Green is Good!
It’s popular these days to go green. We can recycle, conserve and be generally mindful of our impact on the planet. There’s nothing wrong with contributing to develop a healthier and cleaner environment.
There is also a way of “going green” that can benefit our individual health. Green tea has been the drink of choice in the orient for thousands of years. Its medicinal uses have been known by Asian cultures throughout recorded history. Here in America, we are more familiar with black tea, and that is what we see on dinner and restaurant tables most of our lives. So, what is different about green tea and what does it do for our health?
It may surprise you to find out that all tea comes from the same source. The leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant produce black tea, green tea and oolong tea. These most popular types of tea are processed differently, giving them unique properties and qualities as a result of their respective fermentation processes.
Green tea, unlike black and oolong, is not fermented and thus, keeps its green appearance. This lack of fermentation also keeps the natural polyphenols locked into the leaves. Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that give green tea its most valuable attribute as a free radical fighter. Scientists believe free radicals in the body cause cell damage alter DNA and even contribute to cell death. Environmental conditions are increasingly being cited as contributors of cell-damaging free radicals. Despite our efforts to control what goes into our bodies, we are still sometimes subject to damaging factors outside our control. Hence the need for us to fight back with free radical fighting compounds like polyphenols, from green tea.
There are several different ways we can incorporate green tea in our diets. We can drink it in the traditional way or we can opt for the more convenient method of consuming green tea by taking green tea supplements. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing both! Taking green tea supplements assures you are getting a controlled supply of the recommended amount. Green tea supplements offers a concentrated and pure form of the antioxidants occurring naturally. Green tea is also helpful in increasing energy and used as a natural weight loss supplement. It’s never been easier to practice ancient Chinese secrets to be healthier and live longer.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea has been found to be helpful in treating the following:
Drinking just three cups of tea per day can reduce heart attack risk by up to 11%, due to its cholesterol and triglyceride-lowering benefits.
Green tea helps to lower overall cholesterol levels and raises HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Studies suggest that polyphenols in green tea promote better intestinal absorption and elimination of cholesterol, before it can become a problem in the bloodstream.
Green tea and its antioxidant components are increasingly finding favor with those seeking to lower risk of developing cancer. Prevention is key when it comes to cancer and the polyphenols in green tea are a leading component in preventing cell damage and cell death, throughout the body. As unlikely as it may seem, green tea has shown promise in reducing risks of cancers as diverse as lung, bladder, skin cancer, ovarian and breast cancer.
Controlling blood sugar levels is critical in Type 1 diabetes patients and green tea seems to help in the body’s efforts to regulate glucose. Of course, green tea could never be used as a substitute for insulin dependent medications. But since research suggests it is helpful in supplementing treatment, this little green leaf should be embraced by those concerned about maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
The list of ailments and conditions positively influenced by the consumption of green tea and green tea extracts goes on and on and includes contributions to liver health, weight loss and even for treatment of digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).