What is special about green tea? If you have asked such questions, you’re in the right place for answers.
China boasts the largest green tea consumers in the world. Next on the list is Japan. The Chinese account for 50% of the world’s total green tea consumption. So you can guess how valuable the beverage is.
Green tea’s incredible therapeutic value is the reason for its high demand in China, Japan, and the rest of the world.
Green tea can prevent several deadly diseases. Increased green tea consumption has also been linked to the Japanese long life expectancy. Furthermore, this beverage contains tons of bioactive ingredients, which have numerous health benefits.
Green Tea History – The Ancient Medicinal Beverage
Mother Nature has always provided help for numerous health problems. There exist natural remedies for almost every health challenge.
Numerous medicinal plants with impressive therapeutic values are out there. And green tea happens to be one of them.
The use of green tea dates back to over 3,000 years ago in ancient China. The beverage was invented in China.
Green tea, according to a historical account, was first steeped during Emperor Shennong’s reign, in 2837 BC. The report states that the emperor and his entourage decided to rest while travelling. And a few tea leaves flew into the emperor’s cup of hot water. It came from a twig burning close by.
The leaves made the emperor’s tea colour darker but went unnoticed. He drank the tea and found it incredibly refreshing. The emperor then urged his convoy to make such tea for him subsequently.
This historical account is vital to all teas, but most importantly, the green tea. It was the first known report of tea brewing and consumption.
However, most cultural historians believe that the origin of green tea happened over 3000 years ago. At that time, the Southeast Asians grew and consumed the fresh leaves for recreational purposes. Much later, fresh leaves were processed before being soaked in hot water.
1. Treats and reduces the risk of diabetes
In 2019, over 463 million adults, age 20 to 79, had diabetes. Research has shown that by 2045, over 700 million people could be living with this global epidemic.
Diabetes reduces one’s quality of life. Managing the disease can also leave a hole in your pocket. But the good news is that green tea can help treat and reduce the risk of diabetes.
The high polyphenols in this beverage make it beneficial for diabetes. Polyphenols are potent antioxidants. So they can equally use their anti-oxidative properties to protect against carcinogens and inflammation.
Green tea is also rich in EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which not only aids weight loss. The EGCG knows how to stimulate the body’s cells to metabolize sugar better. And this leads to proper regulation of blood glucose levels and the prevention of insulin spike.
Reports show that consuming three cups of green tea daily can lower one’s type 2 diabetes risks by 42 percent.
2. Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
Worldwide, approximately 50 million people of all age groups have Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. Unfortunately, only one in four cases get diagnosed. Alzheimer’s care in the United States cost $277 billion in 2018. So the disease is both incurable and heavy on the pocket.
Two primary compounds play a significant role in Alzheimer’s disease development. They are beta-amyloid and hydrogen peroxide. But then, not all beta-amyloid forms are toxic.
On the bright side, green tea can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease to a greater degree. The beverage comes packed with polyphenols, which have well-documented neuroprotective properties.
The polyphenols bind with the compounds that cause the disease, thereby protecting one’s brain cells from damages.
3. Boost brain function
Improved brain function is beneficial to not only students and academics. Individuals in highly-demanding and competitive jobs need it to excel at their respective positions.
Green tea comes packed with natural caffeine, which not only keeps you awake. It enhances your mental alertness.
Additionally, green tea contains l-theanine, an amino acid that combines well with caffeine to improve cognitive function.
L-theanine and EGCG in green tea, according to scientists, have significant antioxidant properties. They help to avert brain-related diseases and can increase concentration massively.
Excitingly, just two cups of this therapeutic beverage can work the magic in your system. They can improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
4. Heart disease prevention
The heart performs delicate functions in the body. It delivers oxygenated blood to various parts of the body. Therefore, it’s the body’s critical circulatory system.
Heart disease is a deadly disease. A report on the severity of the disease indicates that one person dies every 37 seconds due to cardiovascular disease, in the United States. Furthermore, over 647,000 Americans die yearly from heart disease.
One’s heart health can improve just by drinking green tea. The constituents in the beverage help to protect the delicate cells lining the body’s blood vessels. They also protect these vessels from atherosclerosis (clogged arteries).
The European Society of Cardiology has reported green tea’s health benefits on the cardiovascular system. A study by the European Journal shows that individuals who drank green tea had improved blood vessel function 30 minutes after.
5. Improves oral health
Do you consider your oral health important? Then how much are you doing to improve it? Taking proper care of your teeth, gum, and mouth, in general, is a noteworthy goal. It will help prevent bad breath, which can be very embarrassing.
The polyphenols in green tea are beneficial for improved oral health. They contain essential antibacterial properties, which can protect your oral cavity from a range of bacterial infections.
Furthermore, polyphenols’ antioxidants not only improve oral health. They reduce one’s risk of developing oral cancer.
6. Encourages weight loss
The weight loss industry has, for long, been a multi-million dollar industry. It will interest you to know that the number of people seeking weight loss help is on the rise.
Furthermore, most weight loss product manufacturers aren’t helping. They flood the market is with numerous weight loss products, claiming to be miracle fat burners. The worst part is that most of these products cost an arm and a leg but never yield any result.
Being obese or overweight poses serious health risks. They can give room to life-threatening health challenges, such as diabetes, stroke, heart attack and others.
However, green tea is readily available and can aid weight loss in any gender. It contains EGCG, a compound which not only aids weight loss but reduces body fat and waist size.
Green tea extract’s high EGCG content, according to research, means it can stimulate genes responsible for breaking down body fat. Another study also discovered that the same EGCG lowers 37 percent of the body’s visceral fat by reducing lipid absorption.
There are numerous ways green tea encourages weight loss. One of them is by reducing hunger. It’s an appetite suppressant with an incredible ability to prevent unhealthy cravings and feelings of hunger.
How green tea works as an appetite suppressant is simple. Its caffeine and EGCG constituents help to regulate the hunger hormone and gene. Leptin, a hunger hormone, is high on the list. And scientists have discovered that the EGCG drastically reduces leptin levels in the body.
Again, you can take 2-3 cups of this therapeutic beverage daily for weight loss. Also, you won’t jeopardize your weight loss goal when you take green tea consistently. That’s because green tea contains zero calories.
7. Fights and reduces risks of certain cancers
Cancer is a deadly disease that has cut short many people’s life. It’s the second-highest leading cause of death globally. The risk of having cancer increases with age. Early detection is critical in cancer treatment.
Green tea boasts indubitable antioxidant properties, which proves helpful in cancer prevention. These antioxidants search for free radicals in the body and prevent them from causing oxidative damage to DNA and cells.
This beverage not only helps in preventing but stopping the reoccurrence of a range of cancers. These include lungs, breast, and colon, cervical, prostate, skin, and nasopharyngeal cancer.
8. Prevent and control high blood pressure (HBP)
The American Heart Association is an organization that has been very vocal when it comes to high blood pressure issues. Millions of people have died due to this disease, with the yearly death toll being a cause for concern.
Uncontrolled or untreated high blood pressure is like a death sentence. It can cause an individual to develop life-threatening health challenges such as heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, etc.
However, green tea can help prevent and control blood pressure. In a clinical study, the beverage lowered systolic blood pressure by approximately 3.2mmHg. Diastolic was lowered up to 3.4mmHg, with both cases being from individuals with or without HBP.
Green tea comes packed with catechins, a compound that naturally reduces blood pressure levels.
9. Waging war against viruses and bacteria
Green tea’s antiviral and antibacterial properties are well-documented. Its high antioxidant levels are also a big plus.
Antioxidants not only scavenge the body for free radicals. They also fight bacterial cells, infections, and stop viruses from spreading throughout the body.
10. Fights depression and anxiety
Depression is a global pandemic, which in its acute stage, can be dangerous. Depressed people develop suicidal thoughts.
While tryptophan or serotonin isn’t one of green tea’s constituents, the beverage still finds a way to increase serotonin levels. The simple reason is that it contains the amino acid, l-theanine, which not only crosses the brain-blood barrier but boasts neurotransmitters levels. Examples include dopamine and serotonin, which are the feel-good hormones.
These hormones encourage positive feelings such as happiness, love, and even pleasure.
11. Lowers cholesterol levels
Green tea can also impact your cholesterol levels. It reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) levels in one’s bloodstream, while the good cholesterol (HDL) remains intact.
The bottom line is green tea consumption is one way to reduce bad cholesterol levels, which can collect in one’s arterial walls. Having excess cholesterol in the arteries can cause plaque buildup, regarded as atherosclerosis. This may lead to a blood clot in the artery, which could be disastrous. One can develop stroke, kidney disease, heart attack, and other deadly diseases as a result.
12. Great for hair and skin health
Ageing, UV rays, and oxidative stress can damage the skin. Ageing can cause ugly wrinkles to develop on your skin. However, Green tea not only has the power to delay skin ageing. It can protect your skin from damage caused by oxidative stress (free radicals), UV rays, and others.
The way it helps the skin to maintain its youngness is by slowing down collagen ageing. Green tea can also help to boost the healing process of scars and blemishes on the skin.
Consuming green tea for hair health has also been proven beneficial. Thanks to its constituents, green tea can lower hair loss and androgenetic alopecia. EGCG in the beverage prevents hair loss by stopping the activities of the hormone responsible for the condition. It also stimulates the hair follicles to encourage proper hair regrowth.
You can apply the green tea extract directly on your scalp. According to studies, this helps prevent scalp dryness.
13. Prevent Parkinson’s disease naturally
Worldwide, over 10 million individuals have Parkinson’s disease. It’s a neurodegenerative disorder that causes stiffness, shaking, coordination, balance, and problem walking. This disease starts slowly and becomes acute over time.
Excitingly, green tea can prevent Parkinson’s disease. The chief constituent in green tea responsible for this is EGCG. EGCG is highly beneficial to the brain. It helps prevent brain cells from dying and makes them healthier.
Note – 2 to 5 cups of green tea daily is enough to transform your health positively. Do not go above this.
Green tea can be taken in various forms. It can be taken in liquid (as tea) or as pills. Nevertheless, both forms have similar benefits. It’s just a matter of personal preference. What matters most is the quality of green tea. It’s best to buy the real green tea to enjoy the full benefits of this medicinal plant.
Written by David Hunter
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