The benefits of green tea have recently become the topic of many weight loss and nutritional debates. Many people believe that green tea contains all of the ingredients necessary to fight infection and disease as well as help the body burn calories and lose weight. Although this may sound too good to be true, there is some credibility in the claims. The studies done on green tea have been vast and ongoing, and many scientists feel that they are merely scraping the surface of what this wonder-tea may have to offer. The following are some of the benefits of green tea and why you may want to consider pouring yourself a few glasses a day:
- Cancer fighting properties: One of the greatest benefits of green tea is its ability to prevent numerous cancers. A few cups a day can actually decrease your chances of developing lung, breast or prostate cancers and can also slow the production of cancer cells in patients who have already been fighting the disease. The reason behind green tea’s incredible curing power is an essential ingredient called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which is a type of antioxidant.
- Increases Metabolic Rate: This is why so many people believe that green tea is the secret to weight loss. The combination of the caffeine and catechin polyphenols that are found in the tea will actually increase the body’s insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. A few cups a day can also result in a faster rate of fat oxidation and can raise thermo genesis which helps to burn calories faster.
- Strengthens the Immune system: One notable study compared the anti-bacterial proteins found in the immune system of coffee drinkers to those of people who enjoyed two cups of green tea daily. The result, the tea drinkers had three times the immune system response and there were five times more anti-bacterial proteins present. In short, green tea helped their body prepare for any potential illnesses or diseases.
- Improves brain health and alertness: The benefits of green tea do not all relate to weight loss and disease prevention. This wonder drink can also produce a calmer, more alert state of mind when enjoyed regularly. It is believed that the theanine contained in the tea is able to cross over the blood-brain barrier and can keep us mentally healthy even into old age!
- Improves the appearance of hair and skin: For those who are looking to improve their outer appearance as well as their inner health, green tea is the perfect choice. The countless anti-oxidants included in the tea do not only improve your health but can also improve the appearance of your hair, skin and even improve your eye sight!
Why Drink Green Tea?
When it comes to the nutritional value of tea, determining even a generalized overview is difficult. It depends on the kind of tea, brand, and the form it is in. For example, tea brewed directly from tea bags will not contain any sugar, will have hardly any calories, and will be very low in sodium. However, if you use powdered tea, these values will start to increase. Typically the worse form of green tea is bottled. This will not only have sugar added, which increases the calorie count, but it is treated and processed, killing many of the health benefits. When it comes to your food, you want it tampered with as little as possible.
Why is green tea the healthiest of the teas, especially when they all come from the same camellia plant? It has to do with how the leaves are treated. Green tea leaves are steamed. This prevents the healthful compounds from becoming oxidized. Other tea leaves are fermented, which cuts down on their abilities to help fight various diseases.
One of the major benefits of green tea has to do with a compound called EGCG. This is a powerful antioxidant. Not only does it prevent cancer cells from growing, but it also kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. This has been scientifically tested, and in 1994 the National Cancer Society published results finding that green tea reduced certain cancers in men and women by 60%. In addition to cancer, the powerful EGCG compound also boosts your overall immunity. Green tea also helps lower your bad cholesterol while boosting your good levels. This can prevent heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Other health benefits include improving depression, headaches, and infection. Green tea has actually been used as medicine in China for thousands of years.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
While these health benefits are great, most people are also interested in the weight loss benefits. Green tea helps people lose weight in a few ways. First, it contains caffeine. Caffeine has received a bad reputation over the years, but it does have beneficial qualities for weight loss. This stimulant gives you a boost of energy, which is what you need to get through a difficult workout or make it to the gym. It also increases your heart rate, which tricks your body into thinking it is in the middle of a moderate workout, even when you are sitting or being inactive. This increases your metabolism, leading to higher levels of burned calories. Green tea also keeps your glucose levels steady, which helps control appetite. Finally, the fresh taste of green tea is enjoyable, and makes an excellent replacement for poor beverage choices. Think of the calories and sugar a person can avoid by drinking green tea instead of soda.
Many people have heard about the health benefits of drinking green tea, hopefully this article addresses some of your questions. If you are looking for a beverage to compliment your healthy lifestyle, or if you are trying to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle, this tea is perfect. Green tea can help protect you against disease as well as help you lose weight.
With cold weather there is nothing more satisfying then hot tea and in the warm weather nothing greater than iced tea. You can really drink this all year round with ease. It is something that is also easy to incorporate into your diet.