Let’s take a cup of tea together: now, a cup of green tea. Then you will tell me how you feel.
What is Green Tea?
It is harvested tea and then quickly preserved. Whereas black tealeaves are allowed to oxidize after they are picked, green tealeaves are immediately heated to prevent oxidation. (Oxidation is a natural process. It’s the same thing that happens when you slice an apple and it begins to turn brown and taste sweeter as it is exposed to oxygen.)
Green tea is processed with either steam heat or with dry heat (such as pan firing, which is similar to stir frying in a wok, or a quick baking process in an oven). This is different from the processing for other tea types (like black tea, oolong tea, white tea, pu-erh tea, etc).
The Chinese observed the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times; they studied patiently its qualities and used it to treat everything: from headaches to depression.
In her book Green Tea: “The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life”, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.
Why Green Tea is so “Special”?
The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly EpiGalloCatech in Gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful antioxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue.
Researchers observed that the benefit of green tea was similar to the so called “French Paradox” (despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a low incidence of heart disease. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.
Why do not other Chinese teas have the same health-giving qualities? All of them (green, oolong, and black teas) come from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The processing way makes the difference. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG is converted into different compounds – not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
* Weight Loss. Green tea increases the metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea intensifies levels of fat oxidation. Your body turns food into calories in a higher rate. It is well known the green tea diet. (http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/diet-fitness/diets/green-tea-diet2.htm)
* Diabetes. Green tea seems to help regulate glucose levels slowing down the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
* Heart Disease. Scientists think that green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, keeping them relaxed and more able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It could be also a protection against clots formation, the primary cause of heart attacks.
* Cholesterol. Green tea reduces the Bad Cholesterol (LDL) in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol: HDL/LDL
* Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protects brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells. It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
* Anti-viral and Anti-bacterial. Tea “catechins” are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
* Tooth Decay. Studies show that the chemical antioxidant of tea “catechin” can destroy bacteria and viruses causing throat infections, dental caries etc.
* Blood Pressure. Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
* Depression. Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
* Skincare. Green tea can also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage as animal and human studies have demonstrated).
One cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains.
The reality is that the specialists do not have a common opinion about how many cups should be more efficient, but if you want to try the effects of green tea you may also consider take a diet supplement. Any way there are many green tea recipes that can help you enjoy this so healthy nature treasure.
Knowledge, at Work!