Green Tea Health Benefits Explained: Go Green!
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I’m quite sure that most of us have heard of green tea and have experienced its delightful taste and flavor at some point in our lives. While it’s true that there are a lot of different teas out there (as any tea-lover will know), the truth is that a simple cup of well-brewed green tea can work wonders for your health and body overall. This is because it helps to flush toxins from your blood and system with its high antioxidant count as well as provides a long list of additional health benefits that are tremendously potent.
If one can say that you are what you eat, then you are equally just as much what you drink, if not more so. I mean, we are 50-65% water based life-forms! It stands to reason that getting an adequate amount of liquid into your diet is a very important factor in ensuring your personal health. While clean water is generally good enough (roughly 2 liters a day), it doesn’t hurt to try something that’s a little more effective not only at keeping your body hydrated but at flushing toxins and oxygenated molecules from your system. But why is this important? I’ll be getting into the details of this over the course of the article. However, in short, the truth is that one of the main causes for most forms of illness and disease is a combination of high-stress levels, poor diet, and a buildup of unwanted toxins in the bloodstream.
Of course, I can’t deny that bacteria and viruses play an important role in the process of falling ill (and can be more of a challenge to avoid), but if you take the time to look at the causes of most health ailments, those three will be in the list nine times out of ten.
While it may sound a little silly to imagine how a simple cup of tea can help to unwind, the truth is that green tea (and most other forms of tea for that matter) are incredibly helpful at stimulating the release of L-theanine. L -theanine is an amino acid that acts as a neurotransmitter ultimately stimulating alpha waves in the brain. It also improves cognition and helps to lower blood-pressure in general. So don’t be so quick to choose a coffee next time you’re at a cafe or in the supermarket as even though it’s a good antioxidant as well. Tea simply has a wider range of health benefits, and burning less of a hole in your pocket can’t hurt. I hope that in reading this article, you’ll be able to unlock more knowledge about how to utilize the health benefits of green tea for your internal, external and spiritual healing.
What is Green Tea? How Does it Differ from Other Teas?
Green tea has a long history in China as well as other parts of Asia and has formed an important part of their history, culture, diet, and economy for thousands of years. For a long time, drinking tea was reserved for royalty in ancient China and different dynasties were famed for being marked by a tea. Green tea as we know it isn’t the only form of green tea that is popular in China and there are many teas that I’d also highly recommend checking out for their particular health benefits. These include Gunpowder tea, Biluochun, Huangshan Maofeng and Longjing among others.
Green tea leaves grow on a variety of bush known as Camellia sinensis which is directly related to Black tea as well. The difference between the two types of tea comes as a result of how they’re processed after being picked. After harvesting green tea leaves, which happens 3 times a year, the leaves are usually subjected to one of two different processing methods; steaming or light pan-firing. The first, steaming is traditionally a Japanese technique and produces a tea that is greener in color when brewed, whilst pan-firing the tea produces a darker, more yellow color when brewed.
The leaves are processed directly after harvest (unlike most varieties of tea) as this prevents oxidation from occurring and ultimately makes the tea a lot healthier to drink. We try to avoid oxidization because it’s the high amount of oxidized molecules that occur in most of food and drinks we consume on a regular basis that causes or leads to the formation of free radicals.
It is the same anti-oxygenated properties of green-tea that make it so effective at keeping us healthy and flushing these toxins out of our system. This ultimately helps to prevent the onset of a wide variety of health ailments as well as actively working to promote healthy cell generation which is ideal for keeping the skin clear, preventing the signs of anti-aging from happening earlier than they should.
If you were under the impression that the only difference between one tea and the other was flavor and color, think again. While you may get a variety of different strains and blends, green tea will always be unique in its taste and flavor. More so in its health benefits
Green Tea Extract Explained
If you’re interested in getting more of the health benefits of tea into your daily diet or simply don’t drink as much tea as you should or would like to on a regular basis, then green tea extracts are perfectly suited for you.While I would usually take a stance against vitamin or mineral supplements over a good diet, some supplements, particularly extracts, tend to work as well.
Green tea extract is definitely included in the ‘good for you’ category as the extract is essentially a highly concentrated form of the phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants that are contained within green tea in its natural form. All of those healthy-sounding components can help to boost your body’s natural immunity towards illness and disease, flush toxins from your system, stimulate the brain whilst improving cognitive function, keep the skin clean, detoxify the liver and lower blood sugar levels ultimately improving heart health and quality of life.
It may be hard for you to imagine that a tiny see-through pill can provide so many health benefits without ‘side-effects’, but in truth, many of the natural alternatives out there are overlooked or shunned because of the need for pharmaceutical companies to expand their ever-growing grip on the medical industry. If you’re interested in making your own green tea extract in the comfort of your own home, here’s a simple recipe to follow;
What you need:
- -1 Glass or plastic cups/jars with lids.
- – 7 TBS of dried green tea leaves.
- – 4 Cups mineral water.
- – 1 Cheesecloth for straining.
To start, combine the tea and mineral water. Then, steep at room temperature for 1 hour and pour the tea into the container with a lid (straining through the cheesecloth as you go). Finally, refrigerate the extract and toss out the tea leaves. The finished product is very close to what you may find in a store, although probably not as concentrated. So if you’re looking for more potency, try adding more tea to the recipe.
— Mindfulness Wellness (@HealingMB) October 18, 2017
Does Green Tea Have Caffeine?
Caffeine is one of the most (if not the most) widely consumed psychoactive drug in the world today. While it may feel great early in the morning, the truth is that it can have pretty negative effects on the quality of your health. It can lead to health issues such as restlessness, poor sleeping cycles, and abnormal heart rhythms. Not to mention that it can react with certain types of medication, leading to negative side-effects and a variety of other health issues to take into concern.
However, for those of you are aware of the effects of caffeine and would like to try and limit your daily intake, good news has arrived in the form of green tea. A standard cup of normal green tea has around 35mg of caffeine (or 35 mg per 235 ml) which is almost half of what’s contained in a serving of black tea and less than half of a cup of brewed coffee. On top of that, there are a variety of decaffeinated options available in the market today which lower caffeine levels to anywhere between 2 and 10 mg, which is a much healthier dose to deal with.
In short, if you’d like to avoid the seemingly made-up ‘restless leg syndrome’ or you’re interested in slowing the signs of aging and want to lessen your toxin intake, then making the change to green tea is a highly recommendable option.
Green Tea for Weight Loss & Fat Burning Explained
If you’re trying to shed a load of weight just in time for that summer bikini (well, if you live in the southern hemisphere), or simply want a healthier body in general then green tea is probably one of the best additions to your diet.
Firstly though, it’s important that I stress that weight loss is based on a variety of different factors and circumstances and no product, natural or pharmaceutical can really help you lose weight on its own.
If you’ve set a targeted amount of weight you’d like to lose, the best way to achieve that goal is to exercise regularly and regulate your diet very strictly. Although, losing weight doesn’t have to mean that you starve yourself. If you follow the correct diet, you’ll be able to get the energy and nutrient intake you need in order to feel full and healthy, whilst making it easy for your body to shed those excess pounds.Green tea in specific is incredibly helpful in this process and should be on every fat fighter’s grocery list.
Firstly, it has been noted that the bioflavonoids in green tea push for an increased metabolism which aids in the digestion process and helps to increase your nutrient intake per meal. This means you can eat less and get more out of your food. The antioxidant content of green tea also helps to prevent the buildup of oxidized molecules that may lead to low blood pressure, poor heart health and prevent or slow weight loss. Not only does green tea have an incredibly low-calorie count (practically non-existent), it’s also effective at actively burning calories in your system.
The key is to drink 3 cups a day, every day and monitor your diet closely so that you don’t undercut your calorie intake too much, but also don’t overdo it as a response to drinking all the tea.
Weight loss isn’t easy, and it takes time, but the truth is that there are a lot of natural options out there such as Kale that you can use to your advantage during this period of time, and ultimately get you closer to that body you’ve always wanted.
Green Tea Benefits For Brain Function Explained: Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s
While Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are both neurological degenerative disorders that cannot be reversed once they have been detected, a lot can be done earlier on in life to help prevent the development of these issues and ultimately protect against them forming in the first place.
Both tend to occur later in life, usually after the 50-year mark and are essentially the result of brain cells that have been destroyed by a lack of oxygen. In the case of Alzheimer’s, the result is a loss of memory, diminished motor skills and speech loss. These often tend to become more pronounced as the disease worsens. Parkinson’s occurs in much the same way as Alzheimer’s but has different effects on your body as it tends to affect your motor skills, speech, muscles, and movement among others. As with Alzheimer’s, once the process has started the only thing you can really do is postpone its development and ultimately the best form of treatment lies in preventing the disease in the first place.
Green tea helps with Alzheimer’s by preventing the buildup of a protein known as the amyloid beta. The buildup causes degenerative damage on the brain by forming a light plaque over the neurons in your brain, thus starving them of oxygen and causing them to die. By preventing the buildup and even helping to remove the plaque formed by amyloid beta, green tea can prevent the formation of Alzheimer’s in the first place and even help to reverse the effects of the disease once it’s been diagnosed. With regards to Parkinson’s disease, green tea contains a variety of active phytochemicals that can improve brain function. One in particular known as Epigallocatechin or EGCG, is especially good at relieving the effects of the disease.
With regards to Parkinson’s disease, green tea contains a variety of active phytochemicals that can improve brain function and one in particular known as Epigallocatechin or EGCG, is especially good at relieving the effects of the disease. This antioxidant has been directly linked to stimulating the release of an enzyme in the brain known as AMP kinase; The molecule is known for stimulating and regulating energy in the neurons and can help to prevent them dying when stressed.
The best way to avoid degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s is to do what you can to keep your brain and mind healthy while you’re young. This includes regular exercise and a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of green tea to boot.
Check out our other superfoods features covering Mulberries, Almonds, Goji Berries and more!
Green Tea for Antioxidants Explained
The main reason that green tea is such a powerful health tonic in itself is largely due to the high amount of antioxidants in this ancient drink. In the modern world, we’re exposed to toxins and oxidized molecules regardless of whether we eat healthily or exercise regularly. Simply breathing the air during rush-hour traffic or lying in the sun too long with a chemical-based sunscreen or tanning lotion (check out our natural sunscreen) can lead to the formation of free radicals in our system and wreak havoc on our overall health. Antioxidants help to neutralize these destructive free radicals.
Thankfully, by drinking 2-3 cups of green tea a day, you can effectively flush these harmful molecules out of your system before they cause any damage and prevent the health issue from happening. This is much better than dealing with it once it’s happened already.
Green tea contains phytochemicals known as polyphenols, which are essentially classified as catechins and it is these, along with the rich amount of flavonoids that make green tea so effective at flushing out free radicals.
Speaking of these catechins, green tea contains six primary catechin compounds: catechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (also known as EGCG). EGCG is the most studied polyphenol component in green tea and the most active.
Green tea also contains alkaloids including caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. They provide green tea’s stimulant effects. L-theanine, an amino acid compound found in green tea, has been studied for its calming effects on the nervous system as we touched upon earlier.
Cardiovascular Health and Green Tea Explained
Heart disease is one of the main killers in society and treating it really comes down to how well you can prevent the buildup of Low-Density Lipids in your diet. “That’s great” you might say, but what are those? LDL is basically the kind of fat that is caused by eating fatty, oily foods (mostly processed foods in general) as they tend to contain a plethora of trans fats. These fats are oxidized and therefore don’t metabolize like normal fats do in our system. This means that they pass through our system and enter our bloodstream where they cause blockages, low blood pressure, clots and ultimately can cause heart disease.
By drinking at least 3 cups of green tea a day, you can actively increase your body’s ability to metabolize fat while flushing out the problematic trans fats. This is a great way to prevent low blood pressure and can allow you to rid your blood of other toxins or bacteria that may lead to infection or disease.
Ultimately, my day would never be the same without a warm cup of green tea and a hint of lemon juice in the morning or to help me unwind after a long day. Never mind breathing life back into my body from the tip of my toes to the tips of my brain cells. It’s such a tasty way to stay healthy, many who drink green tea on a regular basis probably don’t even realize just how healthy this drink actually is.
Personally, I was raised in a steady tea-drinking household, so I’m used to drinking this stuff on a regular basis. However, if you’re not one to drink tea normally, I would say that anytime is probably the best time to make the switch. It’s cheaper, quicker, easier and healthier than coffee for a start and you’ll reap the benefits from the first cup right until your old age.