Green Tea is the most popular tea in Asia. Made from new leaves and buds, like white tea, after picking the leaves are steamed or heated to reduce oxidation. After that it is lightly rolled to
give each tea its individual style – curly, balled up or straight – and then dried. If you
are new to green tea’s, the ones we would recommend are either our Dragon Well
– for a great, classic Chinese green tea – or our Xin Yang Mao Jian to get all the health
benefits of a green tea, but with a more robust, stronger flavor. Like white tea, green
of the naturally occurring chemicals present in the leaves when they grow, which gives green tea its famed health benefits.
Anti-aging Health Benefits
Many of the effects of aging, particularly on the skin, are caused by a build up of free radicals in the body, which can damage and aging of your body’s cells. Free radicals do occur naturally, but their concentrations are increased due to exposure to pollution, too much sunlight and some types of chemicals. SOD (superoxide Dismutase) is one of the bodies chemicals that mops up free radicals to help prevent them damaging the bodies cells. Chemicals called catechins that are present in green tea significantly improve the activity of SOD, and so provide a large boost to the bodies ability to fight the Effect of free radicals.
Effects on bacterial and fungal infections (anti-bacterial)
A cup of green tea contains anywhere up to 200mg of catechins, that are known to give it’s anti oxidant benefits.However other scientific studies from Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, Okayama University in Japan and the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia, have backed up what was known in traditional Chinese medicine – that catechins, and so green tea, have a big benefit in helping fend off attacks on the body from bacteria.
It was found that the catechins in green tea inhibit the production of a key enzyme needed by bacteria, called gyrase, which interestingly is also the target of many clinically developed antibiotics. This therefore inhibits the growth of the bacteria, and so reduces the change of getting an infection, and also helps alleviate existing bacterial infections.
The study done in Japan was particularly telling. They found that patients who had been infected with drug resistant Staphlylococcus (staph) responded positively when treated with the catechins extracted from green tea.
Several studies have shown that the catechins in teas can act as so-called “hypolipidemics” – that is they lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in the body (called LDL), while increasing the amount of “good” cholesterol (called HDL). Additionally other studies have suggested that other chemicals in green tea, called flavonols, help reduce hardening of the arteries, by naturally helping to keep the blood thin. The upshot of this suggests that it helps reduce the chance of cardiovascular diseases, in particular heart attacks and strokes.
Green tea Benefits for Weight loose and reduce Cholesterol
“Drinking green tea everyday makes you thin” is a quote from an ancient Chinese medical text called Bencao Shiyi. 1,300 years and modern science is beginning to understand why.
For a detailed look into the weight loss benefits of green tea, we’d recommend you read Swen Wolfram’s review called “Anti-obesity effects of green tea”. We’ll just give you a quick rundown of the latest scientific thoughts on how this occurs below.
It appears that there are three compounds in green tea that collectively act together to help reduce weight – the catechins, caffeine and an amino acid called theanine. Researchers did a study with animals, monitoring weight, food intake, fat levels and other health indicators and concluded that these compounds appears to act synergistically to reduce weight gain. You can read there study here for more info.
Another study by Lin and Lin-Shaiu suggested that this action partly occurs because the chemicals help suppress the bodies production of fatty acids, by regulating the bodies gene that is responsible for their production.
Of course weight loss and cholesterol are strongly intertwined. These studies point to the fact that lowering cholesterol helps to reduce your weight, and also the reverse, that lowering your weight will help cut down cholesterol. So whether its the chicken or the egg first, drinking green tea, in combination with a good diet and exercise, definitely supports the ancient chinese observation, that it does indeed act as a good way to reduce your weight.