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Green Tea - Nutritional and Health Benefits

Updated on May 12, 2015

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.

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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.

Benefits?

Green tea can benefit many areas of your health:

- Cancer inhibition

- Weight loss

- Heart Health

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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    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      is it ok to drink 2 cups of green tea everyday? I have been drinking 1- 2 cups per day since i heard that it could benefit my body from various illness. The big C and heart disease are common illness in women. Thanks for sharing this hub. Very useful

    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 3 years ago from New Zealand

      I think so. The info recommended at least two several times in relation to the studies on cancer and heart disease. Thanks for your comment.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thanks for the motivation to add green tea into my day. I was doing it for a while but got somewhat lazy. I wonder how much people have to consume daily to reap the benefits.

    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 3 years ago from New Zealand

      My pleasure HealthyLife2. I shall look into it. I'm thinking I may have to consume more, but trying to get pregnant, so maybe after that...apparently should stop whilst pregnant.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      Green tea is delicious too. Nice article.

    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks ologsinquito.

    • Akriti Mattu profile image

      Akriti Mattu 2 years ago from Shimla, India

      Read three of your posts till now. All of them were useful and informative.

      Looking forward to read more soon.

      Best wishes for all your future endeavours :)

    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thank you Akriti! Thanks for visiting!

    • ladyguitarpicker profile image

      stella vadakin 19 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

      Hi, I have just started to drink green tea. My doctor told me it should be good for me. I read that it does help with the weight, so it is worth a try. Thanks for information, Stella

    • jlpark profile image
      Author

      Jacqui 19 months ago from New Zealand

      Thanks for visitin Lady Guitar Picker!

      I hope this information helped, and that you have good results!

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