Copyright 2006 Sylvia Riley
Green tea is has become a daily favourite of mine in view of its awesome health virtues. Funny how something tastes better the healthier you think it is for you! So, what are the remarkable benefits of this auspicious drink?
Green tea has been found to promote weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, pevent against cancer, protect your teeth and gums and offer relief for arthritis. Not bad for a leaf! These traits are due to a super concentration of antioxidants called catechins known for their outstanding health traits.
Weight Loss Enhancement
Green tea can actually promote weight loss which makes it a very friendly cuppa if shedding pounds is the objective, and a great ally in any healthy weight loss regime.
A study led by Dr. Dulloo at the University of Geneva, published in the December 1999 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that men given a combination of both caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given caffeine or placebo alone.
Results found that the men taking green tea extract had a significant increase in their measured energy expenditure (the number of calories used in a 24 hour period) and significant decrease in their respiration quotient (how well the body utilized carbohydrates, proteins and fats over a 24 hour period) over those taking just caffeine or placebo. The men taking green tea extract also used more fat calories than the placebo group.
The scientists believed that the catechin flavonoids in the green tea extract (potent antioxidants) may alter the body's use of norepinephrine, a chemical transmitter in the nervous system, to increase the rate of calorie burning.
They concluded, “Green tea has thermogenic properties and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content per se. The green tea extract may play a role in the control of body composition via sympathetic activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both.”
The cholesterol-lowering effects of green tea and black tea have been confirmed in countless studies. The ‘French Paradox’, namely the French high fat diet with comparably low rates of heart disease, is believed to be due to the flavonoid resveratrol found in wine.
In 1997, researchers from the University of Kansas found catachin EGCG in green tea to be twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why heart disease rates among Japanese men is quite low despite around 75 per cent of them being smokers.
In one 25 year study (the Zutphen Elderly Study; Hertog, M., et al., 1993), those that drank more than 8.5 ounces of tea per day had a much lower risk of experiencing or dying from heart attacks than those drinking less tea. Test tube studies have also found that green tea decreases the clumping of blood cells, reducing the risk of clotting associated with heart attacks and strokes.
Human and animal studies suggest green tea may be preventive against a variety of cancers including bladder, colon, esophageal, breast, pancreas, rectum, and stomach. In 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published a study that indicated drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent!
Aid For Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory action of green tea, due to its flavonoid content, has shown promise for arthritis relief. Research by scientists at Case Western University (Haqqi et al., 1999), suggests that green tea antioxidants serve to postpone the onset and decrease the severity of one type of arthritis in mice.
Tea for your Teeth
Green tea is touted for oral health by asian practitioners and recent scientific research supports this use. Studies in animals and humans have shown how green tea can effectively combat the bacteria that causes cavities in teeth. Green tea also contains fluoride that is protective for teeth.
Green tea is a fantastic health ally and a refreshing and cleansing drink. If purchased loose a few leaves can be added to other herbal teas for variety.