Health Benefits of Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea
The New Green Revolution!

In all of its various forms, Tea ranks second behind water, in terms of being the most consumed beverage in the world. Across the world, over 7 billion gallons of tea are consumed each year of which black tea accounts for up to 80% of the consumption. The slightly sharp and ascorbic taste of tea which is preferred by many people as well as its low cost availability have ensured that tea is the most favored beverage in all parts of the world. While black tea has its benefits and has become more of a need to jumpstart the day for many people worldwide, its fresher cousin – Green Tea has been taking most of the attention in both tea drinking and non drinking circles lately.

Green Tea Vs Black Tea

Green tea differs from the regular black tea in its processing. While black tea is left to ferment after being plucked and is dried only after it has been fermented, green tea does not undergo a fermentation process and is dried soon after being plucked.

Although people in some parts of Asia have been consuming green tea for over 4000 years, only recently, has it has come into prominence as a mainstream beverage. With the highest number of anti oxidants than any other type of tea, Green Tea is being touted as the next green revolution.

Prevention & Management of Diabetes – One of the first recorded benefits of green tea has been in context to Diabetes. Compounds in green tea, help in improving the metabolism rates of lipids and glucose thereby preventing sharp spikes in the level of blood sugar.

Prevention of Cardio Vascular Diseases – Studies have demonstrated that drinking 3-4 cups of green tea on a daily basis is likely to reduce susceptibility to cardio vascular diseases by at least 26% and strokes by 51%. This is primarily due to the action of polyphenols, present in green tea which reduces cholesterol levels and aids in reducing arterial blockages as well as in preventing further degeneration of damaged tissues. Tea drinking also thins the blood by inhibiting omega – 6 fatty acids from forming arachidonic acids which causes blood platelets to clump into clots which reduces the possibility of clots that are a major cause for arterial blockages & coronary arterial ailments.

Prevention of Cancer – Green tea is the richest dietary source of epigallocatechin – 3 – gallate (EGCG), which is a very powerful anti-oxidant. This compound prevents oxidation and breakdown of healthy cells in the body by supplementing itself for oxidation rather than healthy cells. It also helps in breaking down cancerous cells, but does so without harming healthy cells in the body. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has linked a 30-35% reduction of esophageal cancer cases with the consumption of green tea, while also purporting similar effects in pancreatic, colon & rectal cancer as well. However, the cancer fighting benefits of green tea can only be realized if green tea is consumed cold or at room temperatures. Drinking too much hot tea can actually be a cause for esophageal cancer.

Weight Loss – Although, not very significantly; green tea contains caffeine, which is a known thermogenic compound. Along with exercise, caffeine helps in aiding weight loss which is a key driver in avoiding lifestyle diseases. While studies do not associate the consumption of green tea with immediate weight loss, they have established links between green tea consumption and increased metabolism. This increase in metabolic rate helps green tea drinkers’ burn up to 70 extra calories per day as compared to non tea drinkers which roughly translates to losing around four kilos of weight in a year just by consuming green tea.

Delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s – Green Tea also contains significant amounts of L-Theanine which is an amino acid that decelerates the decrease of acetylcholine in the brain thereby delaying the manifestation of the degenerative disease Alzheimer’s.