Why Drink Green Tea?
Green Tea Offers Many Health Benefits
I have had many packages dropped off by the friendly brown guys (thanks UPS) at the doorsteps but this one had me waiting anxiously. I’ve heard good things about this particular brand of green tea and so, being the die-hard tea drinker, I was eager to try it out. My package of green tea goodness finally came. It came packed in an aluminum pouch, almost featherweight and totally sleek looking. None of the predictable packing that tea often comes in: boxes, canisters or little sachets. It is so light you can toss it into your handbag to take it with you to work, on your trips and even on picnics. All you need for that adventure is a flask of hot water.
Inside the resealable pouch are needle-like looking green tea leaves—leaves that are picked in early spring. I took a pinch of tea leaves(certified organic) and dropped them in my hot cup of water and allow it to steep for 1 full minute. You can strain the leaves or just leave them in the cup. Actually, why bother?—the leaves are delicate enough to eat. The result is a light green tea, clear and clean. I took a sip and it was totally satisfying—lightly fragranced without the grassy taste of less sophisticated teas. The taste is subtle, not heavy without the acidic aftertaste of many common teas and yet, not too subtle as to be bland. There is nothing more delightful that sipping great tea and this one fits the bill. I’m glad to note that this pouch of tea can make 75 cups. Now, that’s 75 doses of relaxation, a commodity that is rare in this fast-moving world.
Now, of all the beverages in this world (and there are many), why would one choose green tea? Or why should you drink green tea? While green tea may not be your beverage of choice, there are many scientific researches that point to the wisdom of including green tea in your diet, if you haven’t already.
My green tea package finally arrives.
What It Says On the Underside:
Japanese Green Tea, Sencha
Ingredient: Green Tea
Net Weight : 50 grams
Instructions for brewing 3 cups of tea:
Water Temperature: 75 to 80 degree Celsius
Amount of tea leaves: 6 g
Amount of water: 270 cc.
Steeping time: 60 seconds
What Makes Green Tea Such a Standout in the World of Teas?
Teas can come in different grades and categories: green, black, white or oolong. Categorizing them depends on the level of processing. Black tea goes through the most processing, allowing the process of fermentation to darken the leaves. Oolong tea is partially processed and white tea is the least processed tea. Green tea, on the other hand, is not fermented at all. The leaves are either steamed or pan fried to retain its delicate green color. The leaves are often rolled into different shapes before drying them. This particular brand of green tea, Sencha, is rolled into fine strands, like needles as mentioned. Because green tea does not go through oxidation, unlike the other teas, it has high concentration of polyphenols, a powerful group of antioxidants.
And it is precisely the high concentration of polyphenols, especially catechins, that set green tea apart. Specifically, the most plentiful catechins found in green tea are epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and this group of antioxidants is thought to exert many health benefits by patrolling the body for free radicals. What are free radicals and why are they so damaging to health? Free radicals occur naturally in the body and they are also found in the environment in the form of the sun’s UV rays, cigarette smoke, air pollutants and radiation. These free radicals work tirelessly to damage cells including tampering with DNA in the cells and to cause cell death. Many health experts believe that free radicals may contribute to the aging process, cancers, and cardiovascular diseases, amongst others. To counter-effect these damaging free radicals, your body needs antioxidants, substances that hunt down free radicals and nullify their effects. Which brings us back to the health benefits of green tea, since they’re high in antioxidants.
There are more than 500 studies on the health benefits of green tea. It is therefore, quite impossible (not to mention boring) to list them all but suffice to say, there are strong evidences that point to the health benefits of green tea.
Green Tea and Cancer
According to the University of Maryland, several population-based clinical studies have indicated that green tea can protect against cancer. Researchers believe that polyphenols help to kill cancerous cells and stop their progression. This fact is evidenced by the lower cancer rates in countries steep in tea drinking. A recent analysis of 22 studies to probe the correlation between high tea consumption and reduced risk for lung cancer reveals that drinking 2 cups of green tea daily can reduce lung cancer risk by 18 percent.
Green Tea and Lower Cholesterol
Having high bad (LDL) cholesterol can generate a number of health risks: hypertension, atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries) and heart disease. To effectively lower these health risks, it is important to lower bad cholesterol. According to Harvard Medical Health, a Chinese study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows a 46% to 65% reduction in hypertension risk in those who consume green tea regularly. Another population-based study found that men who consume green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who don’t. Health researchers suggest that the polyphenols in green tea may be responsible for blocking intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promoting its excretion from the body. Andrew Weil, M.D., health expert on healthy living and eating suggests drinking green tea daily to fight high cholesterol.
Green Tea and Diabetes
Diabetic patients know the importance of controlling blood sugar in the body. Green tea has been used traditionally to regulate blood sugar level and recent studies reveal that ancient wisdom may not be too far off. When researchers at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta tested the effect of EGCG on mice infected with type-1 diabetes, they found that EGCG can prevent and delay insulin-dependent type 1 diabetes in addition to preventing autoimmune diseases.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
In Japan and parts of Asia, drinking a cup of hot tea with the meal is quite a standard observance. In fact, a meal may be considered incomplete without the ubiquitous serving of tea. This traditional practice may explain why they have a slimmer waistline. The Journal of Nutrition reports that preliminary lab tests show that mice given chow laced with green tea extract gain less weight and less fat, show less fat in the liver and have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. So, why not bust some fat while enjoying a relaxing cup of green tea?
Green Tea and Bad Breath
Turns out there is another good reason to enjoy that cup of green tea after a meal. According to Dr. Mehmet Oz, vice-chair and professor of surgery at the Columbia University, green tea works better than the tongue scrapper to cure bad breath. How? Green tea acts as a disinfectant and deodorant, preventing bacteria that cause bad breath from growing in the first place.
Green Tea and Its Many Uses
Drinking green tea may be the simplest of ways to tap its health benefits but there are many creative ways to include this superfood in your diet. You can use it as an ingredient in your food, beverages and even as a dessert. Here are some ways:
Green tea extracts have been used in beauty products and cosmetics. From fighting wrinkles to promoting clean breath, green tea extracts have made quite an impact on healthy living.
Other hubs by anglnwu:
How to Trim the Waistline Without Going on a Diet: http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Trim-the-Waistline-Without-Going-on-a-Diet
Colon Cleansing to Revitalize Your Metabolism and Restore Health: http://hubpages.com/hub/Colon-Cleansing-the-Natural-Way
Whittle Away Belly Fat: http://hubpages.com/hub/Whittle-Away-Belly-Fat
How to Build Dieting Success into your Daily Life: http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Build-Dieting-Success-into-Your-Daily-Life