Health Benefits of Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

 Antioxidants in Green tea – Green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols which removes free radicals from body. Free radicals are known to damage body cells. Free radicals are formed naturally in body or can be induced due to other environmental toxins like UV rays, cigarette smoke, air pollution, etc. Antioxidants in green tea help neutralize these radicals and results in various health benefits.

What are the health benefits of green tea?

Green tea has been consumed traditionally in Asia region. It has been used as stimulant, to improve heart health and promote digestion.

Studies have shown that consumption of green tea regularly helps reduction of bad cholesterol, increase metabolic rate and fat oxidation, prevent death of brain cells, help reduce weight, reduce probability of cancer, promote digestion, stop tooth decay and gum disease and help with bad breath.

Benefits of Green tea on Atherosclerosis

Green tea has shown properties that help prevent atherosclerosis, mainly coronary artery disease during clinical studies.

Effect of Green tea on high cholesterol

Green tea reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels in body and reduces risk of heart diseases. However black tea also shows similar beneficial studies. However studies show that people who drink green tea regularly have low total cholesterol.

Green tea prevents Cancer

A number of studies shows that tea – black and green help protect various forms of cancer. High levels of Polyphenols in green tea are believed have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the onset and growth of cancer cells.

Controlling Blood sugar in Diabetes

Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar in the body. It helps prevent development of diabetes and regulate glucose in body.

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Green tea protects against Liver disease

Clinical studies show that green tea seems protect liver from toxic effects of substances like alcohol. It also helps treating viral hepatisis.

Green tea and Weight loss

Green tea boosts metabolism, thereby resulting burning of fat. Antioxidants and caffeine in green tea increases Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat. One study confirmed that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in overweight and moderately obese individuals. Some researchers speculate that substances in green tea known as polyphenols, specifically the catechins, are responsible for the herb’s fat-burning effect.

Other uses of Green tea

Drinking green tea has been found effective on tooth decay, inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, preventing symptoms of colds and influenza.

How is Green tea produced?

Green tea is manufactured in the following stages:

Steaming occurs immediately after the leaves are plucked. The sudden heat exposure destroys enzymes that would otherwise lead to oxidation. Leaves are then cooled to room temperature.

Rolling:. The tea leaves are rolled under pressure and the leaf juice extracted is coated uniformly on the rolled leaf. Firing involves drying of rolled leaf in large mechanical dryers.

Packing: Tea is blended together to produce different grades and packed in various airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Why is Green Tea healthier than Black Tea?

Black Tea is a rich source of antioxidants called flavonoids. On a per cup basis, green tea delivers approximately 30% more antioxidants than black tea, assuming equal quantities of teas are used and brewing method is similar. Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, commonly known as ACE vitamins and which act as scavengers of free radicals are also present in both green and black tea. However, some research indicates that black tea contains Theaflavins which is equally effective antioxidants as Catechins.

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Best way to prepare green tea

Most popular way of making green tea is by hot brewing method. In this boiling water is added to green tea, let to steep for 2 minutes as per taste, stir and drained. Boiling water that has been freshly drawn water is considered good, as previously boiled water lose oxygen and affects taste. Other method includes iced tea brewing method.

One should not try to steep water which is too hot. Green tea is different from black tea, and need water at 80-85°C. Lesser steeped green tea is considered good.

Types of green tea extracts

Polyphenols in green tea is extracted and sold commercially as nutraceutical or food supplement. Catechin content in green tea is extracted, concentrated and sold in various forms. Various green tea extracts can be classified as

Strong infusions: Green tea leaves are processed by soaking them in aqueous solution of alcohol. This solutions can be further concentrated to obtain soft extracts.

Dry extracts: Strong infusion can be concentrated to obtain highly concentrated solution, from which catechin can be extracted in solid form and processed to obtain green tea extract power. This powder is process to make green tea extract capsule or green tea extract tablets.

Partly purified extracts: Advanced purification can help to extract highly pure green tea catechin extract.

Side effects of Green tea

Consuming high amounts of concentrated green tea catechin – EGCG on long term can be considered unsafe. Researchers studying the toxicity levels of EGCG found that 200 mg per kilogram of body weight daily had no adverse effects.

Image: Flickr user ilmatte

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