Maybe you started drinking green tea for its purported health benefits, or as a less jittery alternative to coffee, or just because it tastes good. Whatever be your reason, chances are you have some questions about it. What would those questions be!!! On a guessing arena, the first question would definitely be regarding the type of tea to be used which provides us with the maximum benefits. All the types of teas contain certain substances linked to better health. The main players are chemicals called polyphenols, in particular catechins and epicatechins. Moving on further, Black tea, Green tea and Oolong Tea are the main teas available in the market. Black tea is the “common one” which almost ninety percent of the masses prefer while the rest ten percent is the green tea and the oolong tea. There are some other varieties of tea too such as white tea, herbal tea etc.
Green Tea – A brief Introduction
Green tea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity in rest of the world. Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea (with white tea the least) and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.
Growth Drivers for Green Tea
Health Benefits – Superiority of green tea Choosing green tea is increasing all over the world because the consumers of green tea are more likely to associate it with health benefits than black, oolong or white teas. There have been instances where people have turn to green tea rather than other types when they feel sick or stressed. One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties. Unlike other teas such as black tea, EGCG is present in high quantities in green tea because green tea leaves alone are steamed not fermented like the others. Fermentation is responsible for the conversion of ECGC to other chemicals. This chemical owes to some superior health benefits of green tea as compared to other type of teas. Drinking tea is said to be a preventive measure against cancer because it contains antioxidants. However, it will surprise you to know that green tea can also cure cancer! Yes ECGC discourages the growth of malignant cells and also destroys these abnormal tissue growths without affecting the normal cells. So a cup of green tea for a cancer patient recovering from chemo-therapy is like the elixir of life. Lifestyle diseases such as Cholesterol and Diabetes are on a rise. Sedentary lifestyle, stress and unhealthy eating have been the main reasons for the rise of lifestyle diseases. Earlier, Diabetes and Cholesterol were prominent among elderly and more in people above the age of sixty but today middle aged and children are also under the shadows of these lifestyle diseases. Good news is that green tea helps in “Blood Cholesterol & Diabetes Prevention.” Green tea has been shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. This property of green tea is due to its alkaline property. It lowers the cholesterol and sugar level in the blood. It will keep your diabetes under control if you learn to enjoy green tea without sugar. A 2013 review of many studies found green tea helped prevent a range of heart-related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure. There are some other health benefits of green tea.
- Dental Health –Its antioxidants help control bacteria and lowers acidity in the saliva thus protecting the tooth enamel and resulting in a fresher breath. It appears to control inflammation and gum bleeding. It also seems to slow the progression of oral cancer.
- Bone Strength – Organic green tea is rich in Vitamin D which helps maintain bone density.
- Cleanses the Digestive System – Tannins in tea cleanses the digestive tract and can calm a troubled stomach.
- Prevents flu – Green tea blocks influenza reproduction when drunk early enough. If you already have it, it will greatly lessen its progression.
Green tea and weight loss
One of the main reasons why green tea would be a future star is its gaining popularity in weight loss. It has been discovered through experimentation that warm green tea burns more calories than normal caffeine beverages. Green tea contains three major components that promote fat loss: catechins, caffeine and theanine. Studies suggest that green tea compounds promote fat loss by inhibiting both gastric and pancreatic lipase, the enzymes that digest triglycerides, and fatty acid synthetase, the enzyme responsible for synthesizing fatty acids into the form in which they can be stored in the body’s adipose (fat) cells. The label of almost every commercial weight loss and fat burning supplement, chances are that you will find some kind of tea there as an ingredient. This is because green tea has been repeatedly shown to increase the burning of fat, especially during exercise. In one study, men who took green tea extract and exercised burned 17% more fat than men who didn’t get the supplement. This study suggests that green tea can boost the fat burning effects of exercise. Also, green tea can boost the metabolic rate and make you burn more calories around the clock. This can be shown by several studies which suggest that green tea can make us burn more calories, even at rest. Other studies confirm that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and maintenance in overweight and moderately obese individuals.
Newly emerging trend – Green Tea
The majority of the tea drinkers prefer black tea but now a days the consumers are embracing green tea because it is relatively new in the world as compared to black tea. Another reason for this new emerging trend of green tea is because the consumers are becoming more adventurous in their food and beverage selection. Green tea basically comes in various varieties which allow its consumers to experience new cultures, which is considered as a macro trend influencing food and beverages. The flavor of green has also been a deciding factor for the emerging trend, as green tea has very unique-even if polarizing-flavor. Since, the green teas are manufactured differently; some are steamed while some are pan-fried. This difference in manufacturing owes to the various flavors generated in green tea. Some green tea is very astringent, some green tea are very smooth while some have a fishy note to them. Overall, these surprise flavors generated in various kinds of green tea drives the growth of this magical elixir among the consumers.
Matcha Tea gaining popularity
Matcha, the green tea popular for centuries in Japan, has crossed the oceans and spread itself throughout the world. This finely milled green tea powder has seen a surge in popularity recently due to its visual appeal, purported health benefits, and beautiful, distinct flavor. Matcha is essentially processed green tea leaves that have been stone-ground into a delicate powder. The powder is then sifted and whisked with hot water. Because of the laborious process required to produce matcha, the tea is generally pricier than others. Matcha has also recently been making waves in the health and beauty sectors because the green tea leaves are believed to be high in antioxidants. Regular steeped green tea is considered healthy because the leaves contain antioxidants, but water can only extract a small about of the leaves’ nutritional properties. In the case of matcha, one consumes the entire leaf, making it exponentially more healthful. Another reason for the matcha tea to gain popularity is due to the so called “coffee consumer shift.” The consumers of coffee have started shifting to matcha tea, owing to the fact that is low in acidity and doesn’t have acidic problems associated with it. Matcha has something called L-theanine in it. Matcha green tea contains up to 5 times more L-theanine than conventional green tea. L-theanine is an amino acid with psychoactive properties, capable of inducing alpha wave activity in the brain. Although matcha contains some caffeine, the relaxing properties of L-theanine counterbalance the “jittery” effects of caffeine. Therefore, a cup of matcha green tea promotes concentration and clarity of mind without producing any of the nervous energy typically associated with coffee. The benefits of matcha tea have flown over the miniature benefits of coffee and would be one of the major reasons of green tea ruling the world in the future.
The anti-aging property
Let’s face the fact that each one of us will get older one or the other day, and from centuries man has tried to find out ways to stay younger. Although, nothing could be found till date but humans have demonstrated out some ways which can stop them from ageing faster. One such example is of the locales in the world where people live the longest is Okinawa, Japan. The Okinawan people’s longevity has been partly attributed to regular consumption of Matcha Green Tea. Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory effects of green tea may delay signs of skin aging, such as sun damage, expression lines and wrinkles, according to a study published in the September 2010 issue of the journal “Collegium Anthropologicum. A study published in the October 2011 issue of the journal “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications” found that EGCG inhibited a type of skin cancer called melanoma in laboratory animals by inhibiting genes that activate inflammation. Another study reveals that “Catechins in green tea may also help prevent skin cancer due to sun exposure, notes Pearl E. Grimes, author of the book “Aesthetics and Cosmetic Surgery for Darker Skin Types.”
Combating the stress level – green tea helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression
According to estimates from WHO, over 450 million people throughout the world suffer from stress. Stress is any change in the environment that requires your body to react and adjust in response. The body reacts to these changes with physical, mental, and emotional responses. A lot of things can cause stress. You may feel stress when you go on a job interview, take a test, or run a race. These kinds of short-term stress are normal. Long-term (chronic) stress is caused by stressful situations or events that last over a long period of time, like problems at work or conflicts in your family. Over time, chronic stress can lead to severe health problems. So how can you stop yourself from being stressed? There are many answers to the same like by change in your daily lifestyle, eating healthy or changing your sleep patterns and much more. You could also seek some medical advice in some severe cases. Recent studies have shown that green tea is shown to have great effects on the stress level of human beings. There have been many studies which clearly demonstrate the role of green tea in reducing the stress levels. A recent study has shown that if you drink five cups of green tea each day, you may reduce occurrences of psychological distress by up to 20 percent. Previous studies have already shown that green tea and its extracts can have a positive impact on our health. In fact, studies have reported that the extracts may also help prevent Alzheimer’s and some kinds of cancer. The article above demonstrates some of the premium features about green tea which proves that green tea is more superior to its cousins (like black tea, white tea etc.). Interestingly, other popular teas such as black and oolong varieties are made from the leaves of the same tea plant as green tea. However, those varieties of tea don’t have the same health properties as green tea. The best aspect of green tea, however, is not its overwhelming health benefits; it’s the delicious flavor that brings you back for another cup – regardless of how healthy you think you’re being.
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