Green tea originates from southwest China and has been appreciated all over the world for over 3,000 years. Incipiently, it wasn’t consumed as a beverage. People ate and chewed on the leaves, much like people did with coffee beans in order to increase physical endurance. Eventually, they began to cook and boil the leaves in water to make tea and it remained a permanent staple. Green tea has more health benefits than black tea because of the way it is prepared, making it extra special. Green tea is processed in a way that enhances the oxidants like the antioxidant polyphenols because it is not fermented. An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. They come up frequently in studies as they preserve the body and the cells from contagions and they protect us free radicals caused by oxidation. Researchers believe green tea has the power to reduce cholesterol, heart attacks, fight cancer, help with diabetes and help people lose weight. A study from the University of California found that drinking 3 cups of green tea a day also reduced the risk of ischemic stroke by 21 percent. This is suspected to only be the beginning of the many advantages of this drink. Here are 6 reasons green tea can serve your health.
It may help with atherosclerosis.
Arteriosclerosis happens when the artery wall thickens, hardens and narrows the pathway for the blood to flow. The causes of the condition can be from smoking or having high cholesterol to cause plaque to build up as a knob in the wall. This bump continues to grow and forms a blockage. Some studies indicate that antioxidants like what is found in green tea may help prevent atherosclerosis in some people.
It may help reduce blood clots.
The catechins found in green tea may reduce blood clotting and they do this by improving blood vessel function. Green tea thins out the blood like physical blood thinners like the drug Coumadin. This blocks the formation of thromboxane A2, which can cause a stroke. Scientists from the Harvard Medical School tested green tea on clot-prone mice and determined that rutin was the most efficient chemical at preventing clots in the arteries and veins. “This discovery suggests that a single agent can treat and prevent both types of clots,” the study found. “It’s not always fully appreciated that the majority of Americans will die as the result of a blood clot in either their heart or their brain,” said senior author Robert Flaumenhaft, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He said half of all morbidity and fatalities in the United States can be credited to heart attacks or strokes.
It may reduce heart disease.
Researchers believe green tea reduces the prospect of heart disease by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Harvard Medical School also found that drinking green may decrease the risk of heart disease. They weren’t the only study. The European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation found that people who drink green tea had better blood vessel function 30 minutes later. Although green tea is consumed less in the “Western world than black tea, it could be more beneficial because of the way it seems to improve endothelial function.”
It may reduce cancer.
Studies in Shanghai, China showed green tea has an anti-cancer effect in the colon and in the stomach from both the catechins and the polyphenols found in their properties. This boosted the immune system and helped the body to recover from illness. Because catechins could influence cancer cells, it may protect the mammary glands, the prostate cells and prevent cellular mutations. “Polyphenols also found in tea may suppress tumor cell proliferation and induce apoptosis in the laboratory and in animal studies. Tea catechins have been shown to inhibit angiogenesis and tumor cell invasiveness,” the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found. They can stop the spread of various diseases and bacteria in the body overall as well. For example, consuming green tea can also kill germs that cause tooth decay, bad breath and gum disease.
It may help with diabetes.
The biochemical reaction in green tea could help people with Type 2 diabetes. Green tea supports and regulates glucose levels and could level off sugar after eating. Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City explained to everydayhealth.com that tea helps “Sensitize cells so they are better able to metabolize sugar. Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function.” Both black and green tea can help people with diabetes and it may reduce the risks of getting the disease.
It may help you lose weight.
A mother claimed that drinking 9 cups of green tea a day helped her lose 100 pounds after her pregnancy. Samantha Reese told the Sun that people recommended to drink the superfood to boost the metabolism and to get rid of cravings. “At first, I laughed it off. I thought drinking green tea was a fad,” she said. “I always thought that was just a myth, but I was so desperate to lose weight I decided it was worth a go.” Drinking the tea helped Reese reduce her caloric intake and boosted her metabolism to burn fat and to burn calories. Drinking as little as 2.5 cups of green tea per day is all you need to see returns, 9 is too excessive.
Green tea might not be the cure-all for everything, but science is finding more about the power it carries. Adding this super drink into your diet could become a great benefit. But not all green teas are created equal, however. Iced green tea may not have the same antioxidant content as steeped tea. Like with anything else, strike a balance with green tea as it can have as much caffeine as black tea, so don’t overdo it.