Green Tea Benefits
The amount of studies on the health benefits of green tea consumption has exploded in recent years. With good reason. Green tea is proving to be effective against a whole host of illnesses and conditions. Eisai ,the monk who brought tea to Japan said that it was “the elixir of the immortals. Wherever tea seeds are planted, long life is sure to follow”. Here are a list of some of the healing powers of green tea.
Japanese researchers have found that green tea consumption can lead to lower mortality rates in humans. Following over 40,000 subjects aged 40-79 over 11 years, they discovered a significantly lower risk of death from all causes among those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea a day than those who drank less than a cup. This was especially true in the case of death from cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Protection Against Heart Disease
Numerous studies have shown that drinking green tea can protect against heart disease due to a number of effects of green tea: vasculoprotective, antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering. Studies have also shown that EGCG, one of the main catechins in green tea can prevent heart muscle cell death after a heart attack. Drinking green tea also reduces the risk of blood clots widening the artery and improves the blood flow around the body.
Protection Against Diabetes
Recent evidence suggests that drinking green tea can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes! People who drink 6 cups or more of green tea a day are less likely to develop diabetes than those who drink just one cup.
Green tea and specifically EGCG, one of green tea’s most potent catechins have been showing a lot of promise in cancer prevention. Green tea is very promising due to a number of reasons: it is non-toxic, have a much wider range of target organs compared to standard drugs, digestive tract, liver, breast, prostate and skin being just some of the organs where green tea helps. According to one researcher “The first stage of cancer prevention with green tea leads to the delay of cancer onset”.
Green tea may prevent stroke, and EGCG has been shown to protect braincells from destructive processes following stroke.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Studies have proven that people who drink green tea have lower cholesterol levels than those who do not drink any green tea. Researchers suspect this may be because green tea helps prevent lipid absorption in the digestive tract and encourages their excretion from the body.
Population-based studies have shown that men who drink more than 10 cups of green tea a day are less likely to develop liver disorders. Animal based studies have shown green tea to protect the liver against toxic substances such as alcohol.
Japanese researchers have shown that drinking green tea helps maintain cognitive ability (1) and may improve memory (2). Green tea contains a powerful antioxidants called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), reducing the formation of plaque in the brain. This memory-destroying disease is caused by the production of a protein called beta-amyloid, which causes the formation of plaques that clogs the brains of the victims.
Prevention of neurodegenerative diseases
Due to the wide-ranging effects of its polyphenols, green tea is being studied for its benefits on neurodegenerative conditions. Researchers in Haifa, Israel is working with animal models have found that “Not only may the EGCG help prevent the brain cells from dying, it appears as though the polyphenol may even rescue the neurons once they have been damaged, to help them repair”.
Lowers blood pressure and prevents hypertension.
Green tea lowers blood pressure and prevents hypertension by increasing the production of nitric oxide, which dilates the arteries and reduces blood pressure. Researchers have also found that over the course of a year consuming tea, the risk of high blood pressure was lower by 46% among those drinking between 0.5 to 2.5 cups a day and 65% lower among those consuming over 2.5 cups per day.
Protects Skin from UV damage
A 2006 review of evidence in the “Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry” showed that green tea boosts hydration, reduces skin inflammation and the risk of developing skin cancer thanks to its ingredients, including cell-protecting polyphenols. Green tea polyphenols protect against UV-induced sunburn, immunosuppression and photoaging of the skin. Green tea polyphenols protect the skin by improving the elastic tissues.
Green tea appears to prevent the formation of blood clots (thrombosis) by inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Protects from the negative effects of smoking
According to studies(1) green tea may prevent oxidative damage among smokers as well as protecting against future cardiovascular disorders in chronic smokers.
Increases bone mineral density
Green tea consumption may prevent osteoporosis and bone loss. Researchers in the University of Tokyo have shown that drinking green tea may increase bone density while Australian researchers have found that bone mineral density is 2.8% greater in tea drinkers than non-drinkers.
Increases exercise endurance.
Animal studies indicate that green tea increases exercise endurance. Catechins increase the metabolic capacity and utilization of fatty acid as a source of energy in skeletal muscle during exercise..
Prevents Tooth decay
Green tea is a proven remedy to prevent tooth decay. It kills the bacteria that cause dental plaque and halitosis and increases the acid resistance of tooth enamel