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Benefits of Drinking Green Tea by Priyanka ,  Feb 13, 2013
Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using 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.

To sum up, here are just a few medical conditions in which drinking green tea is reputed to be helpful:
  • cancer
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • high cholesterol levels
  • cariovascular disease
  • infection
  • impaired immune function

Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.

Additional benefits for regular consumers of green and black teas include a reduced risk for heart disease. The antioxidants in green, black, and oolong teas can help block the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and improve artery function. A Chinese study published recently in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed a 46%-65% reduction in hypertension risk in regular consumers of oolong or green tea, compared to non-consumers of tea.

From weight loss to cancer, there are many benefits to drinking green tea.  Here are five health benefits of drinking green tea that have been proven in correlation studies:

  • Cancer:  Clinical studies have proven green tea helps prevent many types of cancers, and there is research to support polyphenols may actually kill cancer cells and arrest their growth.  Bladder, breast, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, pancreatic, prostrate, skin, and stomach cancers have all shown to be positively affected by green tea.
  • Heart disease:  Natural News reports:

    Research at the Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan confirmed that green tea polyphenols can protect a heart from oxidative stress, as well as maintain good left ventricular function after ischemic arrest (restriction in the heart’s blood supply) and reperfusion (tissue damage caused when the blood supply returns).

    Green tea also protects the heart by preventing hypertension.

  • Type 2 diabetes:  Green tea consumption “may improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity in individuals with diabetes.”  In studies, it has been shown to help our bodies make better use of glucose.
  • Weight Loss:  Drinking green tea boosts the body’s metabolism. The polyphenols also help burn fat.  The World’s Healthiest Foods explains:

    A human study, published in the January 2005 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, confirms green tea’s ability to not only reduce body fat, but damage to LDL cholesterol as well. After 12 weeks of drinking just one bottle of green tea each day, 38 normal-to-overweight men in Tokyo had a significantly lower body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat mass and amount of subcutaneous fat compared to men given a bottle of oolong tea each day.

  • Cognitive improvement:  Senior citizens that drink green tea have demonstrated increased mental abilities. Also, green tea may protect the brain from forming plaque deposits found in Alzheimer’s disease and reduce memory loss.
Green tea and skin: The antioxidant in green tea protects the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, which cause wrinkling and skin aging. Green tea also helps fight against skin cancer.

Green tea and arthritis: Green tea can help prevent and reduce the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea has benefit for your health as it protects the cartilage by blocking the enzyme that destroys cartilage.

Green tea and bones: The very key to this is high fluoride content found in green tea. It helps keep your bones strong. If you drink green tea every day, this will help you preserve your bone density.

Green tea and cholesterol: Green tea can help lower cholesterol level. It also improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol, by reducing bad cholesterol level.

Green tea and diabetes: Green tea improves lipid and glucose metabolism, prevents sharp increases in blood sugar level and balances your metabolism rate.

Green tea and high blood pressure: Green tea helps prevent high blood pressure. Drinking green tea helps keep your blood pressure down by repressing angiotensin, which leads to high blood pressure.

Green tea and immunity: Polyphenols and flavonoids found in green tea help boost your immune system, making your health stronger in fighting against infections.

Green tea and stress: L-the theanine, which is a kind of amino acids in green tea, can help relieve stress and anxiety.

Green tea and allergies: EGCG found in green tea relieves allergies. So if you have allergies, you should really consider drinking green tea.

Longevity

Green tea may protect against death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease. Japanese scientists[1] analyzed data from a National Cohort Study that began in 1994 and had over 40,000 participants, age 40 to 79, who initially were free of stroke, heart disease and cancer. People were followed for up to 11 years.

Compared with participants who consumed less than 1 cup of green tea per day, those drinking 5 or more cups a day had a significantly lower risk of death from all causes, especially lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The findings might explain in part the reason why the Japanese live longer than people in any other country. However, there was no cancer prevention benefit of green tea.

Memory and learning

One of the important health benefits of regular green tea drinking is improved memory and learning ability. In Japan there was revealed[2] that high green tea drinking maintains cognitive function. Also, green tea consumption may enhance learning and memory ability[3].

The main components of green tea that are thought to work on improving brain function are polyphenols, epigalochatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a very strong antioxidant. The high use of oxygen during the metabolic processes leads to the generation of a large number of free radicals (highly reactive molecules). EGCG can penetrate the brain's blood barrier and is able to enact its antioxidative affects on the free radicals that cause damage in the brain.

How to Take It:

Pediatric

Green tea has not been studied in children, so it is not recommended for pediatric use.

Adult

Depending on the brand, 2 - 3 cups of green tea per day (for a total of 240 - 320 mg polyphenols) or 100 - 750 mg per day of standardized green tea extract is recommended. Caffeine-free products are available and recommended.

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