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Green Tea: The Ancient Chinese Antioxidant

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Welcome to the many benefits of green tea! Is any other food or drink capable of delivering so many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have been enjoying the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. There are four primary polyphenols in green tea which are also known as catechins; powerful antioxidants shown in recent studies to slow aging and fight viruses. Clinical tests and studies have shown that catechins destroy free radicals and have numerous positive effects on the whole body.

Destroying free radicals is an essential mission as they are highly reactive molecules and fragments of molecules that can damage the body at the cellular level, leaving us more susceptible to heart disease, cancer, and numerous other degenerative diseases.

The true gem in green tea is Epigallocatechin (EGCG) the antioxidant found within it. EGCG is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at protecting cells and DNA from damage possibly linked to heart disease, cancer, and many other illnesses. EGCG found in green tea even rivals resvratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine, having twice the benefits.

The magic of green tea is that it not only has the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells but it is believed to do so without harming healthy tissue.

Green Tea and Cholesterol

Green tea has also been reported as being effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels; inhibiting the formation of blood clots. Green tea consumption as preventative medicine takes on an added allure when taking into account that thrombosis (the abnormal formation of blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Perhaps the newly found power of the EGCG can account for the significantly reduced rates of heart disease in Japanese men, even though over 75% of these men are smokers.

Are all Teas Created Equal?

Why don’t other Chinese teas have similar benefits? Green, black, and oolong teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The difference with green tea is in the way it is processed. The key is in the fact that green tea leaves are steamed; preventing the EGCG component from being oxidized. The reason black and oolong teas aren’t as effective is because they are derived from fermented leaves; resulting in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that not as effective in disease fighting.

To date, the only reported negative side effect of green tea is the insomnia due to consuming caffeine. However, it should be noted that green tea less caffeine than coffee. The ratio is approximately 36 mg. of caffeine in 6-8oz of tea compared to over 100 mg of caffeine in 8oz of coffee. A trusted Chinese products supplier of green tea is important.

Tea Polyphenols. What are they?

Tea polyphenols are compounds found in tea leaves that are antioxidants found in plants. Antioxidants have been shown to prevent damage caused by free radicals to DNA and other molecules.

Polyphenols exhibit their cancer preventative properties by reducing abnormal cell growth and helping the body rid itself of cancer-causing agents; and restore the proper communication between different cells throughout the body.

Green Tea and Metabolism

Studies have concluded that the consumption of green tea results in an increase of energy used by the body of up to 3-4%. While many studies have been short term, The Obesity Research indicates that people who have been regular tea drinkers for more than 10 years showed lower body fat percentages compared with those who don’t drink tea regularly. Additional research shows that blood levels of glucose (sugars) and lipids (fats), and cholesterol are all reduced through green tea consumption.

The Linus Pauling Institute attributes the effect of green tea weight loss as being due to “increased fat oxidation and thermogenesis.” Thermogenesis is simply the energy used in heat production that is related to neither resting metabolic rate nor physical activity. It’s important to note that other studies have been conducted where individuals were given caffeine to see how this compared to the green tea thermogenesis. It was concluded that the individuals consuming the green tea had higher thermogenesis than those consuming the equivalent amount of caffeine without the green tea catchetins.

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