Cold summer afternoon, the warmth of the sun rays softly
grazing the skin, your loved one by your side and a cup of tea - A perfect
setting to love, to care and to freshen up. However, have you ever wondered,
what is in a tea that sets the mood for all good things? Well for centuries, it
has been man's favorite beverage. How many of us are actually aware about the
latest sensation in tea- the green tea? Since time immemorial, green tea has
been in place. However, are we aware of its benefits?
Green Tea Benefits
Universities and research labs have undertaken research on the effect of green tea on health. They have come out with several interesting results. Green tea is abundant in antioxidants.
What are antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that prevent oxidation of other chemical or organic compounds. In our body, several antioxidants are present. Vitamin C and Vitamin E are vital producers of these antioxidants. Oxidation reaction can be caused due to several factors like ultra violet radiation, environmental pollution, cigarette smoke, high levels of cholesterol in the body, excess blood sugar level etc. Oxidation of chemicals can result in producing free radicals. Oxidation reaction results in withdrawing electrons from the molecule. As a result a free radical is formed. These free radicals can produce several chemical reactions in the body, which are detrimental to the body. Oxidation can cause different forms of cancer and heart diseases. These antioxidants are generally reducing agents like phenols, aldols etc.
Green tea is produced from unfermented leaves of tea. It has high levels of phenols present that act as antioxidants. Some of the medicinal properties of green tea are:
1. Regulates blood glucose level It has been proved that green tea prevents type I diabetes. Type I diabetes is caused due to less production of a hormone called insulin. Insulin controls the blood sugar level in the body. Excess blood sugar harms the immune system.
2. Prevents liver cirrhosis Liver cirrhosis takes place for people who take excessive alcohol. Green Tea has proved to be beneficial in preventing cirrhosis of the liver.
3. Decrease Obesity Obesity is the worst affected disease that has hit the developed and the developing nations and it has epidemic proportions. Green Tea can boost body metabolism resulting in burning excess fat.
4. Lower the level of cholesterol in the body The High Density Lipids (HDL) concentration in the body should be present in higher proportions and the total cholesterol level should be low. The intestine absorbs the cholesterol in our body. Green tea prevents the absorption of excess cholesterol by the intestine. This in turn regulates the total cholesterol level in the body.
5. Prevents blockage of coronary artery
6. Prevents several forms of cancer
7. Helps in glowing of skin
8. Prevents rheumatoid arthritis
9. Helps to strengthen the immune system
China, Japan, Ceylon, Vietnam and places in India like Darjeeling and Assam produces large quantities of Green tea. The Chinese green tea "Xi Hu Longjing" produced in the Zhejiang province is one of the most famous green teas in the world.
However, one has to note that amidst all this benefits, green tea still has some proportion of caffeine that is harmful to the body although the concentration is much lower as compared to the one present in coffee. Therefore, when you sit and de-stress yourself over a cup of coffee not only savor the taste, relish the joy but also remember the benefits it has to your body. Drink green tea and live a disease free, fun filled life.
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