The Unknown Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is the oldest-known herbal tea. It was first discovered by the Chinese nearly 4,000 years ago; however, in its story of discovery, it is hard to separate fact from fiction. The more common legend is that the Chinese Emperor Shen Nong in 2,737 BC was boiling water to drink when the leaves of a tea plant fell into his pot, and tea was born. Folklore or not, there are records of tea ceremonies in the Yunnan Province of China sometime before 1,000 BC.
Green tea comes from the leaves of Camellia sinensis (an evergreen shrub) that have undergone minimal oxidation while being processed (or dried for brewing purposes). The benefits of drinking green tea are seemingly endless. To begin, it’s a great alternative to your coffee, packing just as much (and sometimes even more) caffeine to help kick-start your day without the possible jittery side effects. Caffeine in general increases your metabolism, but green tea is reported to have an extra metabolism-boosting component known as polyphenol. This antioxidant may help speed up the rate your body turns food into energy, so you may burn calories more quickly.
You may be surprised to learn that green tea may also be an effective method for fighting seasonal allergies because it contains epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is also an antioxidant that may help block the IgE receptor — the key receptor involved in an allergic response (Panarama AM). According to Panarama AM, green tea’s powerful antioxidant, EGCG, is also believed to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the large intestine. Some research suggests that drinking five cups of green tea per day will provide a significant reduction in cholesterol.
Among the many health benefits of this timeless beverage, green tea has also been known to improve oral health, aid your immune system, stop signs of aging in your skin and help prevent conditions like heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s Disease, Esophageal Cancer and Type II Diabetes. Despite the known health benefits of green tea, everyone’s body reacts differently to stimulants so it is always important to consult a doctor before considering any changes to your diet.
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