Know the Health Benefits of Green Tea

Edited by Ermin, Rebecca M., Eng, Lynn and 3 others

Drinking green tea is a good way to start your day, since it is a very healthy drink! Many people opt to drink coffee because it can give them a boost throughout the day. However, green tea can also work wonders and is a better option than coffee because it doesn't give you spike up followed by a drop off. Instead it gives you an even boost for hours which can help you be more productive overall. Not only can green tea make you alert, but it can also provide you with so many health benefits.

What is green tea? How effective is it?

Green tea is an unfermented tea, rich in catechins, polyphenols, antioxidant compounds and sub-class of flavonoids. It is pale in color and tastes bitter. Green tea is mainly produced in Japan, India and most especially China, where people regularly drink green tea. Catechins are great compounds for losing weight fast. According to some researchers of The Journal of Nutrition, those who consume 625 milligrams of green tea a day are more likely to lose abdominal fat. That is why most dieters drink green tea daily. When combined with regular exercise, green tea can help them lose pounds in no time. Catechins also play an important role in preventing any forms of diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and also diabetes.

In green tea, there are six major catechin-polyphenol compounds: Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), catechins, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, gallaogatechin, and epicatechin gallate. Among these compounds, the EGCG is the most active and potent antioxidant compound in green tea. Green tea also has alkaloids - theobromine, therophylline, and caffeine. The latter is not beneficial for the health. However, caffeine content in green tea is less than in coffee.

In China, people use green tea as a medicinal drink for depression and headache. Chinese people have been drinking green tea since ancient times - for about 4,000 years. Based on the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published in 1994, green tea has reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60 percent. To add more information to that, some researchers claimed that the compounds in green tea could inhibit the cancer cells from developing.

In India, many people have been using green tea as astringent for soothing wounds and to prevent them from getting infected. They also use the tea as a natural diuretic beverage for removing toxins and free radicals in the body. They believe that the free radicals contribute to cancer growth and other health problems. Some use green tea as a stimulant - the same purpose of coffee. Below are some health benefits of green tea:

Health Benefits of Green Tea:

  1. 1
    Hypertension or high-blood pressure. Green tea can reduce levels of bad cholesterol, the major causes of stroke and heart failure. At the same time, it also improves good cholesterol in the body, or what we call high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The compound catechins contribute a lot to the prevention of hypertension. Green tea is good for smokers too, as it can reduce harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in them. In addition, it also protects one against formation of blood clots, which is the primary source of cardiovascular diseases.
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  2. 2
    Cancer. Green tea is proven effective in preventing cancer, according to many health researchers. Japan is considered to be the country with the lowest rate of cancer risk, because people there regularly drink green tea, as well as in China. Again, the catechins and polyphenols can promote apoptosis, which is the necessary death of cancer cells. Risk of breast, bladder, stomach, skin, prostate, pancreatic, lung, esophageal, ovarian, and colorectal cancers can all be reduced and prevented by drinking three to four cups of green tea a day.
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  3. 3
    Diabetes. Traditionally, green tea has been used for reducing blood sugar levels. Many people with diabetes drink green tea to control glucose levels. The compounds of green tea can help slow down the development, once the disease has affected the victim. If you have a family history of diabetes, you may want to start drinking green tea to slow down the progression of the symptoms brought by the disease.
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  4. 4
    Weight loss. Like I mentioned above, green tea is a potent healthy beverage for losing weight fast. Why not inhibit using diet pills and start drinking green tea? The catechins of green tea are natural fat-burning agents. The only problem is that it makes you need to go to the restroom more frequently.
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  5. 5
    Neurological disorders. Parkinson's and Alzheimer's are neurological disorders. Researchers claim that regular consumption of green tea can help prevent you from getting neurological diseases. In a study of green tea effects on animals, the researchers claimed that the compounds of the tea could actually protect the animal's healthy brain cells from damage and help restore damaged brain cells. By drinking green tea regularly, you will have a keen and healthy mind.
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  6. 6
    Skincare. Free radicals cause signs of aging. Polyphenols in green tea can block free radicals from invading your body. In other words, with regular consumption of green tea, you can reduce wrinkles and acne for many years, even as you get older. It is no wonder that the Chinese and Japanese are always young-looking.
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  7. 7
    Anti-viral diseases. Common colds, flu and runny nose are examples of anti-viral diseases. Green tea can help alleviate the symptoms brought on by these viral diseases.
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  8. 8
    Tooth Decay. You can keep the dentist away by drinking green tea daily. The catechins and polyphenols can strengthen your teeth and prevent them from getting cavities that often lead to horrible toothaches. Make sure that you do not add sugar to a cup of green tea, so that you will get the full benefits from it, as sugar is a risk factor in tooth decay. According to some researchers of Preventive Medicine, a cup of green tea a day can prevent you from getting unhealthy teeth as you age.
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  9. 9
    Atherosclerosis. When the linings of the arteries are damaged, there will be an interference of blood flow, which may result in atherosclerosis. Catechins in green tea can prevent the epidemic disease from developing.
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  10. 10
    Inflammatory bowel disease. The two types of inflammatory bowel disease are ulcerative disease and Crohn's disease. These are risk factors to colorectal cancer, but by drinking green tea, you may be able to prevent it from worsening.
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  11. 11
    Liver disease. Animal studies have shown that the compounds of green tea can help one reduce the risk of liver tumors. Some researchers claim that men who consume green tea daily are less likely to have liver disease.
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  12. 12
    Immunity. The effectiveness of antioxidants in green tea is greater than that in vitamin C. As we all know, vitamin C is a great nutrient for boosting the immune system, but the polyphenols found in green tea boost the immunity even more.
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Possible Medicinal Interactions:

Although green tea contributes a lot to the prevention and treatment of certain diseases, it still has some adverse medicinal effects. It is important to be certain before taking any alternative medications. Below are some that interact with the substances found in green tea:

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    Blood thinning medications. People who are taking blood thinning medications should not drink green tea, as it has vitamin K that makes blood thinning medications ineffective when consumed. In addition to that, you should not mix aspirin and green tea, as both could prevent blood clotting. If you take both, you could increase the risk of bleeding.
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  • 2
    Birth control pills. These pills can prolong the effect of caffeine in the body, increasing its stimulating effects.
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  • 3
    Chemotherapy. People who are taking chemotherapy drugs should not drink green tea. The combination of substances in the tea and in chemotherapy medications could make consumers become sensitive to the latter aforementioned drugs. They could experience some adverse effects if they drink green tea while under chemotherapy.
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  • 4
    High blood pressure and cardiovascular medications. Do not take green tea if you are taking medications for your high blood pressure and your heart. The caffeine in green tea can interact with these medications, which could seriously increase the blood pressure.
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  • 5
    Anxiety medications. Anxiety medications, most especially benzodiazepines, can interact with the caffeine in green tea. If these are both consumed, the effectiveness of the medications may subside due to the caffeine.
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  • 6
    Adenosine. This is a medication given for people who have unstable and irregular heart rhythm. Do not drink green tea if you are taking adenosine, as the tea could reduce the effects of the medicine.
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  • 7
    Quinolone antibiotics. These kinds of antibiotics include trovafloxacin, sparfloxacin, norfloxacin, enoxacin, ciprofloxacin, and grepafloxacin. If these are taken with green tea, you may experience some serious side effects.
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  • The above medications are just few of the possible interactions with green tea. There are other medications that could interact with the substances found in the tea. To be sure, always ask a doctor before taking any alternative medicines.

    How to Make a Green Iced Tea

    Drinking hot green tea every day can be quite boring and slightly unpleasant because of the taste. You do not have to stick to the same old tea daily, just to get healthy and fit. You may want to try something new - but still using green tea with a twist. Below are instructions on how to make:

    Lemon green iced tea:

    1. 1
      Ingredients: [Serves 5 persons]  
      1. 2 sprigs of chopped fresh lemon grass
      2. 1/4 cup of honey
      3. 1/4 cup of loose-leaf green tea
      4. 1 cup of fresh mint leaves
      5. 5 cups of water
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    2. 2
      1. Bring the water to a boil and then add the lemon grass.
      2. Remove the saucepan from heat and add the other ingredients into it.
      3. Steep them for 10 minutes.
      4. Strain the liquid using a fine mesh sieve into a clean pitcher.
      5. Refrigerate to chill.
      6. Fill your glass with the tea and add more ice cubes. You now have your own lemon green iced tea.
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    Strawberry Green Iced Tea:

    1. 1
      Ingredients: [Serves 4 persons]  
      1. 1 lb. of fresh chopped strawberries
      2. 1 lemon juice
      3. 1/2 cup of sugar
      4. 1/4 cup of water
      5. 4 cups of green tea
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    2. 2
      1. Add all ingredients into a heavy saucepan and bring them to a boil.
      2. Reduce the heat's temperature to low for 20 minutes.
      3. Strain the liquid through a mesh sieve and press the strawberry pulps to strain the juices into the pitcher.
      4. Refrigerate to chill.
      5. Fill your glass with your new strawberry green iced tea. You can add strawberry syrup into it, if it still tastes bitter.
      6. Add more iced cubes into the glass and serve.
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    Tips & Warnings

    • If you are taking medication, you should ask your doctor first before drinking green tea. As I said, there could be possible medicinal interactions between the substances.
    • In some people, green tea can cause digestive problems, such as constipation and stomach upset.
    • There are reports about consuming more than 5 cups of green tea daily in the long term can cause adverse effects, such as sleep problems, headache, irritability, etc., because of the caffeine. However, caffeine is less than in coffee.
    • There is a fatal estimation of green tea consumption. High doses between 10-14 grams (150 to 200 per kilogram) are considered fatal. Drink green tea in moderation. Or, better yet, ask your doctor about the right dose for you.
    • Do not drink too much green tea if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. One cup of green tea is OK.
    • Do not allow children to drink green tea, as it can cause adverse effects in them. Their bodies cannot bear substances from teas, like in green tea and even black tea.

    Questions and Answers

    What is the substance that is found to be the active factor in tanglad/lemon grass?

    Myrcene, Geranyl acetate, neral, geraniol, myrcene and a few traces of citral and limonene are some of the main active substances found in lemon grass/tanglad. These chemical components are some of the few responsible for the anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-diarrheal properties of the lemon grass. Studies have indicated a number of potential properties that it may have, and they are cause for further research. Other effects that this plant may have include antioxidant and hypoglycemic properties.

    If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


    Article Info

    Categories : Herbal Medicines

    Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Jmgf, Lynn

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