The Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea has been in the news a lot recently. Modern scientific research continues to demonstrate that there are many health benefits associated with drinking green tea. However thousands of years ago the Chinese already knew that Green tea was a powerful medication that was good for one's health.
The origin of tea can be traced back to over 4000 yearsago in China. According to Chinese legend the emporer ShenNong, a scholar and medical expert discovered tea in 2737B.C. One day while he was boiling water under a tea tree, aleaf from the tree dropped into the water and Shen Nungdecided to try the brew. The drink was found to be not onlyinvigorating but also to be a rather powerful medication.The emporer immediatedly placed Green tea on his list ofmedicinal herbs.
The three main types of tea are green tea, oolong tea andblack tea. All come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis.Herbal and fruit teas come from plants and fruits and arenot tea in the strictest sense of the word. The differencebetween green, oolong and black tea is due to the method bywhich the tea is produced. With black tea the Camelliasinensis leaves, after they are plucked are left out longenough for them to fully oxidize before being dried. Inthe case of oolong tea the leaves are only partiallyoxidized and dried, but in the production of green tea theleaves are steamed, rolled and dried before the oxidizationprocess can begin. Thus with Green tea a more significantpart of the nutritional and enzyme content of the leaf isleft intact.
The benefits of Green tea to one's health has beenincreasingly demonstrated by modern scientific research.Many of these health benefits come from the fact that teacontains high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols orflavonoids. These compounds are most prevalent in green andwhite teas, but are also present in varying degrees inOolongs and black teas. Green tea flavonoids showantioxidant activity. Antioxidants impair the ability offree radical cells to harm the molecules that make up ourbodies. We all know that fruit and vegetables are goodsources of antioxidants but recent scientific research haveshown that one or two cups of green tea has the same'radical scavenging capacity' as five portions of fruit andvegetables. Of course we should all eat plenty of fruit andvegetables every day but why not top up our antioxidantintake by also drinking green tea every day!
Green tea offers many health benefits. Recent medicalstudies suggest green tea to be of benefit in many areasincluding the following:
Another potential benefit is in the area of weight loss.Research recently published in the American Journal ofClinical Nutrition suggests that an extract from green teamay speed up fat oxidation. Ten healthy men in their 20'swere studied for 6 weeks and it was discovered that thosemen who were given a green tea extract used more caloriesin a day than those who did not. This appears to be due togreen tea having thermogenic properties thus causing thebody to burn fat faster than usual. One word of caution though - if you need to lose weight - and all you do isdrink green tea without making any other lifestyle changesthen do not expect an instant miracle! However green teacombined with a healthy balanced diet and regular exerciseprovides will help you in your weight loss program.
Anyone for green tea!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lorraine Bevere is the webmaster and owner of FOG Tea which is a premier source of information about tea. For more information, please visit: http://fogtea.com