Discover the power of a green tea antioxidant

Discover the Power of a Green Tea Antioxidant

If you are like me, you probably have seen so many advertisements for green tea that it makes your head spin. The difficulty for all of us is to discover what it actually does as opposed to the claims made for it.

I have seen websites that make claims of green tea benefits in 25 to 40 different health categories. One person even touted how much weight she had lost in one month by drinking green tea in addition to taking it in rather expensive extract pills. Later in the article we find that she was drinking her tea instead of soda pop.

As far as the weight loss goes, drinking plain water would have achieved similar results.

So, why have they been drinking tea in Asia for thousands of years?

A recent Japanese study of 40,000 people in Japan showed that green tea drinkers had a lower death rate from all causes including cardiovascular diseases [the world’s number one killer]. In fact, even after a heart attack they had a 28% lower death rate than non tea drinkers.

A similar study a few years earlier found that people who drank green tea at least once a week consistently for 6 to 10 years had significantly higher bone density.

Which tea is best?

There are three main varieties of tea — green, black, and oolong. Black and oolong have a stronger more robust flavor but the real difference is in the antioxidants.

Green tea contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. There are basically four of them in green tea which are collectively called catechins of which the most powerful is one called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.

Black and oolong tea also contain EGCG but during the fermentation process much of it is lost through oxidation. Green teas are made from steamed unfermented leaves.

What do antioxidants do?

Antioxidants are enzymes that capture and neutralize free radicals.

Free radicals are unstable oxygen atoms naturally created by the body but are also imbibed from environmental toxins such as the sun’s ultraviolet rays, pesticides, air pollution or the natural chemicals found in our food. They can be thought of as the body’s version of car exhaust fumes.

If the free radical count gets high enough you will suffer cell damage that could lead to cancer and as many scientists believe, premature aging. On average each cell in our bodies is attacked by a free radical every 10 seconds. In the time it takes you to read this article all your cells will have been attacked 35-40 times.

It should be emphasized that there are other important antioxidants that are not present in green tea in notable amounts. Some of these are Vitamin C, Vitamin E, beta carotene, along with amino acids and nutrients like Lutein, L-Glutathione, Bilberry, L-Camosine and grape extract. To make sure you get all the antioxidants you need, consider a balanced multivitamin supplement that contains green tea extract in combination with other nutrients

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