Green Tea

Either in the morning with breakfast, or during the day at work, many people in the UK will be brewing a cup of tea, or coffee, or a more calorific latte. But have you ever considered or tried green tea which has many more health benefits?

And it’s not just a recent fad. Bill Gorman, Executive Director of the Tea Council, quotes: “Green tea was discovered by the Chinese 5,000 years and comes from the camellia sinensis plant.” When it boils down to health essentials, two rich chemicals in green tea – catechins and polypheonls – work to keep us in top condition. Some scientists believe that catechins trigger a transmitter in the nervous system that helps burn calories.

Reports also show that drinking green tea in large quantities may encourage the slow release of carbohydrates that maintain the blood insulin that helps to burn fat, showing that green tea may reduce fat cells (webMD.com, 2004).

The nutritional value of green tea is very high – the polypheonls in tea contain very powerful antioxidants. Daily, our bodies absorb toxins and free radicals, like smoke, pollution and fat, and these antioxidants act as a cleaning mechanism in the blood.
Green tea is also great for cardiovascular health. “Evidence suggests that three to four cups a day can keep the arteries functioning properly, and the antioxidants help healthy breathing,” says Gorman.
And because the catechins and polypheonls get rid of free radicals that attack our healthy cells, they could potentially help inhibit the growth of cancer, although this is still work in progress. Recent studies in Japan have shown that it may help colon cancer and may even be protective against breast cancer in its early stages.
Cholesterol and Green TeaScientific tests suggest that drinking large quantities of green tea can even keep cholesterol levels down as the catechins lower the build up of the baddie cholesterol, LDL.
Gorman explains: “Regular drinking of green tea can keep the bad cholesterol levels down, as it is reduced by flavonoids. Think of it in the same way as you would think of having fruit or vegetables. There are no calories and it is refreshing.”
In fact, it can relax you. “Green tea helps calm the muscles, that’s why tea works so well if you are stressed – it levels you out,” he adds.

More Health Merits of Green Tea
– Green tea is good for the skin – helping to heal wounds and ease scarring.
– It makes a great compress for cuts and grazes – just soak a pad in green tea.
– The fluoride in green tea can help dental health by making teeth stronger.
– Catechins help defend against allergies by releasing histamines.

So why not give green tea a try? With caffeine free brands available (Tick Tock is one such brand available in supermarkets) you can drink cups of the tea without the side effects associated with caffeine. Alternatively look online for green tea leaves for a healthier cup, and fuller flavour.
Aim for 2-4 cups a day.

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3 Responses

  1. Here is a question.

    If I drink 2-4 cups of green tea per day (Currently 2 mugs – surely = 4 cups), does that mean I can still drink the 4 cups of black tea and 4 mugs of coffee a day, and still get the benefits? Afterall I am sure somewhere out there I read an article saying drink coffee before exercise and balst the fat away. Looks like a win win situation.

  2. Adam – I mean anonymous!!

    I would say that’s too much tea (black and coffee) in the first place! More straight water is needed! Both contain caffeine which acts as a stimulant to the body, as well as dehydrating it further. The stimulant affect will produce levels of adrenaline in the adrenal gland, which in turn will release cortisol. Cortisol is a stree hormone which can lead to levels of fatigue and is also responsible for breaking down muscle tissue which you have worked hard for in the gym! Limit coffee to one cup a day, drink your green tea and as much water as you can and you’ll be better off!
    The stories about caffeine burning fat is pretty much a myth. It has been proven to improve aerobic output, as well as elevating your heart rate. This will allow you to possibly workout longer, but wont directly burn fat on it’s own.
    Anyhow, workout smarter and not longer. Work hard and get out to recover!
    Thanks for your comments as ever
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ !!

  3. Adam – I mean anonymous!!

    I would say that’s too much tea (black and coffee) in the first place! More straight water is needed! Both contain caffeine which acts as a stimulant to the body, as well as dehydrating it further. The stimulant affect will produce levels of adrenaline in the adrenal gland, which in turn will release cortisol. Cortisol is a stree hormone which can lead to levels of fatigue and is also responsible for breaking down muscle tissue which you have worked hard for in the gym! Limit coffee to one cup a day, drink your green tea and as much water as you can and you’ll be better off!
    The stories about caffeine burning fat is pretty much a myth. It has been proven to improve aerobic output, as well as elevating your heart rate. This will allow you to possibly workout longer, but wont directly burn fat on it’s own.
    Anyhow, workout smarter and not longer. Work hard and get out to recover!
    Thanks for your comments as ever
    ๐Ÿ˜‰ !!

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