There’s something powerful within Green Tea. Most people have heard rumours about the legendary health promoting properties, but what are the facts behind the claims that are made for Green Tea? From weight loss, to cancer, from cardiovascular disease to clear skin, the claims are bold and not all of them are proven. So what can we say about Green Tea to sort myth from reality?
What’s In It?
If we consider the chemical and herbal components of Green Tea, we can see that there is quite a mix. One of the main contributors to health is the very high number of polyphenols. Whilst this is what gives the tea its slightly bitter taste, it also is a phytochemical with very powerful antioxidant properties. Green tea contains catechines, which are the main polyphenols. So, there is an indisputable antioxidant element to Green Tea. But how does it promote health? Here are some ways in which it has been scientifically proven that Green Tea
Green Tea speeds up your metabolism because the antioxidant chemicals help the liver to work more efficiently. A US study found that, with no other dietary changes, drinking green tea three times a day helped obese men burn an extra 200 calories.
Green tea has been shown to reduce the incidence of abnormal blood clot formation, almost as well as aspirin. Since this is the cause of thrombosis, it is a good health measure for those at risk. It also lowers bad cholesterol in the blood but reducing its oxidation in the arteries.
One of the leading causes of high blood pressure is an enzyme which is released by the kidneys. Mimicking prescribed medicines for hypertension, Green Tea has been shown in a number of research projects, to help lower blood pressure.
Green Tea has been shown to inhibit the production of amylase, which is needed in the processing of starches. The polyphenols in the tea act to reduce the amount of amylase that is produced, thus lowering the blood sugar levels that can lead to people developing diabetes.
There are a large number of research studies underway which are studying the effect that Green Tea has on cancer growth. Whilst the final verdict is not yet in, there are extremely promising signs. There is a compound within Green Tea inhibit the growth of blood vessels, which slows the growth of tumours. This compound is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and scientists are extremely encouraged by the results so far.
Again, there have been encouraging results from research into the positive effect of Green Tea in relation to arthritis, mainly from the antioxidant elements, which reduce the function of the Cox-2 gene which can trigger the joint inflammation seen in rheumatoid arthritis.
Because it has antibacterial properties, Green Tea helps reduce the risk of food poisoning, if poisons are present in food. It also has a positive effect on the gut preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and promoting the growth of helpful bacteria, just like pro-biotic yoghurt drinks.
High levels of iron in the liver sometimes lead to a triggering of the hepatitis virus. Green Tea helps fight the virus by slightly lowering the level of iron within the body as a whole, which has an anti-viral effect against some types of viral hepatitis.
If all this has made you want to rush out to the nearest supermarket to stock up on Green Tea, then be aware you need to drink at least three cups a day to get the full health benefits.
This article was contributed by Lloyd, a freelance writer and blogger, who is currently working with Range Cookers.