Green tea has been much hyped due to its various health benefits. It is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks today and is prescribed by nearly all nutritionists, doctors, wellness coaches, etc. Think of it like a friend whom we don’t like initially but begin to like its company gradually! Nobody really likes the taste of green tea in the beginning, but we gradually develop it, especially without added sugar or honey.
Green tea and its benefits have become the “talk of the town” or a popular health trend for all health magazines, newspapers and people of all ages. Teenagers find it cool to drink green tea, as it is more like a health symbol. Sportspersons and gym enthusiasts also keep interchanging their daily routines of protein shakes with green tea, so as to maintain a balance in the body. Also, there are more than a thousand interesting flavours that help us retain our interest in green tea, each having its uniquely sumptuous tastes and varied health benefits.
Major Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea & Cancer
According to studies by the American Cancer Society, patients may consume green tea as it reduces the risk of some types of cancers. It is well understood, cancer cannot be prevented in case of being hereditary. However, the chances of acquiring some cancers can be reduced if you consume green tea on a regular basis. Which are those? Some of them are breast cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and bladder cancer.
Patients with cancer are allowed to consume green tea due to the following reasons:
- Green tea boosts their immune system which will help their body to fight against cancerous cells.
- It improves the overall health and wellbeing of a person.
- Another major health benefit of green tea for cancer patients is getting rid of the toxins in the body.
- It does not react with medications of the patients and hence helps to control cancer in the body, benefitting its treatment in some way.
Green tea is rich in EGCG- Multiple Health Benefits
Green tea has a key component called the EGCG i.e., epigallocatechin-3 gallate, which is a complex catechin. EGCG is also found in White tea and Oolong tea. Some of the alternative sources of EGCG are strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums, peaches, kiwi, and avocado.
Benefits of EGCG:
- As an Antioxidant- We categorize EGCG as an antioxidant on the basis of its chemical structure. What exactly does an antioxidant do? For a layman to understand, an antioxidant, such as Vitamin C and E are good for the heart, brain and other vital organs of the body. It prevents damage or degeneration of different cells in the body, caused by free radicals. EGCG as an antioxidant lowers the risk of infections and other diseases. Foods such as blueberries, cranberries, meats, nuts and whole grains are rich in antioxidants whereas junk foods are highly processed, hence tend to be lower in antioxidants. Of course!
- Anti Inflammatory effects- Inflammation is generally caused by a large number of immune cell aggregation at various inflammatory sites in the body. EGCG has chemical compounds that breakdown and release protein activators that decrease the production of inflammatory factors at the site.
EGCG helps in reducing stress and inflammation which are both associated with a variety of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Therefore, two to three cups of green tea every alternate day keeps you away from many fatal diseases.
Green Tea & Brain Cells
According to a research journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, “There has been plenty of scientific attention on its use in helping prevent cardiovascular diseases, but now there is emerging evidence that its chemical properties may impact cellular mechanisms in the brain.” Let us understand how?
Firstly, EGCG is your best answer. EGCG can improve cognitive function by impacting the generation of neuron cells, which is called neurogenesis. Secondly, theanine an amino acid found in green tea reaches the brain cells easily via blood transportation, resulting in better cognitive abilities. Hence, it is proven that regular intake of green tea reduces the chances of dementia and cognitive impairment in elderly people worldwide. Green tea boosts the connectivity between the parietal and frontal cortex of the brain. This way it improves the memory power of the brain and enhances the functionalities of the brain.
Green Tea & Weight Loss
Green tea contains a negligible amount of caffeine in it which acts as an effective stimulant for the body. Both EGCG and caffeine are bioactive substances which have a synergizing effect on the body. They have powerful effects on the metabolism system as food is broken down into smaller proteins and compounds that provide energy to the body. Also, the catechins present in green tea help to breakdown excess fat, thus increasing the amount of energy. Studies have shown that green tea along with the right diet and exercise can result in healthy weight loss and enhanced metabolic rate. Drinking two to three cups of hot green tea throughout the day is sufficient for supplementing weight loss. Although green tea is available in a variety of flavors, the least processed and unflavoured ones are more likely to have retained its nutritional attributes.
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