facilitate healing of sores or cuts.
3) Improved cholesterol levels. Notice I didn’t say lowered cholesterol levels. The truth is, green tea will lower your cholesterol levels, but only the levels of the “bad” cholesterol, or the degenerated version of healthy LDL cholesterol. Green tea promotes LDL cholesterol your body needs, which in turn helps prevent the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
4) Dental health. The anti-bacterial properties in green tea don’t just help your skin; they also kill the bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay. While it’s no subsititute to brushing your teeth, drink green tea and your smile will be brighter!
5) Slows down Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. There’s no food or drink in existence that can prevent these genetically triggered diseases, but research shows that green tea may play a role in delaying their onsets. That’s because some enzymes found in green tea can help prevent damage in brain cells. There’s also speculation among scientists that EGCG blocks proteins that cause nerve damage and the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.
6) Helps your body resist infection. Once again, anti-bacterial properties ride to the rescue. Enzymes in green tea have been shown to boost production of T cells, which in turn help your body destroy pathogens. More T cells in your body means less vulnerability to disease and infection, which also means….
7) Strengthened immune systems. A 2003 study monitored a group of green tea drinkers with a control group of coffee drinkers. Blood samples taken after five weeks showed that antibodies, and especially T cells, were five times higher in the former group!
8) Stop wrinkling and start looking younger. In non-green tea drinkers, free radicals take their toll on the skin from sunlight or pollution. By fighting these radicals, the anti-oxidants in green tea slow the development of wrinkles, making skin healthier and younger-looking.
9) Heart benefits. We already talked about cholesterol levels, which go a long way towards explaining why green tea makes strokes and heart attacks less likely. By reducing bad cholesterol levels, green tea helps prevent clogged arteries. With all these heart-friendly benefits, it’s no wonder that a Japanese study found that regular green tea drinkers were 16% less likely to suffer from heart disease than people who didn’t drink green tea every day.
10) Can help alleviate allergic reactions. Yet another effect of EGCG is to block cell receptors that produce allergic responses. While green tea shouldn’t be expected to eliminate allergic reactions, it can help alleviate symptoms.
Knowing all this, I’ll be sure to drink a couple cups a day. Hope this has been informative, and that more people catch on in time to reap the benefits as well!