Green Tea - Nutritional and Health Benefits
Drinking Tea Can Benefit My Health?
Tea has been drunk and cultivated for centuries, and remains one of the most widely consumed beverage aside from water in the world. The three teas - Black, Oolong and of course Green. - are consumed throughout the world.
However, it is more recently that Green Tea has come more popular, particularly once it's health benefits came to light, and were promoted by nutritionists and then by celebrities for its many properties.
What Does the Research Say?
A decade of research into the benefits of Green Tea on health has been conducted by many different groups, in several different countries. Research has been conducted in both humans and animals, and also in laboratory experiments. The findings from all the research suggests that Green Tea has multiple health benefits for humans.
The benefits include strong antioxidant properties. Due to it's minimal processing - green tea leaves are withered and steamed rather than fermented like other teas - the antioxidants, called catechin or polyphenols, are more concentrated than in other teas. These antioxidants fight free radicals that damage DNA and contribute to illnesses such as blood clots, cancer and other issues.
Traditional Green Tea
Do you believe Green Tea has health benefits?
Green Tea and Cancer?
Studies have found that people who consumed at least two cups of green tea daily have inhibited cancer growth, or even the development of cancer.
Chinese studies have found that the greater the amount of green tea consumed, the less risk a person has of developing throat, prostate, pancreatic, colorectal and stomach cancers. A Japanese study of 500 women with Stage I + II breast cancer concluded that an increase in green tea consumption both before and after surgery seemed to be associated with lower incidence of recurrence of the cancer.
Cancer rates in general are lower in countries like Japan where Green Tea consumption is higher. However, it has also been found in some early trials that polyphenols may have an important role in preventing cancer. and may also help kill cancer cells.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green Tea and Your Heart
Green tea is also thought to have heart health benefits. It is thought that it may help prevent atherosclerosis by acting on cholesterol levels, therefore increasing the health of your heart.
The polyphenols in Green Tea are thought to act on the cholesterol in the blood, lowering triglyceride and low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) - the two 'bad' cholesterols. An animal study results suggests that the polyphenols may block the absorption of the bad cholesterol in the intestine and help the body rid itself of this cholesterol. A population based study also found that cholesterol levels in men who drank green tea were lower than those of men who did not.
Green tea's antioxidants - the polyphenols - are dilators as well, so they improve the vessel flexibility which makes them less vulnerable to clogging.
Finally - Green Tea and Weight Loss
Now, for the reason many people are currently drinking Green Tea. Whilst many who don't drink Green Tea may think that this is a bogus claim. However it has been researched and found that it does in fact assist in weight loss.
A Dutch study found that people who drank caffeinated green tea lost more weight than those who drank decaf, though those who drank decaf still saw a decrease in their body weight and waistline.
Another study in Japan found that those who were given the highest amount of green tea extract for three months, in a trial where participants were given varying amounts, lost both fat and weight, and also havd lower BP and LDL cholesterol.
To Sum It Up
Green Tea has been proven through studies to have numerous health benefits including heart health, cancer inhibition and weight loss. Used in conjunction with a healthy diet, Green tea can be a great additive to your health treatments. It should however not be used as a complete replacement to medical or health treatments.
However it is not for everyone. People with heart problems, high BP, kidney and liver problems, ulcer should avoid green tea. Pregnant and breast feeding women should also avoid green tea.
Interactions with medications include: Adenosine, Betalactam, Benzodiazepines, Beta-blockers, Blood Thinning medications, Chemotherapy, Clozapine, Ephedrine, Lithium, MAOIs, Birth Control, some antibiotics should seek medical advice before commencing a green tea regime.
Otherwise - enjoy your Green Tea!
Sip, and sit back, letting the Green Tea do its work on increasing your health and wellness.
Thanks to University of Maryland, WebMD and About.com for their assistance with information
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© 2013 Jacqui