Many of us enjoy drinking tea. We drink tea with meals; we enjoy a cup of tea during our breaks from our busy days, and we also drink tea to enhance our health. But how does green tea actually affect our health? A quick internet search comes up with articles like “9 Ways to Boost your Health with Green Tea” or “Green Tea can help you Lose Weight!” Have you ever wondered how green tea supports its health properties and weight management claims?
Green tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis plant and is minimally processed. The process varies from tea plantation to plantation, but in general, green tea is either steamed or withered. Because of its minimal processing without the introduction of fermentation like with black and oolong teas, green tea stays very rich in retaining tea’s natural antioxidant concentration of catechins and polyphenols. What makes green tea unique is it embodies a specific catechin, EGCG, which is very concentrated and has come to define green tea’s antioxidant prowess.
Green tea is a delicious drink on its own, so why should we even care that green tea contains EGCG? EGCE is an antioxidant that is 100 times more potent than Vitamin C and 25 times more potent than Vitamin E. Drinking green tea daily can flood the body’s system with vitamins and antioxidants which can cut down on infections and minor illnesses like colds. Also, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are very effective at protecting DNA damage to cells that has been linked to cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.
Although there have been several scientific studies supporting the health claims of green tea, there are long standing traditions through many cultures using tea as an integral part of their medicinal traditions. Both Chinese and Indian medicines have used green tea to promote digestive health and to regulate blood sugar. Green tea has long been valued as a stimulant, diuretic, control agent for bleeding, and an aid to support the skin that is healing from minor wounds.
Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties which is one of the attributes behind its superior healing efforts. Sure, some inflammation is good for the body to fight infections, but these days many of us eat a sugar-heavy diet which makes the body’s natural inflammatory response very hard to keep in balance resulting to out of control levels. Adding green tea to a daily diet helps lower blood sugar which allows the body to create a path to achieving its natural chemical balance and to shed excess fat. This anti-inflammatory response lowers issues with the heart, blood, metabolism, cholesterol and digestion. This may be why long standing natural medicinal traditions promote and prescribe green tea to bodies needing balance.
Drinking tea is one the easiest and most beneficial things you can do for your body. All teas are healthy however, green tea, in particular, when added to a daily and healthy diet is as many unique health benefits the body enjoys.