Benefits of Green Tea for Health and Weight Loss
The Chinese have used green tea for its medicinal properties for over 4,000 years and its many health benefits seem endless. Research has shown it does everything from fight cancer, to lower cholesterol, and even stave off dementia. Perhaps one of the more well-known effects of green tea is that it helps naturally speed up the metabolism.
Green tea is made from the same plant as black tea, but the two are processed differently. With black tea, the leaves are processed in a way that allows fermentation, resulting in the dark brown color. While with green tea, the leaves are processed and dried in a way that avoids fermentation, resulting in a lighter color, and a slightly grassier flavor.
Why Is Green Tea Effective for Weight Loss?
Whenever you drink green tea or take it in supplement form, there is a slight metabolic increase and, taken regularly, it can also boost your weight loss goals. It is difficult to lose weight, especially excess fat, but choosing healthy foods and drinks to consume with any weight-loss plan may help to lighten the load.
Green tea is also a natural appetite suppressant, so it could be beneficial for over-eaters and individuals who suffer from binge or comfort eating.
Research conducted on green tea provided results on the participants who drank just five cups of green tea per day would burn an additional 70-80 calories daily. This may not seem a lot, but over a month this equates to 2,129 – 2,433 calories (over half a pound of fat).
Regular consumption of green tea also frees the body of damaging free radicals, causing the body heals itself inward. A build up of harmful toxins can cause the body to enter a sluggish rhythm, and no matter what action is taken to lose weight, the body struggles. Feed it with good nutrition and antioxidant rich green tea to give your body the boost it has been craving.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea boosts the metabolism, but this tea is also rich in antioxidants, which help the body to fight infection and disease. Studies into the health benefits of green tea found that regular drinking of green tea improves high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. It is the latter that most individuals need to reduce in their blood.
Green tea contains a powerful antioxidant—epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which acts as a preventative against esophageal cancer. Regular consumption of green tea either drank as a tea or taken in pill or capsule form also treats and prevents infection. The antioxidants boost the immune system, and also act as a preventative against disease.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, and rely on conventional steroids to heal the pain, you can also turn to green tea to help your body to heal naturally. It may take several weeks for the benefits to take effect, but green tea may offer substantial relief.
Consumption of green tea is also a wonderful way to strengthen an impaired immune system, and it prevents your heart from developing cardiovascular diseases and blood clot formation. As an added health benefit, green tea fights and kills the bacteria that cause plaque, therefore preventing tooth decay.
There’s Always a Negative
Although green tea is full of powerful antioxidants, which are soaked up by the body like a sponge, it also contains caffeine. For insomniacs or troubled sleepers, it is better to drink green tea in the morning or early afternoon, and turn to an herbal chamomile tea in the evening.
Some other side effects for those who are sensitive to caffeine include frequent urination, nausea, upset stomach, heart palpitations, tremor, loss of appetite, irritability, and restlessness.
Because of the levels of caffeine, as well as the tannic acids and catechins in green tea, it has also been linked to pregnancy risks and neural tube defects. While moderate consumption during pregnancy may be considered fine, it is a good idea to discuss green tea with you doctor before consuming it while pregnant.
Green Tea and Skincare
On top of the many benefits green tea can do for your body on the inside, it also has many benefits for your body on the outside — your skin! The catechins in green tea have anti-bacterial properties and can decrease hormonal activity. This means green tea might also help you acne sufferers — without the side effects of harsh creams containing benzoyl peroxide.
In a 2007 study published in Experimental Dermatology, green tea was shown to lessen the severity of psoriasis and dandruff. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.
Green tea in skincare products is just one of the ways you can feed your body with its antioxidant benefits. Try using products with ingredients of essential oils and green tea to further benefit your skin care regime.
Green Tea Varieties
If drinking green tea is not your, well . . . cup of tea, there are other ways to take this beneficial supplements. Green tea comes in pill and capsule forms, which are fairly inexpensive, and offer the same antioxidant benefits.
There are also several varieties of green tea blended with other herbs or flowers for a different taste options. Personally, I’m not a fan of green tea on it’s own, but I do like the green tea with lemon and green tea with mint varieties.
Green tea is available as a boost added to energy drinks, as loose or bagged tea, and there are even forms of decaffeinated green teas available. The sweetness and potency of green tea is related to how long the leaves are left to harvest.
Younger leaves contain the most benefits. Dr Gwenaelle Le Gall, an author and leading expert on green tea is quoted saying:
“The size (age) of the leaves is actually the main criterion for grading green tea, and unlike black tea, green tea quality is directly related to the grading. Teas made of the youngest leaves and the bud are the most expensive.”
With so many dietary plans available, we are influenced by the media to follow the trend. However, there is significant research to back up the claims supporting the green tea bandwagon.
While the taste may take getting used to for some, its benefits are significant and the more research is conducted the more benefits of green tea are being discovered.