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In recent years, green tea – owing to its impressive ‘health benefits profile’ – has created quite a stir! The whole world and his wife seems to be drinking (and recommending) green tea. But, is drinking green tea really that beneficial?
In recent years, green tea – owing to its impressive ‘health benefits profile’ – has created quite a stir! The whole world and his wife seems to be drinking (and recommending) green tea. But, is drinking green tea really that beneficial? Or, is it a case of hearsay (or let’s just say, marketing gimmicks on the part of the supplement industry)? What does science says about green tea? Well, there’s only one way to find out!

Read on, as we take a dig up some research done on green tea – either proving or refuting the health benefits of green tea.

But first, let’s have a look at what green tea is, what the ingredients are and indeed, what makes green tea tick.

What is green tea?

Tea is produced from one source, the Camellia sinensis plant. Tea drinking dates back goes back almost 50 centuries. The health benefits of regular consumption of tea are also known since ancient times. 

Today, tea is the most commonly consumed of all beverages – probably only next to water.

According to an estimate, the world produces 2.5 million tons of tea each year; 20% of that produce is green tea. Of the different varieties of teas – green, black and Oolong – green tea seems to possess the most health benefits. 

What makes green tea tick?

So, what makes green tea tick? Well, the nutritional goodies that are packed in green tea is what makes it tick! Although, since ancient times, humans have known that regular drinking of green tea is good for your health. However, research into what makes green tea ‘tick’ has begun in all earnest only in the last 3 decades.

These ‘healthy ingredients’ have the ability to disrupt pathological processes of many diseases and conditions; and there-in lie the health benefits of green tea.

Researchers believe green tea may help prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease; it possesses anti-inflammatory properties and can help fight arthritis.

Green tea may also be useful in bacterial and viral infections.

Researchers are of the opinion that these health benefits of green tea are due to the bioactive compounds present in it. What are these ingredients?

Let’s have a look at some of them:

  • First off, the polyphenol content – flavonoids and flavonols – of green tea are the major player. Of the flavonols, the catechin, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) seems to be have the most prominent effects on human health. Additionally, green tea also contains other biologically active catechins like epicatechin, epigallocatechin and epicatechin-3-gallate. Interestingly enough, higher concentrations of catechins are present in green compared to black or Oolong tea.
  • Green tea is packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
  • As if that wasn't enough, you’d also get some amount of amino acids, trace elements and essential minerals from your green tea.  

Phew! With so many goodies packed in, no wonder a green tea brew sounds like a magic potion! Something, that’ll make your health problems disappear in the wink of an eye!

So, is there enough scientific evidence so we can start believing in the magic of green tea? Yes, there seems to be! Here goes…

Continue reading after recommendations

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  • Mindmap by steadyhealth.com
  • Photo courtesy of Leon Brocard by Flickr : www.flickr.com/photos/acme/6325310648/

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