In many parts of the world, tea has been a popular beverage for a very long time. It is only recently, however, that its popularity has grown in other countries as well. People in Asia enjoy it not only as a beverage, but also as veritable cure-all for many different ailments. Western medicine typically scoffed at the supposed green tea health benefits, and thought they were based more on superstition than anything else.
Recently, researchers in the west have started doing scientific studies in regards to the potential health benefits of tea. What they are finding is that green tea shows plenty of promise when it comes to promoting good health. As more and more studies are done, researchers are starting to see that these other cultures may have been onto something all along.
Now is a good time to mention that all tea is derived from the same plant. The only difference is how each variety is processed. For example, black tea is fermented, and green tea is not. All varieties of tea provide some benefit, but it appears that the green tea health benefits are the best.
Some of the traditional uses for tea include the treatment of food poisoning, aiding digestive problems and curing headaches. However, it was the lower incidence of some forms of cancer that got western researchers interested in studying green tea. Early studies in China showed that men who drank green tea on a regular basis were less likely to get cancer than those who didn't drink green tea.
Many of the green tea health benefits are due to its natural antioxidant properties. It appears that the tea plant is loaded with EGCG, a type of catechin polyphenol. It does an excellent job of attacking free radicals in the body and promotes healthy cell growth at the same time. There is evidence that this is why green tea may be able to do things such as lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of some forms of cancer.
Obesity is a growing epidemic, but drinking green tea is a great way to help control weight problems. It makes the stomach feel fuller, and that leads to eating fewer calories overall. It also boosts metabolism, which means your body will be burning calories at a faster rate. The best part is that this effect lasts for several hours after drinking green tea. Furthermore, a cup of green tea has less than five calories, so you won't be adding to your daily caloric intake.
While green tea has a lot of benefits, it does contain some caffeine. If you are sensitive to caffeine, or have a condition that prohibits you from having caffeine, then you should avoid green tea. At the very least, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if the benefits outweigh the risks.
With all of the green tea health benefits, it's no wonder that more and more people are drinking this amazing beverage.