Health Benefits of Tea

Green Tea and its health benefits have been enjoyed by Asians for many centuries. From early times, green tea has been highly valued for its medicinal uses. Studies into the effects of green tea have progressed far in recent years, and scientific research is now confirming 4,000 years of folklore and medical practice in Asia, that green tea is a key element in achieving and maintaining good health. What Asians have know for centuries about drinking green tea can now benefit the entire world.

The health benefits of green tea are varied and wide-ranging. Because its chemical makeup gives positive affects to so many different bodily systems, it makes sense to use green tea to achieve those health benefits.

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  • Antioxidant
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Cholesterol Reduction
  • Blood Pressure Reduction
  • Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity
  • Reduction of Blood Sugar
  • Other Benefits
  • Breakdown of Green Tea Components
  •   Antioxidant
    Recent studies have shown green tea has far greater antioxidant protection than the well known polyphenols in antioxidant vitamins such as C and E.

    Although oxygen is necessary for human life, it can be a harmful agent in the form of active or free radical oxygen. Active oxygen can combine with anything in the body and oxidize it with consequent destruction of cell membranes, damage to DNA, and oxidation of lipids (fats). All of these can lead to cancer.

    So how can we prevent all of this unnecessary oxygen? The simple answer is by drinking green tea. The antioxidant properties of green tea have been shown to efficiently scavenge these toxins. Green tea's antioxidant activity is particularly important for preventing lipid peroxidation. Lipid peroxidation is a factor in the spoilage of oils and fatty constituents of foods. This spoilage often plays a key role in the build up of atherosclerotic plaque. The antioxidant properties of green tea help prevent this spoilage.

      Cancer Prevention
    Green Tea and Black Tea both come from the same tea plant (Camelia Sinensis), however in a study comparing green tea to black tea, researchers have found that green tea is 6% more potent as an antioxidant. Michael Murry, M.D. explains this is because "Green tea is produced by lightly steaming the fresh cut black tea leaf. To produce black tea, the leaves are oxidized. During oxidation, many of the polyphenol substances, compounds with potent antioxidant and anticancer properties, are destroyed. Unlike black tea, green tea is very high in polyphenols."

    The anticancer effects are the result of green tea polyphenols blocking the formation of cancer causing compounds as well as effectively detoxifying or trapping cancer causing chemicals.

    The forms of cancer that green tea show the most aid in preventing are cancers of the gastrointestinal tract such as cancer of the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and colon. Also, green tea has shown preventative properties for lung cancer and estrogen-related cancers such as most breast cancers. A report from the National Cancer Institute found that Chinese men and women who drink green tea have a reduced risk of developing esophageal skin cancer.

    A very detailed, very technical account of polyphenols and flavenoids appears on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition website.

      Cholesterol Reduction
    Cholesterol is usually cited as the 'bad guy' for causing various diseases in adults, but it's a chemical that is naturally present and necessary in our bodies for important processes such as manufacturing cell membranes and fusing cells. But there is 'good' cholesterol and 'bad' cholesterol. Researchers found that by drinking green tea the 'bad' cholesterol can be reduced, and tea-drinkers can eat almost twice the foods containing cholesterol as a those who don't drink green tea, but still have an equal cholesterol count.

      Blood Pressure Reduction
    High blood pressure is know to give the vascular system serious problems and contributes to atherscloerosis. Atherscloerosis will then initiate heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. Green tea has been extensively tested and been found to be highly beneficial in lowering blood pressure and aiding the recovery of heart attack victims.

      Antibacterial and Antiviral Activity
    Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from tooth decay to HIV. In studies green tea has even protected rats from cholera, and has been shown to inhibit the spread of disease. Green tea can aid with relieving influenza or diarrhea.

      Reduction of Blood Sugar
    About 60 years ago, Dr. Minowada of Kyoto University noticed that sugar in the urine of patients hospitalized for diabetes fell markedly during periods when they participated in a Tea Ceremony. Modern science is studying and confirming this.

      Other benefits
    Green tea, with its all-important chemical compounds, has also shown many other benefits and potential uses.

    • Preventing and hastening recovery from colds and flu.
    • Preventing bad breath (halitosis).
    • Aiding with the prevention and relief of type-two diabetes.
    • Blocking key receptors in producing allergic reactions.
    • Aiding Parkinson's disease sufferers.
    • Slowing the HIV infection process.
    • Maintains healthy fluid balance
    • Relieves fatigue and stress.
    • Boosting the immune function of skin cells.
    • Relieving and preventing arthritis.
    • Reducing the risk of stroke.
    • Preventing osteoporosis.
    • Reducing DNA damage in smokers.
    • Delaying the signs of ageing.
    • Improving bone structure.
    • Preventing dangerous blood-clotting.
    • Calorie burning - green tea is increasingly being used as part of a healthy diet, as it can play a role in controlling body weight and composition via the activation of thermogenesis, fat oxidation, or both. It works by increasing energy expenditure, and has thermogenic properties which promote fat burning.

      Breakdown of green tea components
    Catechins (main component) >> Reduces incidence of cancers. Reduces oxidation by active oxygen. Lowers blood cholesterol. Inhibits increase of blood pressure. Inhibits increase of blood sugar. Kills bacteria and virus. Fights cariogenic bacteria.
    Prevents halitosis (bad breath).
    Vitamin-C >> Reduces stress. Prevents flu.
    Vitamin-B Complex >> Aids carbohydrate metabolism .
    r-Amino Butyric Acid >> Lowers blood pressure .
    Flavonoids >> Strengthen blood vessel walls. Prevents halitosis (bad breath).
    Polysaccharides >> Lowers blood sugar.
    Fluoride >> Prevents cavities.
    Vitamin-E >> Acts as antioxidant. Regulates aging.
    Theanine (an amino acid) >> Gives green tea its delicious taste

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