Is any other food or beverage thought to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have long known about the medicinal benefits of green tea for 4 millennia. Green tea has been used to treat everything from nausea to depression. Today thorough scientific research in both Asia and the West are providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. It has been associated with a potential reduction of up to 60% in esophageal cancer in males and females in China. It has also been determined to inhibit the growth of cancer cells as well as reducing total cholesterol levels and improving the ratio of HDL to LDL (good and bad cholesterol).
What makes green tea so special? The secret of Green Tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin also known as ECGC. It is a very powerful antioxidant. Some of its important functions include inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots known as thrombosis which are the leading cause for heart attacks and stroke. Also it has been effectively used to reduce LDL as stated above. ECGC also inhibits the growth of cancer cells as well as killing cancer cells without harming healthy good tissue as collateral damage which is very typical of chemotherapy.
What sets Green Tea apart from others in its antioxidant effects. Green, Oolong and Black teas all come from the same plant Camellia Sinensis. What sets Green Tea apart is the way its processed, it is steamed. Black and Oolong Teas are made from fermented leaves, which results in the ECGC being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various diseases.
Green Tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. It is also utilized in items from skin creams to deodorants. Resveratol another polyphenol found in red wine became popular a few years back due to its antioxidant effects. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that ECGC is twice as powerful than Resveratol. This may lend some explanation to why approximately 75% of Japanese men are smokers however the rate of heart disease among these men is so low. To date the only negative side effect reported from drinking Green Tea is insomnia due to the fact that it contains caffeine. A 8oz cup of tea contains about one third the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee. The miracle of Green Tea and all of its delicious beauty.