Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. It undergoes a lesser withering and oxidation process than the one applied on black tea. Green Tea has its origin in China but the drinking habit is now popular in other Asian countries, with India at the forefront. It has recently been adopted by Western countries as a dietary drink. There are numerous varieties of green tea, depending on the leaf variety used, its growing conditions, harvest time and processing method.
Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world behind water. Black tea is the most consumed tea; however, green tea has become more popular because of the numerous health benefits to drinkers.
Green Tea Facts
- Green tea consumption has its origins in the old Chinese empire
- Green tea is used in traditional Indian and Chinese medicine
- Green tea helps improve the vital functioning of internal organs
Green tea studies
Scientists have been baffled with the many acclaimed health benefits of green tea. Different studies have been carried out to scientifically prove or disprove the health benefits of green tea. A recent study in China shows that drinking green tea can speed up weight loss and significantly boost brain function.
Epigallocatechin gallate (ECCG) is found in high amount in green tea. This compound in green tea significantly reduces body fat and boosts the functioning of the brain.
Yangling researchers in China carried out a study on green tea using rats. 3-month old male mice were fed with one of 3 diets: standard, high fructose or a high fructose with 2 grams of EGCG/litre of water. The scientists discovered that rats that consumed diets rich in fructose had higher body fat than those given high fructose only or high fructose with EGCG in water.
The researchers also showed that green tea significantly contributes to better cognition as the rats fed with EGCG performed better in memory tests.
Health Benefits of Green tea
The ancient green-tea-drinking-Chinese have for centuries recognised its medicinal values. Individuals who consume a high level of fat, processed meats, refined sugar, fibrous foods, fish and poultry will gain more from drinking green tea. An individual undergoing a body weight loss programme will benefit greatly from drinking the tea as the compound EGCG prevents weight gain.
Green tea also boosts cognition and brain function. Combating obesity and memory impairment will be better tackled with the ancient Chinese habit of drinking green tea.
The author of the green tea study published in FASEB journal, Dr Xuebo Liu of Northwest A & F University, Yangling, China, said: “Green tea contains more flavonoids that protect the body from free radicals that damage the body cells. The green is also lightly steamed which retains the important vitamins and minerals in the leaves. It thus helps to combat obesity and memory loss”.
Other health benefits of green tea include lowering cancer risk, burning fat, boosting metabolic rate, lowering risk of infection, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.