How Green Tea Can Significantly Improve Your Health and Help You to Lose Weight

Green tea is one of the natural foods that can increase fat loss. The Chinese have known for centuries about the many benefits of green tea, using it to treat headaches, body aches, and poor digestion. The Chinese also revere green tea for its ability to improve well-being and life expectancy. Now the rest of the world is finally catching up and starting to drink their own healthy dose of green tea.

Research has shown that green tea has a combination of natural caffeine and phytochemical antioxidants called catechins. Both of these substances are incredibly effective at promoting fat loss.

Green tea also contains volatile oils, vitamins, and minerals. The primary elements of interest are the polyphenols, especially the catechin known as EGCG. The polyphenols are believed to be responsible for most of green tea’s health benefits.

Even though green tea contains caffeine, it does not significantly change your heart rate or blood pressure. This is why it is considered to be a safe weight loss supplement. On the contrary, many of the fat burners that you see advertised contain products like ephedra, which can raise heart rates and blood pressure.

Green tea also revs up your metabolism. A study conducted in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea extract significantly increased metabolism.

In fact, this study also concluded that over a 24-hour period, green tea extract increased the metabolic rate by 4%. This is probably due to the high concentrations of catechin polyphenols found in green tea.

How Much Green Tea do You Need?

Experts vary in their opinion, but the general consensus seems to be that 3 – 5 cups of green tea per day is optimal. Drinking this amount  can help you burn an extra 70 calories per day, which equals  7 pounds per year.

If 3 – 5 cups is just a little too much for you, you may want to consider green tea extract or green tea pills.

However, the benefits go beyond fat loss. When studied closely, this ancient Japanese brew provides so much more.

The Many Benefits of Green Tea:

There is also evidence that chemicals in tea help to protect lean muscle tissue and stabilize blood sugar levels. Green tea also boosts your immune system, kills dangerous bacteria, and a whole lot more.

Drinking 2 cups of strong green tea half an hour before your workouts will boost your energy and promote fat-burning, muscle-saving, and health promoting benefits.

Let’s also not forget the loads of antioxidants that are packed into green tea. In fact, green tea contains more antioxidants than broccolli. These antioxidants include polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins. These powerful nutrients support your body’s immune system and help to eliminate harmful toxins from your body and make you more relaxed, which is helpful if you have to deal with stress.

In fact, these antioxidants are so powerful that much research is showing that it may help to prevent cancer. The PubMed database now contains over 2,000 studies on green tea. EGCG is believed to play a large role in the green tea’s anticancer and antioxidant effects. EGCG inhibits the growth of cancer cells and kills cancers cells without harming healthy tissue.

Green tea’s anticancer benefits have been widely supported by epidemiological, cell culture, animal and clinical studies. In fact, green tea’s aid in cancer prevention is so overwhelming that the Chemoprevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute has created a plan for developing tea compounds as cancer-chemopreventitive agents in human trials.

This same EGCG protects against digestive and respiratory infections and blocks the actions of carcinogens which promote cancer. EGCG also helps lower cholesterol levels. This antioxidant is over 200 times more potent than Vitamin E in fighting free radicals and pro-oxidants.

However, the health benefits don’t stop there. Green tea also reduces the risk of atherosclerosis, colon cancer, high cholesterol, bacterial and viral infections, cardiovascular disesase, stroke, periodontal disease, osteoporosis, and leukoplakia.

Green tea’s rich supply of polyphenols has also been shown to protect against heart disease.

In Japanese studies, green tea consumption has been found to help protect against coronary artery disease. In one study, those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea each day were found to be 16% less likely to suffer from coronary artery disease.

Researchers concluded that, “The more green tea patients consume, the less likely they are to have coronary artery disease.”

Best of all, green tea is a great alternative to your morning coffee. It doesn’t give you an insulin crash like soda and its not hard on your stomach like coffee.

I challenge you to replace soda, coffee, or any other sugar filled beverage with green tea. I guarantee you you’ll start to see positive changes within days.

The Extraordinary Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is a common Asian drink that has picked up popularity throughout North America.  Many are choosing green tea as a healthy alternative to coffee and other warm drinks.  Research has shown that green tea is rich in polyphenol anti-oxidants that have extraordinary health benefits.

Green, black, and oolong tea are all part of the same species called Camellia sinensis.  Local growing conditions create variability and a multitude of distinctive leaves.  The processing of the leaves plays the biggest role in the creation of the three types of teas.  The length of time they are processed dictates the color, taste, and nutrient content of the different varieties of tea.

Green Tea is Highest in Anti-Oxidants

Green tea is the least processed of the three and contains the highest ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity) of the three teas.  Green tea is rich in the polyphenol anti-oxidant catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).  This anti-oxidant is thought by most to be responsible for the health benefits linked to green tea consumption.

ECGC is considered to be one hundred times more potent than vitamin C and twenty-four times stronger than vitamin E.  The powerful ability to scavenge free radicals makes green tea one of the best anti-aging herbs.  ECGC is one of a handful of unique anti-oxidants that has shown an ability to influence mutant DNA formations to reverse chronic disease states.

Green Tea Lowers Mortality Risk

A September 2006 study in the Journal of American Medical Association showed that drinking green tea lowers the risk of mortality from all causes including cardiovascular disease.  This was an eleven year study following 40,530 adults ranging in age from 40-79 in the northeastern region of Japan.  Eighty percent of this population drinks green tea and over half consume at least three cups per day.

Those who drank five or more cups a day had a significantly lower risk of death from all causes than those who drank less than one cup of green tea daily.  Men had a 12% lower risk of mortality, 22% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and 42% lower risk of dying from stroke.  Women had a 23% lower mortality rate and 31% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and 62% lower risk of dying from stroke.

Green Tea and Cancer

A metanalysis of thirteen studies that was published in Carcinogenesis July 2006 demonstrated that women who drink green tea have a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer than women who do not drink green tea.

A study published in December 2004 in Cancer Research discussed how ECGC in green tea was able to decrease insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) while increasing levels of IGF binding protein-3, which binds IGF-1.  This reduces the risk of breast, colon, prostate and lung cancer.  It also inhibits key cancer survival proteins and reduces the expression of compounds associated with cancer metastasis.

A study published in Cancer Research in March 2005 showed that ECGC inhibits the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR), which cancer cells need in order to grow.  In fact, DHFR is a common target of many expensive and toxic cancer drugs such as methotrexate.  ECGC does not bind as strongly and is not as powerful as methotrexate , but it does not have the negative effects on normal cells found with methotrexate use.

Green Tea Boosts Immunity and Prevents the Flu

A November 2005 issue of Antiviral Research demonstrated how EGCG inhibits the flu virus from replicating in a cell culture.  Scientists found that it blocks the hemagglutinin enzyme in the virus which inhibits its ability to infect other cells.  It also suppresses viral RNA synthesis by altering key properties of the viral cell membrane.

ECGC has been shown to suppress the pathogenic viruses such as Epstein Barr, herpes simplex, HIV-1 and the influenza virus.  Green tea contains high levels of L-theanine which has been shown to activate human gamma-delta T lymphocytes to proliferate and make interferone gamma If-G.  If-G is a potent antimicrobial cytokine that is the first line of defense in the blood stream against infection.

Green tea also contains small amounts of alkylamines which are also present in pathogenic organisms.  When we drink green tea, the alkylamines present act as relatively weak antigens that don’t fully activate the immune system but get it in a ready state.  This primes the immune system against bacterial and viral invaders.

Green Tea as a Th2 Immune System Stimulator

Some natural health practitioners have labeled green tea as a Th2 stimulating agent.  Although this hasn’t yet been proven through research, there are various case studies indicating that green tea may have this effect.  This herb would be particularly effective for individuals with a Th1 dominance as it will help balance out the immune system.

It is advisable for individuals with Th2 dominant conditions to do a supplement challenge where they intentionally see how their body responds to green tea or another Th2 stimulating compound before they begin indiscriminately using it .  If it is shown through a cytokine blood test or through an herbal or supplemental challenge that the individual has a Th2 dominance, then it is best to avoid green tea.

Green Tea Caffeine Content and ContraIndications

Green tea contains caffeine, but it is less than half of that found in coffee.  The amount of caffeine found in green tea  varies depending upon the amount of tea used, the brand, and the quality.  The first infusion of green tea leaves is the highest quality and has the most amount of caffeine.

It is extremely important to get organic green tea since the conventional tea may be highly sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides.  Many coffee shops and big companies carry green tea that is commercially produced and contains an abundance of environmental toxins.  This is not healthy and should be avoided.

Pregnant women and newborns shouldn’t drink large amounts of green tea as its ability to bind to DHFR may increase the risk of folate deficiencies in the newborn and increase the risk of spina bifida or other neural tube disorders.

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