One cannot help but wonder, what’s with the green tea buzz? Green tea has rapidly earned popularity among a diverse array of people. Social media and internet enthusiasts will agree that there has been a rise in advertisements of different brands of green tea packaged colourfully with promises of helping in weight loss, inflammatory skin diseases, lowering cholesterol among many other health benefits. The buzz that comes with green tea has most definitely stirred the curiosity of many. What exactly is green tea?
Green tea has a Chinese and Japanese origin. Made from unfermented leaves, it is bitter and pale in colour. The rise in popularity of green tea can be attributed to its health benefits. It is less processed as compared to other types of tea, hence contains beneficial polyphenols and antioxidants. The following are some of the reasons as to why you need to explore the world of loose leaf tea.
Prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Studies by National Institute of Health show that green tea contains an antioxidant that inhibits the development of amyloid fibrils which is a protein present in brains affected by Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are diseases that change the brain which eventually results in dementia. Amyloid proteins disrupt the normal functioning of the brain cells which eventually leads to their death causing the diseases.
Loose leaf tea also contains a substance known as epigallocatechin gallate, which scientists believe to be anti-plaque. According to experiments done in a German lab, epigallocatechin gallate converts harmful proteins to ones that are not harmful to the brain. Through this, the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s is lowered.
Studies by R Hursel in International Journal of Obesity have shown that some components of green tea accelerate metabolism, improve insulin activity and increase the rate at which fats are broken down. The two substances are caffeine and flavonoids. The studies also show that people who consume caffeine and green tea while on a regular diet lose 2.9 pounds in a duration of two weeks. Physicians suggest that one does not have to take too much of green tea to see results. The ideal amount is just two and a half cups in a day. However, if one is consuming green tea with a purpose of weight loss, it is imperative that they know that some types of green tea work better in weight loss than others. Dieticians recommend matcha green tea as it is the richest source of antioxidants and nutrients.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
Studies show that cardiovascular diseases, also known as heart disease, are the leading cause of deaths in the world. There are various types of heart diseases, with most being as a result of a process called atherosclerosis. It is whereby a substance called plaque builds up on the walls of blood vessels reducing their diameter. Plaque consists of a build-up of cholesterol, fats and other substances. This restricts blood flow and may cause a stroke or heart attacks.
Compounds in loose leaf green tea lower cholesterol and triglycerides, hence preventing atherosclerosis which results from build-up of cholesterol and fats on the walls of blood vessels Also, flavonoids in green tea improves the health of endothelial cells, which form a thin layer inside the walls of blood vessels, ensuring there is smooth flow of blood. Flavonoids also protect cells from being denatured.
Promotion of bone health
A study done by researchers from the University of Hong Kong suggests that green tea plays a significant role in bone health. They had rats exposed to green tea catechins. They later discovered that epigallocatechin gallate, which is a major polyphenol found in green tea, stimulated enzymes responsible for bone growth by over 79 percent. Catechins also inhibited cells that reabsorbed bone rather than structure it.
Skincare is a topic that has been given a lot of attention, with beauticians working back to back to find the perfect products for skin care. Well, the good news is, one can also reap skincare benefits from green tea. Green tea works for the skin by battling acne, fighting inflammation and reducing skin damage. Regardless of whether it is applied or consumed, polyphenols in green tea will work equally for skin care. Polyphenols have antioxidant effects which come in handy when rejuvenating and repairing skin cells that have been damaged by radiation.
These are just but a few of the benefits associated with the consumption of green tea. In order to reap the endless benefits, you should consume regular amounts of green tea.