How do you fit a miracle in a cup?
Dating back more than 4,000 years, Chinese diet green tea has been long revered as a tasty drink that can ward off diseases and improve one's well-being. Since its first recorded use during the time of Emperor Shen Nung, the link between Chinese diet green tea and good health has never been severed. It's been used as treatment for everything from headaches to depression. Today, various health benefits of green tea are constantly being reported and many scientists are now focusing their attention on the simple, yet elegantly profound beverage that is green tea.
Where It Comes From
Like all three of the major Asian teas in the market, green tea comes from the plant called Carmellia sinensis. Much of the health benefits of green tea diets owe to the steaming method of making it. As opposed to black and oolong tea which undergoes full oxidization, green tea diet is only gently steamed, preserving the natural antioxidants in its original form.
The antioxidants in green tea helps fight away free radicals. These free radicals are the major contributing factors to aging as well as the ensuing degeneration of cells as a result of it. Scientists have reason to believe that free radicals also play a role in various degenerative diseases such as arthritis, rheumatism, Alzheimer's disease, and even cancer.
A Drink Steeped With Tradition
According to tradition, Chinese diet green tea could cure anything from headaches, body aches, and pains to constipation and depression. Over the centuries, further more health claims are made on account of Chinese diet green tea.
Chinese diet green tea is said to increase the blood flow throughout the body. Because Chinese diet green tea contains a little caffeine, ingesting this drink stimulates the heart and allows the blood to flow more freely through the blood vessels. For the same reason that Chinese diet green tea stimulates blood flow, it also stimulates mental clarity.
Chinese diet green tea detoxifies the body. The presence of polyphenols, a naturally occurring antioxidant in Chinese diet green tea, the beverage is said to combat harmful free radicals and help keep the body free from diseases. In this regard, Chinese diet green tea helps maintain the overall well-being of the body. Antioxidants in Chinese diet green tea can boost immunity, preserve young-looking skin, and brighten the eyes.
Chinese diet green tea aids in digestion and banishes fatigue. Chinese diet green tea is also said to prolong the lifespan.
For many years, men of science remained skeptical about the health claims made by Chinese diet green tea enthusiasts. Their doubt was changed to a more positive reception when subsequent researchers proved the disease-preventing attributes of Chinese diet green tea and confirmed most of the health claims.
The Secret to Longevity?
That just might be.
The role of Chinese diet green tea in promoting longevity has been investigated upon by many researchers. They found the premise of their study on observing that Japanese women who are greater-than-average Chinese diet green tea drinkers; have lower mortality rates compared to others. This led the researchers to believe that Chinese diet green tea has "a protective factor against premature death."
The polyphenols found in Chinese diet green tea may be held accountable. With its high amount of polyphenols, Chinese diet green tea seems to have a stimulating effect on the immune system. Stronger immune system as a result of drinking Chinese diet green tea helps reduce risks of acquiring any illnesses.
There are many health benefits associated with having a green tea diet. One of these green tea diet benefits is preventing cancer. Certain substances present in green tea diets are said to help in destroying cancer cells without harming any neighboring tissues. This substance in green tea diets is called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.
In the 1994 edition of the Journal of National Cancer Institute, the results of an epidemiological study stated that one of the health benefits of drinking green tea is that it can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by up to 60%.
The University of Purdue has also recently concluded a research on how a certain compound present in green tea can stop cancer cells from growing.
A Healthy Drink to a Healthy Heart
Study after study has shown that drinking Chinese diet green tea and eating polyphenol-rich foods reduces the risk of any heart complications. Drinking Chinese diet green tea also helps strengthen the blood vessels that provide oxygen and valuable nutrients to the heart and brain. It has been shown that men who drink Chinese diet green tea have 75 percent less possibility of having a stroke than those who don't drink Chinese diet green tea.
Chinese diet green tea helps lower total cholesterol levels and improve the ratio between LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol. Study shows that men who drink nine or more cups of Chinese diet green tea daily have lower cholesterol levels than those who drink fewer than two cups.
Lowering Down Cholesterol
Obesity has become one of the major health issues in our society today. In fact, more than half of the American population is overweight or obese. As a result, diet and weight loss plans have become increasingly popular. But not all diet plans work. And not all of them are necessarily risk-free. A safer alternative for people wanting to lose weight are green tea diets.
Green tea diets can be a potential cure to obesity. The catechin polyphenols present in green tea diets can delay the reaction of gastric and pancreatic lipases in the body. These enzymes are actually the ones responsible for converting calories in the body into fats. By delaying these enzymes, green tea diets can therefore stop fat from being stored and prevent obesity in people.
Green tea also has the ability to lower down cholesterol levels and improve the ratio between good (HDL) cholesterol and bad (LDL) cholesterol. The EGCG in green tea can stop blood from forming abnormal clots (thrombosis), a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes.
Other Health Benefits
Green tea has always been known to have several health benefits, but who knew that it could contribute to weight loss as well?
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that green tea extract can increase metabolism and fat oxidation of the body. In theory, scientists believe that the weight loss benefits of green tea extracts are due to their caffeine content but the results of the study show otherwise as they discovered that green tea extracts have weight loss benefits beyond that of caffeine.
In their study, the researchers administered alone the same amount of caffeine as that in green tea extracts but found that it did not make any significant changes in the body's overall energy expenditure. This led them to conclude that green tea extracts have ingredients in them that actively interact with each other, promoting increased metabolism and fat oxidation that lead to weight loss.
Further findings indicated that a certain compound found in green tea extracts might be the ingredient that causes weight loss. These green tea extract compounds, called Flavonoids, may alter the way the body uses norepinephrine, a hormone that monitors how calories are burned. When flavonoids interact with other green tea extract ingredients, more calories are burned thus contributing to weight loss.
Another ingredient that actively contributes to the weight loss benefits of green tea extracts is the compound catechin polyphenols. These compounds also interact with other green tea extract ingredients in order to promote weight loss by fat burning and thermogenesis (a process of losing energy by daytime heat).
The great thing about the weight loss benefit of green tea extracts is that it does not have any adverse side-effects. Unlike other herbal products like ephedra and prescription drugs for obesity, green tea extract does not increase the speed of heart rates or raise blood pressure. Not only that, but it also appears that green tea diets may act as a mild appetite-suppressant because of the presence of caffeine. Caffeine may be harmful for the body since an excess of it can cause heart palpitations, hypertension, and insomnia. However, because green tea diets contain only very low levels of caffeine, there is no danger of experiencing these side-effects.
In this regard, green tea extract is an effective and safer alternative to other weight loss products which may cause harm to the user.
The study conducted by the University of Geneva on the weight loss benefit of green tea extract implicated that green tea extract can also help thyroid patients. According to dietitian Lynn Moss, M.S., R.D., green tea extract is a healthier choice for people with thyroid who may be too sensitive to stimulants. Green tea extract can promote weight loss by increasing metabolism without over stimulating the adrenal glands.
Green Tea and Weight Loss
Green tea is a great alternative for people who are on weight loss programs because it can help them lead a healthier lifestyle. For instance, instead of drinking coffee and cream which area high in calories, green tea weight loss programs can not only save you from taking in too much calories but also let you take in several healthful substances like polyphenols and flavonoids. Green tea also contains a small amount of caffeine, a key substance used in most weight loss programs because of its appetite-suppressant properties.
Other studies show that green tea in weight loss programs can help reduce fat by inhibiting the effects of insulin. Insulin is responsible for converting glucose into energy for the body to be stored into fat. By delaying insulin, green tea weight loss programs enable sugar to be sent directly to the muscles for instant use, thus preventing fats from forming.
Green tea in weight loss programs can also promote thermogenesis, the process by which the body burns fat and releases calories. This process is brought on by the interaction of the caffeine content and catechin polyphenols present in green tea. This is why weight loss programs based on green tea is an effective way to stimulate metabolic rates.
No supplement or weight loss program is known to work miracles. However, studies do indicate that green tea have many benefits in store for those enrolled in weight loss programs.