Green tea is one of the most consumed teas in China, with seven varieties, and is locally grown. Green tea is an un-oxidized tea, which gives a green hue to water when brewed. Records show the use of green tea about three thousand years ago in the south-west region of China.
The history of green tea begins in the 8th century when methods of steaming leaves were discovered to prevent their oxidation. It was the 12th century was when the “frying” method for green tea leaves was used to keep its signature un-oxidized taste. The process of steaming and frying is still used to this day in the modern version of green teas.
Green tea is prepared from the leaves Camellia sinensis; this is prior to the oxidation process performed on the leaves. The earliest records of tea are transcribed by the author Lu Yu in about 600 A.D.
Tea presentation is an art form in China and Japan. Japan contributed to the use of green tea by offering different variations of the leaf and incorporating it into their culture in the form of tea ceremonies. It is safe to say that the use of green tea became popular before the oolong and black tea.
In the western world, the first adaptation of tea was the black version. However, through the centuries, the use and popularity of green tea grew exponentially. Green tea contains a much higher concentration of antioxidants, polyphenols, and chlorophyll. Here are 11 reasons to incorporate green tea into your daily diet:
11 Proven Health Benefits of Green Tea
1. Powerful Polyphenols
Green tea has powerful polyphenols that help protect the body from cellular and DNA damage. Polyphenols contain micronutrients that are very effective in protecting the body from degenerative diseases. The bioavailability of polyphenols in green tea is high and hence is useful to protect the cells from internal damage. Polyphenols protect the body from radiation damage and help in strengthening the immune system.
Green tea is packed full of antioxidants and this is because it is un-oxidized. Antioxidants are what keep the body healthy and protected from oxidative damage. Antioxidants create a barrier against the effect of free radicals and prevent degenerative damage. Many diseases are the result of the effect of free radicals cells on different organs in the body. Cancer, heart diseases, strokes and such are all a result of oxidative damage. Antioxidant-rich foods and beverages, such as green tea should be a staple in any diet. The constant bombardment of free radicals from the environment, food, pollution and such can be very harmful.
3. A Healthy Heart
A good diet can be the road to a healthy heart, the recommended amount for people suffering from heart-related diseases is to drink up to 7 cups of green tea per day. The polyphenols in it are water extractable, which make them easier for the body to absorb and the results are immediate. Green tea helps expand the arteries to facilitate the circulation of blood hence preventing blood pressure related problems.
4. A Healthy Liver
A clean liver is a key to absorbing adequate nutrients from the food you eat. Studies have shown the effects of green tea on the liver health. Green tea has diuretic properties that help the liver get rid of toxins through urination. Drinking up to 10 cups of green tea can help prevent liver disease and other complications. The fatty build up in the liver can be the cause of liver failure and many other diseases. Consumption of green tea has a cleaning effect on the toxins in the liver and prevents you from developing visceral fat.
5. Healthy Digestion
It contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which reduces gastrointestinal inflammation to a great extent. The consumption of green tea can inhibit the effects of the interleukin gene, which causes inflammation. Green tea keeps the digestive system in check by reducing the chances of contracting diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and the sudden flare-ups that accompany it. Drinking from 3 to 5 cups a day can drastically improve the performance of the digestive system and prevent problems such as bloating and water retention.
6. Weight Loss
It has proven to be beneficial for weight loss time and again. Almost all dietitians, no matter where they come from advise a person suffering from obesity to elevate his consumption of green tea. Green tea contains caffeine, which negatively affects your body fat, resulting in weight loss. Drinking green tea will help you drop weight faster if it is a part of a well-structured diet regimen. Green tea acts as a stimulant in improving energy levels and enhancing the fat loss process.
7. Blood Sugar
It increases the activity of insulin in the body and controls blood sugar more effectively than any other health drink. Research shows that green tea has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels by half after the consumption of starchy foods. The recommended amount of people trying to control their blood sugar levels is from 1 to 3 cups a day. Regularly drinking green tea will help keep your blood sugar levels in check, but the benefits can best be reaped by drinking green tea with starchy foods.
8. Improved Memory
A research conducted over four weeks of regular consumption showed enhanced activity and connectivity in parts of the brain that deal with a working memory. Research is being conducted to understand the benefits of green tea for diseases associated with memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s.
9. Infection Prevention
Green tea protects the body from urinary tract infections and invigorates kidney health and function. The antimicrobial effects of green tea on E.Coli help keep your gut nice and clean. Green contains high amounts of EGC, which kills the bacteria in the urinary tract.
Being a powerhouse of antioxidants, it is a given that green tea will prevent the damage that free radicals cause to the skin. Even though aging cannot be stopped, it can be slowed down by maintaining an antioxidant-rich diet. Antioxidants promote elasticity in the body and inhibit the degenerative processes occurring in your skin cells. The polyphenols and amino acids in the green tea will help the skin produce collagen and prevent wrinkles. Many skin care products are infused with green tea extract to prevent premature aging.
11. Oral Health
The antimicrobial properties in green tea are also beneficial for overall dental health. It controls the growth of bacteria in the mouth and prevents bad breath as well. Green tea consumption has been used in medicinal practices to prevent the onset of gingivitis and other gum related diseases.
It should be taken in moderation, up to three cups a day is the recommended amount for a healthy individual. Starting the day off with green tea with a drop of lemon can be beneficial for the overall health of the body.