Green tea is an age-old elixir that dates back to ancient China and has been used for centuries to help people stay healthy. Green tea may also improve your mood and energy levels, reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and protect against certain types of cancer.
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What’s the secret to green tea’s health benefits? The answer is actually in the leaves. There are many different compounds in green tea leaves, called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Studies have shown EGCG helps boost metabolism and offers protection against damage from free radicals.
Catechins, the main active component of green tea, are a powerful antioxidant. However, for catechins to do their good work, they have to be able to absorb through the body’s “gates” — membrane proteins that stop them from entering the bloodstream and doing damage.
Research has shown that green tea catechins can overcome these effects and give their anti-aging benefits right where they are needed. Research has shown that EGCG can cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which protects neurons from harmful toxins entering from outside of the brain (molecules like pesticides and heavy metals). The BBB is impermeable to most large molecules that would cause damage. However, it does allow small molecules necessary for brain function to flow into the brain. The researchers found that EGCG traveled through the BBB and ended up in the brain. Since it was so small, it was able to pass across the BBB easily and deliver its antioxidant punch.
Green tea contains other great antioxidants as well, such as epicatechin, gallocatechin, and epigallocatechin glucuronide (EGCGg). These compounds also found their way through the blood-brain barrier.
According to Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, the most recent statistics from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 2 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease, and another 5.4 million have early signs of the disease. Scientists have been studying different things about Alzheimer’s and have found evidence that free radicals are involved in brain cell damage and may be a cause of Alzheimer’s. Oxidative stress (the body’s normal response to toxins) is believed to be occurring in the brains of people who will eventually develop Alzheimer’s, as well as those who are at risk for developing it.
Green tea catechins and EGCG have been shown to lower the number of free radicals in the body in general and in the brain specifically. Unlike other antioxidants, they are not eliminated from the body as quickly but remain there longer, giving them more time to neutralize free radicals.
Mozaffarian continues, “We don’t have any definitive answers about green tea just yet. However, based on what we know right now, drinking green tea daily could very well be an effective strategy for reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias.”
Green tea has been used to control high blood pressure for centuries. Green tea contains the catechin epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to help normalize blood pressure in hypertensive patients. It also appears to work as an anti-hypertensive agent by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in animals and prevents sodium from mobilizing in response to an experimental high-salt diet.
Green tea is delicious, full of antioxidants, and acts as a natural appetite suppressant.
The health benefits of green tea may not be limited to your brain. One study found that EGCG may also have a role in protecting cells from DNA damage caused by high temperatures or radiation exposure. EGCG may also help protect cells from the effects of oxidative stress such as the breakdown of unsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats.
Green tea has been used for centuries to promote good health, but recent studies have now identified it as an effective medicine for several common diseases. Studies conducted throughout history have documented its benefits, including skin conditions, high blood pressure, cancer prevention, heart disease risk reduction, and cognitive function enhancement.
There are lots of different drinks that are made from green tea today. The drink is the most popular hot beverage in China and Japan and its influence can be felt throughout Southeast Asia. It is also becoming increasingly popular around the world because scientists continue to discover more about its health benefits.
Today, drinking green tea is not only considered to be a refreshing and healthy drink but also a way of life. There are now many different drinks that were made from green tea, including bottled iced teas, bottled hot teas, and bottled ready-to-drink iced teas. Many of these options are commonly available in supermarkets or convenience stores.
The following list summarizes the various types of green tea:
Sencha — This is the most popular type of green tea in Japan. It was originally cultivated in the Uji region but today it’s produced all over Japan. Sencha is processed using a steaming technique that preserves its fresh flavor and color while delivering antioxidants to your body. It’s also the most expensive type of green tea.
Gyokuro — This is a Japanese style that uses a special type of shading process to protect the color. As a result, it has a truer green color and has the ability to retain more antioxidants than other types of green tea. Gyokuro is grown on ancient tea bushes that are carefully tended for premium flavor and quality. It’s one of the most expensive types of green tea but it’s well worth it.
Hojicha — This type of green tea is made by roasting and grinding lightly roasted (between 194°F to 205°F) leaves of Camellia sinensis. It’s slightly less expensive than gyokuro, but it still costs around $50 per pound.
Genmaicha — This type of green tea combines the taste of roasted green tea with the full flavor of roasted rice. It’s an excellent way to experience the effects of a traditional Japanese meal without actually having to eat a full-course meal. It’s often served with chopsticks and is typically served hot or cold.
Shincha — Shincha is made by steaming fresh leaves of Camellia sinensis Spp., usually for one minute at about 95°C (203°F). The resulting brew that is released will be greenish-yellow in color. Shincha is often used as the foundation for matcha.
Matcha — Matcha is a popular type of green tea. It’s made from very finely milled tea leaves that are fermented and then ground into a powder. As a result, it has a smooth, green flavor and contains many of the same antioxidants associated with green tea. Matcha is an excellent way to enjoy the health benefits of green tea without adding any calories or fat.
Yerba mate — This is also called “the national drink of Argentina” because it was first cultivated by the Arawaks in South America thousands of years ago and used for religious ceremonies and as a status symbol by chiefs and shamans. It’s a green tea-like drink that contains caffeine but you can also find decaffeinated versions. It has a long history of use in South America for medicinal purposes as well as for special ceremonies. Many people don’t realize that traditional yerba mate contains caffeine.
The catechins in green tea are the most potent antioxidants found in any food. The catechins may be responsible for many of the benefits observed in studies with green tea, but what are they doing?
Green tea is rich in polyphenols, hundreds of which have antioxidant effects. Of these, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is abundant in green tea, offers a popular explanation for its potential health benefits. EGCG is a known antioxidant that inhibits an enzyme involved with fat synthesis and inflammation while also supporting cell growth, differentiation, and protection from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Its effects are compared to those of antihypertensives, ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers (sotalol), and diuretics. Moreover, is effective against acetylcholine secretion from PC12 cells and inhibits the development of angiotensin II-induced aortic aneurysms in Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits.
The extract used in this study was standardized to contain 23% EGCG and was given at the dose of 150 or 300 mg/kg b.w./d for 5 weeks (once a day by gavage). The animals were gavaged with a suspension of the extract.
There was no significant increase in mean arterial pressure by the oral administration of green tea extract and neither was there any decrease in the renal vascular resistance at either dose level. These effects were associated with a significant fall in the plasma concentrations of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, as well as an increase in the plasma concentrations of HDL cholesterol (P<0.05). There was a significant dose-response relationship between plasma triglyceride levels and changes in HDL cholesterol levels (P=0.02).
The results show that green tea extracts are very effective against hypertension, especially when used at a higher dose.
Green Tea Extracts
Green tea extract comes in many different forms. You can get green tea extracts in pill form, tablets, powders, and liquid extracts. The most popular type of green tea extract used for weight loss is capsules. The pills are small and easy to swallow which makes them the chosen form of administration by many people who take them regularly.
If you're interested in taking green tea extracts, consult with your doctor first. With that being said, green tea is one of the most widely used health supplements. It's recommended that you only take reasonable amounts of it and that you exercise caution when using it. If you suffer from any kind of allergies to this herb or are pregnant or breastfeeding, then limit the amount of it that you take at any given time. Always talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements if you have a pre-existing condition such as kidney disease or heart disease because people with these issues should not be taking green tea extract pills.
When you take green tea extracts, it's important to know that their effects may vary. Some people experience no benefits from taking them while others experience many great benefits from taking them. If you drink enough green tea, you may be able to lose weight without having to resort to other types of weight loss solutions because it is a natural way to lose weight.
Green Tea Extracts and Weight Loss
Drinking green tea is a great way to lose weight because it is an all-natural formula that causes your body to burn fat naturally. Green tea extract has been shown in clinical trials to increase the body's metabolism. Green tea extract is also effective in the treatment of some other health issues. Green tea can also aid you with your weight loss efforts because it has been proven to be an excellent fat burner. Studies have shown that those who drink green tea are able to burn calories, including fat calories. Green tea causes the body's metabolism to consume an increased amount of energy and this helps in weight loss. It’s important to always drink a cup of green tea after every meal and before bed because you can still get in a good amount of antioxidants while enabling your body to burn fat for fuel. When metabolism is increased, the body will burn more calories naturally. This makes green tea extract an excellent choice when it comes to losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight because your body will be burning up extra fat caused by eating fatty foods and sugar. You can burn more calories by eating less and exercising more.
Green Tea Benefits for Skin
A study was conducted and published in the British Journal of Nutrition. This study was done on the effects of green tea supplements on skin health. Researchers had two groups of overweight volunteers; one group took green tea supplements and the other group did not. The result? The group that took green tea extract saw a significant improvement in overall health. This improvement included a decrease in body weight, BMI, waist circumference, body fat percentage, and skin elasticity.
Green tea extracts are found to be effective in treating different skin conditions. Some of the most common problems associated with aging are:
- Graying – Green tea helps to slow down the aging process and prevent gray hair formation. One study has shown that green tea may have an anti-aging effect on hair as well. The results indicate that women who drank 1 cup of green tea a day experienced a reduction in hair graying by over 50% after a 3-year period. The women also experienced a decrease in hair loss by almost 70%.
- Stretch Marks – You may not realize it, but you get stretch marks when your skin expands and contracts due to pregnancy and water retention. You can reduce the appearance of stretch marks by drinking green tea. This is because green tea contains caffeine which can stimulate collagen production. Therefore, if you are experiencing stretch marks, you should take a supplement that contains caffeine. Green tea contains a compound called L-theanine which is known to increase the amount of collagen that is produced. In addition, green tea works as an anti-inflammatory agent which helps to prevent additional damage from occurring to the skin while also reducing redness.
- Eczema – Today's modern lifestyle can be very stressful and it can cause eczema to flare up in certain individuals. You can ease the symptoms of eczemas by using a green tea extract supplement. Studies have shown that the EGCG found in green tea extract is an effective treatment for eczema because it reduces the inflammation and discomfort associated with eczema.
- Vitiligo – The skin loses its pigmentation due to several different factors including hormonal changes, injuries, and sun exposure. Vitiligo is a condition where skin darkening occurs where there should be skin or pigment. Although there is no cure for vitiligo, you can use a green tea supplement to protect against this disease because it has been found that those who consume green tea have an increased resistance to vitiligo.
These are just some of the benefits that you will reap when you use green tea extracts.
Green Tea Recipe Ideas
Because green tea is a very versatile and healthful herb, you can use it in a number of ways. You can brew it into a delicious cup of green tea or you can use it to add flavor to food. You can also make a few simple recipes that will benefit your health and taste buds. Here are some simple recipes that you should try.
- Green Tea Smoothies – The antioxidants contained in green tea extract will help to protect your skin from the harsh effects of the sun's UV rays. Whenever you have the urge for a coffee smoothie, just sub out the coffee with green tea instead.
- Green Tea Ice Cubes – If you don't like the bitter flavor of green tea or you are trying to reduce your caffeine intake, then you can have green tea in the form of ice cubes. Ice cubes made from green tea can be used in any fruit juice or water.
- Green Tea Cereal – Take your morning bowl of cereal up a notch by adding a couple of tablespoons of loose green tea leaves to your cereal. You will get the added benefit of antioxidants and it will really wake you up in the morning!
With so many recipes available, you will never get bored with drinking green tea while getting all of its health benefits.
Green Tea Before Bed
Drinking a cup of green tea before bed will help you to sleep better. Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine which is known to induce relaxation. Therefore, drinking green tea before bed will relax your muscles and will make you feel at ease as you drift off to sleep. In fact, some people find that the quality of their sleep is better when they drink a cup of green tea before bed.
If you are looking for an alternative to sleeping aids, then try drinking a cup of green tea before going to bed. You may also want to drink green tea instead of a cup of coffee before you go to sleep since both are caffeine-laden.
Green tea extracts can also be used to cleanse your body. They will help to remove toxins and impurities from your system that may be stored in your pores and skin. This will help you to have healthier-looking skin and a more radiant complexion over time.
Green Tea Supplement Benefits for Bones
In addition, the polyphenols in green tea extract are known for helping the body absorb calcium and vitamin D better which can lead to stronger bones and teeth. If you are seeking to keep your bones strong, you should consume green tea supplements at least three times a week.In addition, you should consume a lot of calcium-rich foods such as milk and leafy green vegetables.
Green Tea Benefits for Your Heart
In addition, the antioxidants in green tea will help to protect your heart from oxidation. This means that your heart will be less likely to become damaged from the free radicals that it is subjected to every day. Also, it has been found that those who consume green tea have a slightly lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits associated with the use of green tea extracts. It's time that you start to include them in your daily routine.
Choosing the Right Green Tea Extract Supplement
If you are looking for a green tea extract supplement, then you may be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices that are available. Here are some things that you should consider when choosing a green tea extract product:
- Product Cost - The cost of the product should be affordable to most people. This way, more people will be able to take advantage of this safe and natural ingredient. In addition, it is important that the product costs less than similar products since you can't go wrong with getting more bang for your buck!
- Brand Recognition - It's always good to go with a brand that has a good track record and has been around for a while. You want to make sure that the product you are buying is reputable and that it will work.
- Quality of Ingredients - You should make sure that the green tea extract supplement you are buying is manufactured by a reputable company. This means that you can be confident in the quality of ingredients given that they have been tested thoroughly before being put on the market.
One thing for sure is that when it comes to taking supplements, many people don't have a clue about what they are putting into their bodies, especially when it comes to taking pills.