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There has been a massive increase in demand for the exotic tea varieties lately. This may be because of the increased awareness of the health benefits of Green tea for weight loss. Being a native pie of India and China, Green tea has gained world-wide popularity in the past decade.
Health Benefits of Green Tea & Other Tea Varieties
All tea varieties are extracted from the dried leaves of the bush called, Camellia sinensis. It is the level of Oxidation process in the leaves, which determines the variety of Tea. The Green Tea is least oxidized form, hence, is a potential source of Antioxidants.
Tea Plantation in India – Munnar
The Antioxidants helps to fight against various harmful chemical mediators in the body, therefore, preventing from many chronic health problems. Herbal tea has been used in the Ancient Indian and Chinese medicine to improve gut health, and cure heart problems and mental disorders.
Though there is no direct relation of consuming Green Tea and losing weight, but, there have been many studies suggesting the contribution of Green tea in boosting metabolism. Consequently, boosting metabolism is directly related to control weight gain and cholesterol levels.
Types of Tea-
There are six main types of preparing and processing the varieties of tea. The first three types are least processed, while the latter three of them are heavily processed varieties of Tea.
Types of Tea: (L to R) White, Yellow, Green, Oolong, Black
As already explained, this variety is least processed and hence imparts most natural flavors to the decoction. It is least oxidized form and is rich in many Anti-oxidants like Polyphenols. Consuming regular green tea is best for your gut health and prevents from Cardiovascular diseases.
White tea is minimally processed form of the youngest tea leaves. It is mild in taste and is grown only in selected places in China.
The Yellow Tea flavor lies in between White tea and Green Tea. It is too mild in taste and is grown in very selected places in China.
Also known as Post Fermented Tea, this Black tea is fully oxidized during the tea processing, thus imparting a robust and strong flavor to the decoction. They are grown in various parts of the Indian subcontinent in Darjeeling, Assam and in China. They are readily processed to enhance flavors like, English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Masala Chai.
Also known as Post Fermented Tea, this variety is not only fully oxidized, but also fermented too. The fermentation of the dried tea leaves imparts a characteristic earthy and flavor to the tea.
The Oolong tea tastes between Green tea and Black tea. It is too grown in selected provinces of middle Asia.
What is the difference between Herbal Tea and Green Tea?
Green tea, as stated, is the mos un-oxidized form of the dried tea leaves. Whereas, the Herbal Tea is simply an infusion of any herb in the tea of any variety. It is more accurately considered as the ‘herbal infusion’, rather than considering it as a separate tea variety.
Perfect Herbal Tea Cup with Mint, Sage and Thyme
Sticking to our topic, I shall be discussing about the top 9 proven health benefits of consuming green tea regularly.
Health benefits of Green Tea
1. Weight Loss with Green Tea
There has been a lot of speculation on this topic. But, various sources prove that, regular consumption of green tea is related to losing weight within 4 weeks. Isn’t that wonderful?
Green tea provides as low as 1 kCal per 100 ml of serving. Furthermore, it is a good appetizer and relaxes the gut muscles. Packed with nutrients, it enhances body metabolic processes. This in turn, burns even more calories in the resting state too. The estimated 20 to 30% decrease in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat takes around 4-6 weeks time.
You must be aware of the Thyroid hormones in regulation of the body metabolism. The Thyroid hormone is required to boost the metabolic processes in the body, burning more calories and keeping the body lean and active. Green Tea is almost performing the same task. But this doesn’t mean that Green tea can replace the Thyroid hormone anyway!
In order to promote the weight loss by Green Tea, one must follow diet instructions of a registered Dietitian too. A moderate to intensive workout can do wonders in losing weight with Green tea. Therefore, for the best results, consume the tea without sugar and milk (obviously), and include it in your regular morning or bedtime diet plan.
2. Green Tea Skin Benefits
Antioxidant rich Green Tea helps to fight free radicals in the body which are responsible for aging processes. The Polyphenols prevent sagging of the skin, aging wrinkles, sun burns and dark spots on the skin. Furthermore, in some instances, it is noted to be a shield against skin cancer too.
3. Green Tea Benefits for Men
Powerful Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG helps in preventing Prostrate Cancer in men who consume Green Tea regularly. Green Tea is known to improve physical performance in men. Hence, consuming the tea before going to bed, may probably enhance your physical vigor.
4. Benefits of Green Tea in Heart Diseases
Green tea is a major source of Antioxidants, which lowers the bad Cholesterol levels (LDL and Triglycerides). Therefore, these Antioxidants protect the heart from arterial blockages, consequently, providing shield for Stroke and Coronary heart problems. Hence, it has been estimated that, regular Green Tea drinkers have at least 30% lesser chances of developing heart problems in their entire lifetime.
Types and range of Cholesterol in Human Body: Image Credit: CholesterolMenu.com
5. Benefits of Green Tea suppressing Cancer
Antioxidants fight against all kinds of free radicals in the body, which are actually the harmful byproducts of metabolism. The main reason for the development of Sporadic Cancer is the accumulation of these free radicals in the body. Hence, removal of these free radicals by the Antioxidants have a proven effect on prevention of many Cancers. Notably among them are, Prostate cancer, Lung cancer, Skin cancer, Testicular cancer, Colorectal (Intestinal) cancer and Breast cancer.
6. Green Tea as a part of Diabetic Diet Plan
Diabetes diet needs proper planning and strict execution. Therefore, Green tea can add multiple benefits to the diet of a Type 2 Diabetic person. It can significantly delay the progression of milder form of Diabetes to the severe form. It also helps in delaying the well known chronic complications due to Diabetes, like Retinopathy, Kidney Failure and Neuropathy.
7. Green Tea Benefits in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Stomach problems
Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a complicated and lesser understood problem of the intestines. Furthermore, the patient may develop various Cancers related to the bowel in his / her later life. Regular consumption of Green Tea is associated with very low chances of the development of the IBD. As the tea soothens the gut lining (mucosa), it also promotes gut health by enhancing proper mixing of the stomach content.
8. Arthritis Pain Treatment with Green Tea
Antioxidants neutralize the harmful chemical mediators which promote inflammatory changes in the body, hence, leading to lesser inflammatory episodes. As a result, the Arthritis pain can be subsided by the regular intake of Green Tea, which is rich in Anti-inflammatory chemicals.
9. Green Tea helps to improve Mental Health
Naturally occurring Antioxidants like L-Theanine in Green Tea can be a major De-stressor! It allays anxiety by working synergistically with Caffeine, enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain. It also delays progression of senile related problems like Dementia (Forgetfulness), Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Caffeine in Green Tea is in balanced amounts. It is lesser than that in the similar quantity of coffee, but, the amount of Caffeine in the Green Tea works fantastically in improving concentration during work.
Image Credit: Alz.CO.UK
Benefits of Green Tea with Lemon: Why do we drink Lemon Tea?
Though Green Tea can be consumed without sugar and milk. Moreover, if you want to enhance the absorption of the nutrients of Green Tea in your gut, try adding Lemon to it! Lemon, being a citrus fruit, helps in providing an acidic environment to the Green tea Antioxidants. This leads to instant breakdown of the Antioxidants in the small intestine which serves as an alkaline medium, enhancing more absorption of the nutrients.
Furthermore, every tea contains some substances that hamper the absorption of Iron in the gut, when taken together. The opposite is true, if you add lemon to the tea leaves. Lemon is a potential source of Vitamin C, which in turn, is a major helper in Iron absorption in your gut cells.
How to prepare Green Tea for Weight Loss?
Though the preparation of Green Tea is no different than preparing a regular tea without milk, but the Green tea is never boiled for too long. Boiling the Green tea may make it taste bitter. Follow the simple steps to prepare a perfect cup of Green Tea for you and your loved ones:
Image Credit: MiracleTree.Org
Ingredients for preparing Green Tea:
First of all, you need the following ingredients for your healthy body-
1 to 1 and a half Tablespoonful of Green Tea per cup / 1 Green Tea Bag per cup
1 Cup of Water
Lime Juice (Optional)
Method of preparing Green Tea:
Step 1 – Bring the water to boil.
Step 2 – Put off the flame, and let the water cool down a bit. Remember, Green Tea tastes bitter when put in boiled water. Therefore, let the boiled water cool a bit.
Step 3 – Add the Green Tea leaves to the warm water. Wait for 2 to 5 minutes, depending upon the kind of flavor strength you like. Average time is 3 minute.
Step 4 – Strain the leaves to get the perfect decoction.
Step 5 – Finally, add honey or lime juice, if desired. Serve!
Benefits of drinking Green Tea before bed
This has been a topic of debate, whether Green Tea provides some health benefits, when taken before going to bed! Some studies conclude that, Green tea enhances the neurotransmitters in brain which allays anxiety and calms the mind. Furthermore, it also helps to promote the excretion of waste material in our body, as the Antioxidants are allowed to function for the whole night. In addition, there has been a very strong evidence that consuming Green Tea before bed, diminishes sore throat, production of cough and cold problems in kids.
In conclusion, Green Tea might be a topic of debate for many scholars. But, some studies have been on it’s supporting side too. The results may not be established in days, and some may not even get a lifetime protection against many chronic diseases listed here. But, there has been a protective and healthy cover of Green tea on the majority of the population, who consumes Green Tea regularly. Finally, let us hope some more studies to conclude the strong foundation of the health benefits of Green Tea for Weight Loss, protection against Cancers, Heart problems and Mental health!