Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages and has a number of health benefits. It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants and leaves a powerful impact on the body. Green tea originated in China but is widely consumed throughout Asia. This beverage was popularized by Buddhist monks in India and Japan. This beverage is beneficial from lowering the blood pressure to prevent cancer.
Green tea is obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant. It contains catechins that have numerous health benefits. Green tea is mostly preferred over black tea due to the fermentation process. Black tea is more processed and hence allows fermentation whereas green tea avoids fermentation. Hence green tea is richer in phenolic compounds.
Method of Preparing Green Tea
Take a steel pot and boil the water. Take one teaspoon of green tea leaves and place them in a sieve. Place the sieve over the cup, now pour hot water into the cup and leave the tea leaves to steep for about 3 minutes.
Alternatively, you can add lemon to give a tangy flavor. For some sweetness add honey and you can also add cinnamon powder.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
1. Aids in weight loss
The EGCG present in the green tea helps in weight loss and decreases body fat and also helps to reduce waist size. The catechins and caffeine present in the green tea boosts metabolism and induces fat oxidation. Higher the content of EGCG in green tea higher is the stimulation of genes to breakdown the fat; it also decreases the visceral fat by decreasing the lipid absorption.
Green tea induces the body heat production called the thermo genesis which helps in weight loss. The caffeine and catechins aims in prolonged thermo genesis. The EGCG and caffeine helps to reduce appetite by regulating the level of hunger genes called leptin. It also reduces the fatigue and improves physical activity and performance of the body; it contains zero calories.
The antioxidants present in green tea helps to fight against certain cancers. The uncontrolled cell division and abnormal cell spreading are the causes of cancer.
It helps to fight Breast cancer. EGCG helps to reduce 19% risk of breast cancer and 25% risk of its re-occurrence by reducing the activities of oncogenes and proliferation of the cancer cells.
Green tea helps to reduce the risk of Colon cancer in non-smokers. A study showed that people who consumed green tea for 6 months showed 17% reduction in risk of digestive cancer.
It is the cancer of the head and the neck. It prevents the proliferation of the cancer cells, migration and apoptosis. ECGC is also beneficial in suppressing the cervical cancer cell proliferation and reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men.
Three cups of green tea a day helps to reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers. EGCG present in green tea halts the proliferation of the cancer causing cells in lungs and also detoxifies the environmental toxins.
There are many other health benefits that consumption of Green Tea offers –
- Reduces insulin resistance and diabetes risk: People suffering from diabetes have high blood sugar; due to the body’s inefficiency to produce insulin and insulin resistance. The EGCG in green tea increases insulin sensitivity and regulates blood sugar.
- It improves cardiovascular health: Cardiovascular diseases like strokes, cardiac arrest and other heart disease. Green tea lowers the LDL cholesterol deposits on the arterial walls which block the blood flow. It helps to reduce the visceral fat, cholesterol absorption and LDL oxidation and reduces blood pressure. It also prevents arterial fibrillation and improves heart health.
- Improves Brain Functioning: EGCG and I-theanine helps to protect the brain and improves brain functioning, cognition, mood and attention of the brain. The neuroprotective property of green tea induces neuritogenesis and helps to suppress the brain dysfunction. It helps to improve the memory and reduces the risk of Alzheimer and Parkinson disease.
- It is great for skin and hair: The antioxidants helps to protect the skin against UV rays, oxidative stress and skin cancer. It helps to delay the collagen ageing and keeping the skin to look younger. The anti-inflammatory property helps to protect the skin from inflammatory reactions like acne, atopic, keloids, warts The application of green tea extract reduces scalp greasiness and reduces alopecia. It stimulates hair growth by inhibiting DTH. Green tea contains polyphones, vitamin C and E which promotes lustrous hair.
- Reduces the risk of PCOS- The polycystic ovarian syndrome is a hormonal disorder. Symptoms include high amount of androgens, irregular periods and excessive facial hair. Overweight women can prevent PCOS by losing weight; thus drinking green tea on a regular basis is highly recommended for obese women. Green tea reduces testosterone levels and decreases fasting insulin. The polyphenols in green tea helps to reduce number and thickness of the cyst layer.
- It reduces high blood pressure: High blood pressure is caused due to poor diet, inactivity, age, genes and gender. Green tea helps to reduce high blood pressure and relax the smooth muscles. It reduces the systolic and diastolic blood pressure in overweight adults. The anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory property relaxes smooth muscles, oxidative stress.
- It helps to fight Cold and flu: The EGCG is the powerful antioxidant which renders and kills the bacteria and viruses directly including influenza virus.
- It helps to reduce the risk of arthritis: Green tea contains high fluoride levels which reduces the risk rheumatoid arthritis. Green tea also preserves the bone density and keeps them strong; it blocks the enzymes that destroy the cartilage.
Thus, drinking green tea regularly and applying it directly on the skin provides a numerous benefits. It not only treats acne problem but also helps the skin to look younger and prevents from melanoma and non-melanoma cancers of the skin. It helps to reduce the body weight, aids in various types of cancer treatments as well as provides mental and physical health. It soothes skin, mood and hairs. One should opt for a cup of green tea on daily basis.