It is now widely known that green tea is healthy. Green tea has quickly gone from being a specialty item known only to tea enthusiasts to something you can buy just about anywhere. The reasons for the rise in popularity of green tea go well beyond its great taste.
Green tea is known to have many health benefits. Long before it became a common thing to drink in the western world, green tea was consumed in the east for its many health benefits. Green tea also tastes great. The amazing combination of something delicious and good for is rare.
Perhaps one of the most important health benefits of green tea is that it appears to burn fat. The chemical composition of green tea may help you lose weight.
What exactly is green tea? What are the many health benefits of green tea? And how can green tea help you burn fat? This guide will introduce you to the amazing health benefits of green tea so you can include green tea as part of your regular diet.
What is green tea?
Green tea is a variety of tea made from the leaves and buds of the Camellia sinensis plant. These leaves and buds are used before they undergo the kinds of oxidation processes that are used to make oolong teas and black teas. Green tea is originally from China, but the production of green tea has spread throughout parts of East Asia.
There are several varieties of green tea derived from different strains of Camellia sinensis. Depending on the growing conditions, horticultural methods, and production processing, these other varieties will have a slightly different flavor profile. However, all varieties of green tea contain the same beneficial chemical components.
It may come as a surprise to some that green tea and black tea come from the same origin. The type of plant and the processing methods are what distinguish the two. There are two primary types of tea of this type.
Camellia Sinensis Assamica
This plant is native to India. It thrives in warm, sub-tropical regions. This variety is used to make black teas.
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis
This is a small-leafed variety that can grow in cooler, drier climates. It thrives in mountainous regions. This is the type sued to make green tea
Camellia Sinensis Sinensis is harvested and dried quickly by heating it or steaming it. It is then quickly dried to preserve the green leaves and prevent them from turning brown. This process preserves the fresh-picked flavor that is a signature feature of green tea. This also prevents the oxidation that would diminish the health benefits of green tea.
A brewed green tea ranges from a distinctly green color to yellow, or even light brown. It can have a grass-like flavor or range to a sweet sea-weed flavor. Ideally, brewed green tea should appear light in color and should be too pungent on the palate.
Green tea benefits
The real benefits of green tea come from the various chemical agents present in the brewed tea. Many of these natural chemicals provide real boosts to our bodies and our minds.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols. These are complex chemicals that can reduce inflammation and fight cancer.
Green tea contains catechins, powerful antioxidants that repair cells, minimize the damage from free radicals, and other benefits. Catechins actively protect cells from damage by binding and eliminating free radicals, the destructive chemicals introduced in our system from a variety of sources.
One catechin in particular, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), is prevalent in green tea.
EGCG has been thoroughly researched and is known to be one of the most powerful catechins for fighting the dangers of free radicals and reducing your risk of cancer.
Improves brain function
Green tea contains caffeine. It does not have quite as much as coffee, but green tea will keep you alert. Caffeine also blocks a specific type of neurotransmitter called adenosine that inhibits the way the brain fires information. Caffeine from green tea enhances neurotransmitter function.
Studies have also shown that the bioactive ingredients in green tea can enhance your mood, reaction time, and memory. This is due to the other chemical constituents in green tea.
One of these chemicals is an amino acid called L-theanine which enhances a neurotransmitter. This has the effect of reducing anxiety. L-theanine also increases the production of dopamine which naturally calms you down.
What is more, research shows that L-theanine has a synergistic effect with other neurotransmitters that improve brain function.
Cancer researchers have long understood that chronic inflammation can lead to oxidative damage to body tissues, and this is a major cause of some forms of cancer.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties found in green tea work to reduce the risk of cancer. Research shows that green tea and significantly reduce your risk of developing specific types of cancer:
Breast cancer: Studies show that women who regularly drink green tea lowered their risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 30 percent.
Prostate cancer: One study showed that green tea drastically reduced the chance of developing prostate cancer.
Colorectal cancer: A meta-analysis of 29 separate studies showed that drinking green tea reduces the risk of colorectal cancer by 42 percent.
As a helpful tip: do not add milk to your green tea since this appears to reduce the available antioxidants and anti-inflammatories available in green tea.
Helps the brain
Green tea has long been known to improve brain functions, but it is becoming increasingly clear that green tea can protect your brain from aging.
Studies are beginning to reveal that green tea can protect against neurodegenerative damage that comes with aging and some brain diseases. Green tea may help protect against the neurodegenerative damage associated with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
Fights type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels that are due to a resistance to insulin or an inability to produce insulin.
Recent research has shown that green tea has chemical components that can improve insulin sensitivity in patients living with type 2 diabetes. One study showed that people who regularly drink green tea had a 42 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Uses of green tea
Besides the great taste, people use green tea for several reasons. Following the health benefits listed above, many people use green tea for the following purposes:
Endometrial cancer: Cancer of the lining of the uterus. Population studies suggest that drinking green tea is linked to a reduced risk of developing endometrial cancer.
Hyperlipidemia: High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood. People who consume higher amounts of green tea seem to have lower levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol, and blood fats called triglycerides. They also seem to have higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or "good") cholesterol.
Consuming green tea or taking green tea extract daily for up to 24 weeks may reduce total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Early research also suggests that green tea extract might reduce damage to vein and artery walls in people with high cholesterol.
High blood pressure: Drinking green tea might reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. It might also slightly lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. But not all research agrees.
Genital Warts: One surprising use for green tea is to fight genital warts. A specific green tea extract ointment (Veregen, Bradley Pharmaceuticals; Polyphenon E ointment 15%, MediGene AG) is available as a prescription product for treating genital warts. Applying the ointment for 10-16 weeks seems to clear these types of warts in 24% to 60% of patients.
Can green tea burn fat?
If you have taken a look at the label of natural fat burner supplements you have already noticed green tea is a major ingredient. This is because green tea on its works as a fat burner by naturally increasing your metabolic rate.
One study involving healthy men showed that green tea increased the amount of fat they burned during exercise by 4 percent. Another study, also with healthy men, showed increases in fat oxidation by as much as 17 percent.
The primary antioxidant found in green tea is EGCG. This chemical will inhibit the enzyme that breaks down norepinephrine in the body. When norepinephrine levels increase, it causes the body to break down fat and burn fat. When you combine EGCG with caffeine, the fat-burning properties increase exponentially. There is a synergistic effect with green tea and caffeine.
Green tea has also been clinically shown to increase metabolism rates which also contribute to the fat-burning potential of green tea. One study showed that green tea can increase metabolism rates by as much as 8 percent.
The chemical features of green tea increase metabolism. When this effect is combined with the natural effects of caffeine present in green tea, the results are even more pronounced.
Green tea side effects
Green tea is widely considered to be safe. As a natural beverage, green tea generally does not cause any problems. If you are taking high quantities of green tea extract you can experience nausea, stomach upset, and digestive problems. The excess caffeine from taking too much green tea can also cause anxiety.
Green tea dosage
For most uses, about 400 ml of green tea, ideally before lunch, will achieve the desired benefits of green tea. This is about one good-sized cup of green tea.
There are some green tea extracts that are sued for specific medical purposes. For high cholesterol and other fats in the blood, doctors recommend anywhere from 150 mg to 2500 mg per day. These doses are usually split into two.
Doctors will prescribe green tea extract for abnormal cells on the surface of the cervix. This is called cervical dysplasia. The dosage for this condition is generally 200 mg of green tea extract taken orally, and a green tea topical ointment that can be applied twice weekly for 8- 12 weeks.
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Green tea is available just about anywhere now. From the grocery store checkout to specialty tea suppliers, there are so many varieties of green tea it can be hard to decide what to choose. Whereas green tea was once a specialty item, known only to devoted tea enthusiasts, it is now commonplace.
The increase in popularity of green tea is attributable to at least two things: green tea is a delicious alternative to conventional black teas. And green tea is incredibly healthy. There is such a wealth of health benefits in simple green tea, and people have become aware of these benefits.
One standout feature of green tea is that it is a powerful natural fat burner. Simply by enjoying a glass of iced green tea, you can jump-start a healthy workout with the fat-burning qualities of green tea.
Whether you enjoy green tea on its own, or if you want to include a powerful supplement like NF Sports’ Natural Burn that includes green tea as part of its active ingredients, you will come to see real results. Green tea burns fat, among many other great benefits. And green tea is an easy and natural way to boost your healthy diet and your workout.