We talked before about black tea and its incredible health benefits and today I want to introduce you to green tea and explain to you how it can have a wonderful effect on your health. Green tea just like every other kind of tea (except for herbal tea) comes from the tea bush camellia sinensis. Green tea has gained large popularity in the past years since more and more studies have started identifying its amazing health benefits.
Green tea is mainly produced in China and Japan and has been used for centuries by these civilizations for medicinal purposes. It makes up about 10% of world-tea production and offers a yellowish green brew with toasted taste or dark green with grassy notes (depending on which country it’s produced at). Green tea is unfermented (non-oxidized) in contrast to black tea, which means the tea leaves are simply heated or steamed after being harvested and then rolled and fired. This process results to the preservation of the healthy and natural elements of the fresh leaves.
So why is green tea considered one of the healthiest beverages in the world and why should you introduce it to your diet?
Antioxidants and tea
Green tea is rich in various bioactive compounds that can help improve your health.
It contains polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants.These nutrients have the ability to reduce the formation of free radicals (which have been linked to aging and different sorts of diseases) in the body by protecting cells and molecules from oxidizing damage.
There is one powerful compound found in green tea that has been the focus of several studies and has been proven to treat various diseases. This is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and this may be one of the main reasons contributing to green tea’s medicinal properties.
Cancer and tea
Cancer is one of the world’s leading causes of death nowadays. It is a well known fact that oxidative damage can lead to the development of cancer and antioxidants can greatly prevent or fight cell damage. Green tea is a great source of powerful antioxidants. According to numerous studies conducted in recent years, green tea drinkers have reduced risk of various types of cancer.
- Prostate cancer: One study by Mayo Clinic scientists found that men drinking green tea were almost 50% less likely to develop prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men.
- Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that women who drank bigger quantities of green tea had a 20% lower risk of developing breast cancer, which is the most common cancer in women.
- Stomach cancer: A report in Cancer magazine revealed that drinking green tea has been associated to less chances of getting stomach cancers
- Colon cancer: According to a study, regular green tea drinkers had a 57% lower rate of colon and rectal gland cancers.
- Esophageal cancer: Results of an epidemiological study conducted by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute showed that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by as much as 60%
- Bladder cancer: A Japanese study on women who regularly consumed matcha green tea indicated that they eliminated their risk to appear bladder cancer by almost 50%
- Pancreatic cancer: A study published by the International Journal of Cancer showed that frequent green tea consumption may reduce risk of pancreatic cancer.
There is multiple other observational studies showing that green tea drinkers are notably less exposed to the risk of developing different kinds of cancer.
Weight Loss and tea
The harsh truth is that there is no food or drink that can melt the unwanted pounds off overnight. Studies on green tea’s impact on weight management have been mixed. Several studies have shown that green tea consumption may help with decreasing body fat while others haven’t proved any significant contribution of the brew to weight loss. It is well known though, that green tea can boost your metabolism and in some cases it can slightly help in burning fat in the abdominal area. According to one study, men who were given a combination green tea extract and caffeine burned more calories than those given only caffeine.