Green Tea’s Health and Weight Loss Benefits
Green tea is made from the unfermented leaves of camellia sinensis. This is a plant found mainly in China but is also found in other countries in Asia. Green tea has for years been used by the Chinese because of its purported health benefits. The health benefits they claimed are now being widely investigated so as to prove they really are true.
Most people from the west who used to consume black tea are now turning to green tea because of the numerous health benefits that it has been associated with. These benefits have been proven by scientific backing. Below are some of the health benefits of green tea and what make it such a high valued commodity in the market.
Antioxidant Properties of Green Tea
There have been many clinical studies that show that black tea and green teas may lower risks of developing cancers. The antioxidants called polyphenols in found in the teas are believed to be responsible for suspending the growth of cancerous cells.
Other health benefits include;
- Helps in combating liver disease. Studies have shown that men who drinks several cups of green tea in a day are less likely to suffer from liver problems as compared to those who do not. The green tea also helps protect the liver from the damaging effects of substances such as alcohol. In other cases it may also help treat inflammation of the liver. (Read more here)
- Control and prevention of Diabetes. It has been known that green tea helps prevent the development of type 1 diabetes which is very common. This tea also helps control the amount of sugar levels in the body and can also be used to regulate the glucose in the bodies of people who have already developed diabetes. It is thus very important for people who have diabetes to take several cups of green tea each day. Source: http://www.pacificcollege.edu/acupuncture-massage-news/articles/572-green-tea-for-type-ii-diabetes.html
- Treating and managing cancer.This by far may be one of the most important health benefits of green tea. In countries and areas where people regularly take green tea the level of cancer is usually low. Studies by various governmental and health institutions have shown that green tea is very important in lowering the risk of contracting cancer. This generally covers all types of cancers. This health benefits thus make a very essential component of our diets as it will truly benefit us in the fight against cancer.
- Prevention of Atherosclerosis. This is mainly used to refer to coronary artery disease. There are anti oxidation properties found in green tea which help it prevent atherosclerosis. This lowers the risk and rate of heart diseases and is thus important for people as it will help protect them from heart diseases. (Reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15161246)
- Controlling levels of cholesterol. Green tea has been found to lower the levels of cholesterol in the body by a significant proportion. It also helps in preventing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines and this reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in the body. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/news/20030623/tea-extract-can-lower-cholesterol)
Weight Loss Benefits
Some studies have shown that the catechins; a sub-class of flavonoids, is what makes gives green tea the ability to help boost metabolism when consumed regularly. Not to mention that green tea also reduces measurable amount of fat ingestion to the extend of be able to compare with the prescription weight loss drug Xenical. (More information about that here: http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm)
Factors To Consider When Selecting Good Quality Green Tea
When selecting green tea it is important we look at some factors such as the conditions under which it was cultivated. These factors and conditions should be carefully considered as they will help you get green tea which is beneficial to you and not harmful to your health. The factors to consider here are;
- Pesticides and chemicals used in production. Good green tea should be organic and free from any kind of pesticides and chemicals. If you can’t afford buying organic tea then make sure only approved pesticides are used. Some chemicals in these pesticides may be harmful to your health.
- Whether the tea is a GMO. The best green tea should be the one that grows naturally and not the ones created in labs. This is because GMO tea may lack some of the beneficial substances found in natural tea which you require to get its health benefits.
- Regions where the tea originates. Green tea from Japan has been found to have high levels of radioactive cesium. So I recommend avoiding teas imported from Japan for the time being. You can read more about this problem at wikipedia.