Green Tea - The Extraordinaire!
Healthy Living

Green Tea - The Extraordinaire!

Mehvish Hamdare profile Authored by Mehvish Hamdare on 1 Aug 2014 - 12:02.

Green tea has increasingly become a very popular drink worldwide because of its immensely powerful health benefits. It is amazing what green tea can do to your health with its extraordinary properties. And if you're not drinking three to four cups of green tea today, you're definitely depriving your health of a big favour.

"Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea of one,’’ says a Chinese proverb.  The Chinese vouch for the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times. While tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world, 78 percent of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20 percent is green.

What makes green tea special?
Green tea is considered one of the world's healthiest drinks, as it is made from unoxidized/ unfermented leaves, and is one of the less processed types of tea (white tea the least) . It therefore contains one of the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals damaging compounds in the body that change cells, damage DNA, and even cause cell death. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

The benefits of green tea are:

Here are few reasons why you can’t ignore consuming green tea if you haven’t tried it yet, or to continue it if you’ve already made it a part of your daily routine:

Cancer: According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have shown to decrease tumour growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation. 

Lung cancer: Few researches have shown green tea to be helpful against lung cancer. In April 2010, a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, EGCG was found to suppress lung cancer cell growth.

Breast cancer: Green tea helps slow breast cancer growth.  New research published in the journal Experimental Cell Research found that EGCG inhibited cancer cell metabolism in in breast tumours.

Ovarian cancer: In a clinical study done with ovarian cancer patients in China, researchers found that women who drank at least one cup of green tea per day, lived longer with the disease than those who didn’t drink green tea.

Skin / Anti-aging:  Green tea can be regarded as a storehouse of benefits for the skin as it contains antioxidant which fights against free radicals. According to new research in the journal Pharmaceutical Development and Technology it showed that it helps to protect the skin against UV damage. Green tea has been found extremely effective in safeguarding the skin against sunburn and tanning when applied locally.

Heart Disease: Research shows that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL ("good") cholesterol in both animals and humans. One population-based clinical study found that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who did not drink green tea. Green tea represses angiotensin II which leads to high blood pressure & reduces the possibilities of heart attack.

Diabetes: Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar levels as it may help regulate glucose in the body. A few small clinical studies have found that taking a green tea extract daily lowered the haemoglobin A1c level in people with borderline diabetes.

Alzheimer’s: Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age. The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.

Weight loss: Good news for those trying to lose out weight, research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent. Also, several studies show that green tea decreases body fat, especially in the abdominal area.

In one study, participants who drank four cups of tea daily had remarkably higher fat oxidation (by 12 percent) and burned an average of 67 additional calories a day. Drinking at least three cups a day is recommended to raise the body's metabolic rate.

Tooth Decay: Catechins present in green tea is associated with killing bacteria that cause tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease-the number one cause for tooth loss. A study published this year by the European Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of one or more cups of green tea a day was significantly associated with decreasing the risk of tooth loss.

Arthritis: Antioxidants present in green tea may prevent or reduce the severity of symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis as they protect the cartilage by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage.

Liver disease: Population-based clinical studies have shown that men who drink more than 10 cups of green tea per day are less likely to develop liver problems. Green tea also seems to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances such as alcohol.

Bone Health: Regular consumption of green tea has been associated with decreasing the risk of osteoporotic fractures. Researchers have found that tea and its bioactive components might decrease the risk of fracture by improving bone mineral density (BMD) and supporting osteoblastic activities while suppressing osteoclastic activities.

Immunity: Polyphenols and flavonoids found in green tea help boost your immune system, making your health stronger in fighting against infections Research at Harvard University also indicated that green tea chemicals stimulated gammadelta T-cells, which bolster immunity against bacteria and viruses.

Stress: Sipping green tea helps you slow down and relax, hence helps in getting relief from depression and headache.

Reduces puffy eyes / dark circles: Caffeine helps to shrink blood vessels underneath the skin and eliminate dark circles around the eye area, treating puffy eyes.

To enhance the feel-good factor, lose weight and lower the risk of different chronic diseases, consider making green tea a part of your everyday life.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.