Indulge in a time-honoured, tasty and health-enhancing daily ritual.
While enjoying your regular cup of green tea, weight loss is a gradual and proven benefit.
Here’s another great natural weight management option. Among the many benefits of green tea, a daily cuppa or two over time will improve digestion, increase your metabolic rate, stimulate fat burning and reduce excess weight. Green tea’s weight loss effect will happen gradually over time, which is the healthiest way to change and manage your body profile.
Green tea (made from the Camellia sinensis plant like all teas) differs from black tea because the leaves are unfermented. It contains the highest concentrations of polyphenols, the powerful antioxidant compounds that protect our bodies from free radical damage. The amount of flavonoids (a group of polyphenols) in a cup of organic green tea is higher than the equivalent amount of fresh fruits, vegetable juices or red wine. Yes, green tea also contains caffeine, but it has less than black tea and a substantially smaller amount than in coffee. Length of brewing time affects how much caffeine you get – the longer you let it stand, the higher the caffeine content. In fact, one study found that the caffeine content was an important element in achieving green tea’s weight loss outcomes in overweight people.
Recent Korean research has revealed what the Chinese people have known for millennia, that regularly drinking green tea boosts memory and enhances mental alertness into old age, and prolongs life expectancy. During my travels in China years ago I often came across specially built teahouses in quiet bush settings, tranquil spaces away from the hectic life of the streets. Here people sat quietly contemplating their teacups and their thoughts. The art of tea drinking is a celebrated ritual of the Chinese and other eastern cultures, with green tea valued for its ability to uplift the spirits as well as heal the body.
Green tea was traditionally used medicinally to stem bleeding and aid wound healing, and to regulate the body temperature and blood sugar levels. Research indicates Type 1 Diabetes may be prevented or its progression slowed by green tea’s ability to regulate glucose in the body. Other benefits of green tea backed by scientific studies include anti-inflammatory action, improved dental health, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improved cardiovascular and oral health, and prevention of some cancers including bladder, breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic and skin cancers.
Population based studies show green tea’s high antioxidant properties prevent atherosclerosis, and particularly coronary artery disease. It lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides while increasing the “good” HDL (high density lipoprotein) fats that improve heart health.
Green tea is also a great stress reliever, promoting relaxation and giving a more restful sleep. This action is attributed to the amino acid L-theanine, although a cup of tea contains such low concentrations of it that you may require a green tea supplement for a therapeutic dose.
With all these benefits possible from a simple cup of tea, maintaining good health seems a lot easier to achieve. Remember, to get the most from your green tea experience, choose your favourite teacup and take time out from your busy life to fully enjoy it in peaceful natural surroundings.
By Carolyn Simon ND, DipMedHerb
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