It is a well-known fact that the Chinese and Japanese have relished green teas for centuries in promoting health and longevity. Interestingly, on a par with water, tea can be said to be the most commonly consumed beverage in the world but very few people have actually taken advantage of the powerful health benefits provided by both Chinese and Japanese green teas.
Unlike black tea which has a 75% global production rate and 87% consumption rate by American tea drinkers, Chinese and Japanese green teas provide far more health benefits. These varieties of green teas are different from the more commonly consumed black teas because they generally undergo minimal oxidation during their production which consequently allows them to retain many of the chemical properties which provide their health benefits.
Some of the most common types of green teas include:
White Tea – This originates from the Fujian province of China and is often referred to as the “Tea of Royals”
Green Teas – The most popular is the famous Dragon’s Well brand and also other Chinese brands
Sencha – This is Japan’s most popular green tea
Pu-Erh – Acclaimed to be the world’s most expensive and rarest tea.
Oolong – A lightly fermented Chinese tea from the Fukien province.
Green tea contains a group of six powerful compounds called polyphenols particularly the flavan-3-ols, namely catechin and epicatechin and their gallate derivatives. However, the most active of the catechin antioxidants is the Epigallocatechin gallate also referred to as EGCG.
The health benefits of green tea and its extracts can mostly be ascribed to the fact that its leaves contain about 30-40% polyphenol antioxidants. Black tea on the other contains only about 3-10% polyphenols due to their longer fermentation periods. For instance, Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is believed to have 100% more antioxidant power than Vitamin C and up to 200 times more powerful than Vitamin E.
Green tea and its extracts apart from being able to help people reduce weight have also been proven to offer other help benefits such as preventing heart attacks and several types of cancers, and reduction of LDL “bad” cholesterol levels. They also help in increasing mental alertness, relieving anxiety, decreasing menopausal symptoms, preventing tooth decay, and also increasing fertility.
The high Epigallocatechin gallate content of green tea has been proven to be very effective in helping in the prevention of cancers. EGCG is actually known to be 25% more effective at protecting cells against harmful influences.
Researchers have found that there are a number of mechanisms whereby EGCG influences both carcinogenic initiation and promotion. EGCG may thus have a direct or an indirect antioxidant protection of DNA, or the modulation of enzyme systems.
EGCG is known to have the ability to signal cancer cells to stop reproducing by promoting apoptosis. Apoptosis is a form of cell death which is initiated in order to make way for new cells and to remove cells whose DNA might have been damaged to the point where cancerous change is likely to occur.
Furthermore, EGCG has been found to kill cancer cells and to shrink tumors by inhibiting the process of angiogenesis (a process whereby a tumor develops its own network of tiny blood vessels to supply itself with nutrient-rich blood). This effectively cuts off the tumor’s supply of food and oxygen.
Consequently, EGCG does not only help to slow and eradicate the growth of existing cancer cells but equally stops new one from forming without harming other healthy cells. Several research studies have shown that regular intake of green tea of at least 2 cups a day can help reduce the risks of breast (39%), ovarian (46%), lung (31%), and prostate (90%) cancers.
Prevents Cardiovascular Disease
Many research studies have shown that there is a positive link between the consumption of green tea and decreased risk of heart disease and associated conditions.
Consumption of green tea actually helps to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol” levels while increasing the levels of HDL “good” cholesterol. This helps to reduce the risk of heart related diseases by preventing the oxidation of LDL “bad” cholesterol to an atherogenic form – a state whereby they start causing degenerative changes in arterial walls.
Equally, it protects the heart by helping to lower blood pressure as it suppresses angio-tension which usually causes blood vessels to constrict and which can lead to high blood pressure.
Aids Weight Loss
Taking into consideration the fact that polyphenols and polysaccharides are the best known effective agents in the reduction of blood sugar levels, the consumption of green tea can therefore be considered to be an effective way to reduce weight. This is in addition to the already mentioned fact that it aids in reducing LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and other blood fats such as triglycerides.
Green tea is effective in regulating blood sugar levels because it slows the effect of amylase – a digestive enzyme that helps in the conversion of carbohydrates into glucose. Equally, they inhibit fatty acid synthase – the enzymatic process whereby carbohydrates are converted into fats.
Furthermore, EGCG is an effective regulator of glucose as research has demonstrated that it influences glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) which slows the increase in blood sugar levels and consequently inhibits insulin secretion which is generally good for weight loss.
Consuming green tea has also been shown to effectively raise the body’s metabolism by about 4% which consequently helps to raise the body’s calorie burning ability. This seemingly low increase in metabolism can however have a significant positive weight loss effect if green tea is consumed regularly.
However, attaining and maintaining a healthy body weight involves more than one factor. There is definitely the need to live an active lifestyle that involves regular physical exercise and also eating a healthy and balanced diet.
With that said, the drinking of tea in any form nonetheless provides some health benefits despite the fact that some may be more potent than others as a result of their different processing degrees.
Incorporating a green tea product like Tava Tea – which is arguably the strongest weight loss tea ever made, as a supplement to a sensible weight loss program is guaranteed to give you so much health benefits while helping to fast-track your weight loss efforts.