Green tea benefits – a guide to the health benefits of green tea

Green Tea Benefits – A guide to the health benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has enjoyed considerable attention in western countries lately due to its claimed health properties. This attention doesn’t come as a surprise to people living in Asian countries like China and Japan who have been enjoying the benefits of green tea for more than 4000 years.

However many companies have recognised the interest in green tea health benefits and created a range of green tea related supplements. Sometimes these companies make unproven claims about the health benefits of their products.

How is green tea better than other types of tea?

There are 3 main types of tea:

  • Black Tea – made by exposing the tea leaves to air, heat, crushing and light
  • Green Tea – Leaves are steamed or heated quickly to stop them oxidizing
  • Oolong Tea – This is in-between, is not processed for as long as black tea but more than green tea

Because Green Tea hasn’t oxidized as much as other teas and it’s subjected to less fermentation and processing it usually contains higher levels of antioxidants and other health giving properties.  However there are different grades of green tea and the levels of antioxidants present in the finished product depend on how, where and when it was picked.

What are the main benefits of green tea?

The main reason green tea provides health benefits to drinkers is the high levels of powerful natural antioxidants, called ‘Polyphenol’. Green tea is loaded with particular a type of Polyphenol called ‘Catechins’.

There is no doubt that there are many green tea benefits, however there have not been enough quality scientific studies to prove all claimed benefits beyond doubt. Depending on your views on conventional western science verses traditional Chinese medicine, some of the benefits below may be seen as potential benefits.

Green tea benefits include:

  • Reducing cholesterol levels
  • Aiding weight loss
  • Reducing risks of cancer
  • Helping to stabilize diabetes
  • Slowing down the ageing process
  • Improving levels of healthy bacteria
  • Improving mouth and dental health
  • Replenishing skin

It is the same chemical, the catechins, which provide all these green tea benefits. The antioxidants in green tea are able to eliminate and neutralize dangerous free radicals (caused by oxidzination) present in the body. People are more exposed to free radicals in modern, polluted environments.

Another benefit of green tea is its ability to increase the rate of the bodies’ metabolism, which in turns speeds up fat oxidation – this encourages weight loss.
How much green tea do I need to drink?

Most of the studies have shown that you need to drink approximately 3 cups of green tea a day to get enough antioxidants to achieve the health benefits above.

Where should I buy green tea?

Don’t just go for the cheapest tea from your local supermarket. It’s often been grown in less than perfect conditions and may provide less health benefits. Buy loose tea from a specialist tea/coffee store or online shop. These people are experts and understand the different varieties of green tea available.

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