Green tea is possibly the most abundant and cheapest drink next to water. From conclusions of so many studies over the years, it may as well be the second healthiest drink to water (no drink can ever beat good drinking water we know). Most types of tea come from the same plant Camellia sinensis. Tea can be white, green, black and oolong. The difference in these teas lies in the way they are processed. The difference in processing will also lead to slight differences in chemical composition in tea which will lead to differences in health benefits. Since our focus is on green tea, let’s talk about that.
Green tea is made by steaming fresh leaves of tea so as to prevent fermentation. It is very rich in antioxidants and healthy phytochemicals. One of the main chemicals in green tea responsible for its numerous health benefits is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which happens to be a polyphenol. An article written by Racheal Peachey talks a lot about green tea extract and how you can get the richest forms. You can check it out at the livin3 blog. There is also another article on different brands of green tea written by Racheal where she gives some of the best brands of green tea out there and great tips for making tea. Again, you can check it out at livin3. However, we will discuss more on some benefits of green tea.
Health benefits of green tea:
There are many health benefits of green tea. About 9 benefits were written by Racheal in her article. We would explore some benefits of green tea discovered by studies. However, as some of these benefits may look too good to be true (they are well-researched and scientifically backed we can assure you), we must warn you that some of these studies are done in test tubes and there may be some little differences in the body. That does not change the fact that green tea has many potentially great health benefits, though some need extra research. Here are some scientifically backed benefits of green tea. Some may surprise you:
Skin care: studies on keratinocytes (a type of skin cells) showed that EGCG in green tea rejuvenates dying skin cells. Studies also show that green tea is useful in eczema, acne and skin damage from radiotherapy of patients suffering from cancer.
Antibacterial action: this gives green tea many potentials. Green tea inhibits or kills many bacteria including bacteria that cause typhoid, halitosis and dental caries. It also has some fluoride content within the acceptable daily intake values which protects the mouth from damage and strengthens the tooth.
Boost antibiotic action: some studies show that green tea may boost the action of some antibiotics like some penicillin groups, chloramphenicol, levofloxacin, and gentamicin.
Prevent cardiovascular diseases: green tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol which is bad cholesterol. In fact, it is estimated that people who drink green tea are 2% less likely to have stroke and heart attacks.
Improves diabetes: green tea has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity and is great for preventing type 2 diabetes. However, people with diabetes have to apply caution while taking green tea because studies show that there may be some issues. Why not talk to your doctor?
Destroys fat: well, this is why so many people want to try green tea in the first place, to lose weight and be fit. Green teas work well with exercises to destroy belly fat and fats around the body keeping you slim and fit.
Antiviral activities: you may be shocked at this finding (we also are) but it is confirmed in at least two different academic reviews. EGCG prevents viruses from entering cells especially the CD4 T-helper cells of the immune system. For those of you who do not understand this yet, HIV destroys the immune system by entering the CD4 cells. EGCG blocks the viral proteins from binding to the cells by occupying the space there. It is more like what happens when you put a broken key into a keyhole to prevent another person from using his keys. This is the same way some groups of antiretroviral meds work. While this finding was done in test tubes and more studies need to be done, it still means green tea has a lot of potentials. It also helps in herpes, influenza, kissing disease and a whole lot of viral infections.
There are a lot of benefits also written by Racheal including anticancer, antioxidant, liver function and longevity. Green tea also helps prevent hair loss. However, green tea has a lot of caffeine and aluminum. Do not take green tea if you have arrhythmia or heart issues because of the caffeine content and kidney failure as it can lead to accumulation of aluminum. Diabetics have to be careful too. Green tea prevents absorption of iron and can lead to iron deficiency anemia when taken an excess. Moderation is key.
Where to get information on the top green tea brands:
Not all green teas are the same quality. Differences in harvest times, storage and processing can affect the contents of the tea. So, it is important you choose quality brands. The article written by Rachel gives about 7 top quality brands of green tea. Some of them are Harney and son’s, Twinings of London, Matcha organics and so on. In her article, she explains why these brands are the best and it then left for you to judge which one suits your needs most. She also explains how you can get the best out of green tea. For example, do not overheat your green tea so you do not lose great nutrients. In the articles written by Racheal on different green tea brands, she explains how best to prepare them. Since she has covered much of the information, we won’t talk too much about them here. Why not check her article out at the Livin3 blog?