Home Health Benefits of Green Tea
Some of the green tea benefits are in its potential to reduce the risk of cancer and treat or prevent inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
Black tea, green tea, oolong tea and white tea are herbal teas made from the leaves and buds of camellia sinensis. The difference in each type of the tea is in the way the leaves are processed. Green tea leaves are unwilted, unfermented and unoxidized and thus contain high amounts of antioxidants called polyphenols.
Green tea extract is the derivative of the leaves and contains concentrated catechins especially apigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG is a powerful antioxidant and is believed to be more potent than vitamin C and vitamin E. Taking 1 green tea extract capsule is equivalent to drinking about 2 to 3 cups of green tea.
The polyphenols present are catechins compounds namely catechin, gallaogatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and apigallocatechin gallate. And because the leaves are not fermented, the caffeine content is lower than leaves that were fermented. Besides catechins and caffeine, green tea leaves and extract contain theobromine, kaempferol, L-theanine, tannin and theophylline.
Green Tea Benefits
One of the benefits of drinking green tea is it boosts your immune system because of the antioxidant activity. Antioxidants are molecules or substances that help prevent or reduce the risk of serious diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and macular degeneration or age related eye disease. It does that by neutralizing free radicals or toxic byproducts of cell metabolism.
Extensive studies have been conducted and are still ongoing to ascertain green tea extract benefits in preventing or treating cancer. There are reports stating that the extract may help destroy cancerous cells and stop their progress. In vitro experiments found that the polyphenols interrupt the development of prostate cancer growth. Researchers think that green tea extract may prevent and slow down cancer progression and improve current cancer treatments for cancers such as bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer and ovarian cancer.
Many diet products include green tea extracts in its ingredients because studies found that catechins in green tea have the potential to assist in weight loss because of their fat burning effect. The polyphenols have the ability to burn stored fat, block carbohydrate assimilation and reduce hunger cravings. What it means is green tea boosts fat burning activity or metabolic rate and prevents carbohydrates from being stored as fat. Because green tea contains caffeine, it doesn't reduce energy level even though you will tend to eat less because green tea suppresses your hunger. If you are overweight or obese, you shouldn't rely solely on green tea benefits. You must eat well balanced diet, do aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week and include weight training exercise to build muscle mass and stay fit and healthy.
Another one of green tea benefits is it acts as an anti-aging agent. This again is due to its antioxidant properties. It does so by looking for and neutralizing free radicals in the body and those caused by environmental factors such as air pollutions, cigarette smoke and UV rays that contribute to premature aging. And because of this, green tea extract is used in many anti-aging skin care cream.
Researchers found that green tea extract has the potential to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases. If you suffer from Crohn's disease or inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis or inflammation of the colon, consider drinking green tea or taking green tea extract because the EGCG in green tea is able to suppress inflammation.
And because of its anti inflammatory properties due to the presence of EGCG, green tea benefits include treating and reducing inflammations. Studies reveal that green tea may benefit people who suffer from arthritis and may prevent skin inflammations and tumors.
Because of the presence of polyphenols, green tea benefits include raising good cholesterol or HDL level, reducing bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol and lowering total cholesterol level. Studies reveal that the compounds in green tea block intestinal absorption of cholesterol and release the cholesterol from the body. So green tea health benefits include reducing the risk of atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries and heart disease.
The extract is also used in some toothpaste because it may prevent tooth decay and reduce cavities. It does this by preventing bacterial enzyme from turning sugar into dental plaque.
Based on many scientific studies, green tea benefits include reducing the risk of liver diseases and treating them. This includes viral hepatitis, liver problems caused by alcohol and hemochromatosis or liver swelling.
Green tea produces a stimulating effect and may reduce physical stress, mental stress and moodiness because of the presence of l- theanine and caffeine. It helps in keeping you energized and calm your nerves. Drinking green tea before bedtime isn't a wise thing to do as it can cause insomnia.
Green tea is also used topically and as a wash for treating skin inflammations and irritations and eye infection and tired eyes.
Other health benefits include preventing and treating diseases such as gastritis and genital warts. It is a mild diuretic and is used as a remedy to increase urine flow. And because of its immune boosting properties, green tea benefits include preventing infections such as the common cold and flu or shortening the durations of the symptoms of the viral infections. Green tea extract may also prevent type 1 diabetes and also slow down the progression as it helps prevent insulin resistance.
Even though there are many benefits, it is advisable that you take it in moderation and follow the prescribed dosage if you are taking the extract. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, are taking prescription medications or have serious health issues, do talk to your doctor first before taking the supplement to prevent side effects and possible interactions with other medications.
Decaffeinated green tea is available if you prefer caffeine free tea. Taking green tea extract combined with other fruit extracts such as acai berry or grapefruit is also beneficial for your health.
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