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Health Benefits of Green Tea – A brief History of Green Tea

Green Tea History

Green tea health benefits are numerous so let’s get started. Green tea has been around for four to five thousand years originating in China. There are different stories as to who first discovered and drank it in China.

I have heard that an emperor first came across it and I have heard that a gentleman was taking a stroll and found the plant and thought he would take the leaves home to try in some water. We won’t ever know who truly was the first to discover tea and I guess it doesn’t really matter. Let’s just be glad someone did.

The highly touted health benefits of green tea have been proven in the lab but not as much in the real world other than those studies done in the East where the benefits of green tea might very well be because of other factors like the higher consumption of fish and even soy protein in eastern diets.

I have even heard of one study that said if you are consuming green tea and exercising on a regular basis you will slow down the effects of aging, well I am pretty sure you will get that effect from just the exercising. But that is just my opinion.

Antioxidants and weight loss

Regardless of these findings and whether other factors influence the results. Many health professionals agree that there are beneficial antioxidants and compounds found in the very popular green tea.

Green tea has antioxidants called catechins. Catechins are a polyphenolic antioxidant. Catechins are abundant in teas that come from the tea plant camellia sinensis and also can be found in some cocoas and chocolates which were made from the seeds of Theobrama cacao.

Harvard medical school has had many studies that concluded that Catechins can help reduce the risk of heart failure, stroke, some forms of cancer and diabetes.

According to Dutch and Japanese studies, drinking at least 4 cups of green tea a day could be related to a reduction of severity of coronary heart disease and on the same lines that the more green tea consumed the heart’s blood vessels would not clog up as easily.

So that must mean that green teas antioxidants act as dilators and help to increase the flexibility of blood vessels making them less vulnerable to clogging compared to not having ingested any green tea. One thing to mention is that the antioxidants in blueberries have the same effect.

Green tea contains more catechins than black and oolong tea.

Green tea made from older leaves will typically have more Catechins than will younger leaves.

Weight loss

Some people drink green tea in the hopes that it will help them lose weight and in fact there have been some studies done that compared green tea drinkers to non green tea drinkers and the people drinking the tea were able to lose more weight on the same program.

Regular consumption of green tea has also been reported to lower LDL (low density lipoprotein) which is a bad cholesterol that can cause heart disease and even diabetes.

My favorite way to drink Tea

I always add a wedge of lemon to my green tea because lemon is a fruit that will help you achieve an alkaline state in your body and you definitely want to be more alkaline than acidic.

That’s another story though.

Green tea does contain caffeine but less than black tea. There is approximately 50 milligrams of caffeine in an 8 ounce cup of green tea. This will vary depending on how the tea was prepared.

There are many different kinds of teas available today all over the world. Green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea, pu-erh tea, chamomile tea, hibiscus tea, rooibos tea, Persimmon tea, Sassafras tea, Birch tea, Blackberry tea, Raspberry tea, Peppermint tea, Rosehips tea and on and on.

The list is huge, check out your local grocer or health food store to see what you can find. What is your fave?

For me nothing beats a good cup of steeped green tea straight up with a wedge of lemon or freshly picked mint leaves.

I use loose tea leaves and a tea ball instead of tea in individual packages. I don’t think the tea is any better when it is loose leaf, I do it mainly to do my part in going green. No pun intended. Ok well maybe so but it is true.

Some people might question the benefits of green tea and I think that if it makes you feel good then go ahead and drink it.

I hope you can take something away with you from my green tea health benefits I have shown you here today.

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