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This health-giving drink can reduce weight while protecting you from a wide range of diseases.
Nutrients: A wide range of polyphenols
Few foods excite scietists as much as green tea, with its phenomenal range of health benefits. It also plays a dual role in helping you shape up: firstly by increasing exercise endurance and secondly by inhibiting the action of enzymes that help turn food into fat, especially around the midriff, where stored fat increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. You can reap its benefits from 3 to 4 cups a day. Use boiling water for the full health benefits, or slightly cooler water for a less-bitter taste.
According to Chinese mythology, Emperor Shen Nung discovered how to make tea in 2737 B.C., using the leaves of the plant known today as Camellia sinensis. Nearly five thousand years later, tea ranks as the second-most-drunk beverage in the world, right behind water. History shows that Emperor Shen Nung believed taking boiled water prevented him from diseases and when boiling water as usual some green leaves drifted into his pot and boiled. This infused the water with the first tea. He covered the pot and put it aside, and when he returned later to pour the water, he noticed its pleasing aroma and pale color, and took a sip…and a new drink was born. He later shared the drink with his court officials. The accidental discovery of the beverage was later detailed by a scholar named Lu Yu in his work, The Classic of Tea, a Chinese scroll that dates back to AD 350.
Afterward people pressed these leaves into cakes and ground them to powder which enhanced levels of absorption when boiling to make this beverage. It was so positively welcomed to the extent that people organized brewing competitions to find the person who would brew the finest tea of them all. The Chinese carried the mantle of trying to redefine powdered green tea to various methods of loose leaf steeping. Loose leaf tea has a more superior quality and taste compared to other forms. The secret behind positive reception of green tea is not only due to its great taste but also because of health benefits associated with it -such as weight reduction, increased metabolism, boosted immunity, reduction in cancer cells, headache improvement and decreased inflammation. Green tea regulates levels of sugar in the body which may be beneficial to diabetics. The quality of the tea leaves will impact its health benefits.
Three of the most powerful flavonoids in red wine are also present in green tea: catechin, epicatechin, and gallic acid. Since red wine and green tea both fight free radicals and reduce the risk of heart disease, it seems natural to assume that it is the ingredients common to both that contribute to health protection.
Green tea is linked to maintaining strong bones, reducing the risk of breast cancer, and maintaining younger-looking skin.
Recent research studies have shown that green tea has an ability to help those who are motivated to lose weight. Drinking this beverage helps to increase levels of metabolism which leads to burning more calories throughout the whole day. Green tea reduces the rate and amount of dietary carbohydrates absorbed. The slow-release of carbohydrates caused by green tea prevents sharp peaks of blood insulin levels, which in turn favors fat burning over fat storage.
Many medical practitioners have recently explained the history and health benefits of green tea. It provides the body with antioxidants such as polyphenols, which help reduce cellular damage and oxidative stress. There have been many studies identifying anti-cancer compounds in tea as well as compounds that help increase metabolism. Some studies have suggested that drinking green tea may lower rates of some cancers, particularly stomach cancer, and researchers suspected that flavonoids may be involved. These phytonutrients are abundant in tea and have been shown in the laboratory to inhibit early steps leading to cancer.
Green tea extract may prevent cancer by inhibiting the activation of carcinogens. Green tea increases the ability of the body to block development of cancer cells which can multiply in large numbers. This form of a plant contains polyphenols that stop the development of cancerous cells especially among those people who take many cups of this tea daily. Research has shown that breast cancer risk among women can be reduced by simple consumption of fresh tea and if one is undergoing treatment it helps in suppressing further multiplication of cancer cells. This gives positive results if one has been consuming tea over a long period and undergoes treatment at early stages after diagnosis.
Green tea increases the capacity of the liver to detoxify harmful toxins. Studies have shown that some liver problems can be prevented by the routine consumption of green tea. This is shown by the low numbers of liver disease cases in Japan where people consume several cups of green tea on a daily basis. This tea contains polyphenols which fight inflammation caused by hepatitis.
The health benefits of green tea have been noted by the Chinese for more than 3,000 years. The black tea most Western people like to drink comes from leaves that have been withered, rolled, fermented, and dried. The advantage of green tea is that the leaves are steamed and dried, which preserves the green leaf polyphenols. These polyphenols have been shown both in the test tube and in animals to inhibit formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines.
The antioxidant function of green tea extract underlies almost all of the health benefits of green tea. Polyphenols prevent cardiovascular disease by shielding LDL-cholesterol from changes that promote heart disease, reduce the risk of cancer by neutralizing free redicals before genetic mutations can occur, and protect health in numerous other ways.
Two to three cups of green tea per day is recommended. This is equivalent to about 240 - 320 mg polyphenols. If you decide to take green tea extract, then 100 - 750 mg per day of standardized green tea extract is recommended for adults.
Types of Green Tea