The green tea benefits ranges from weight loss, to rejuvenating your skin, boosting metabolism, to even helping fight off degenerative disease.
Green tea is made from the leaves from Camellia sinensis. Green tea by itself is a potent source of healthy antioxidants known as catechins.
One of the things that green tea has been known for are it's weight loss and health benefits. I will admit that green tea CAN help you lose weight, but there's more to the story. Specifically it's the catechin and flavonol found in green tea called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that helps you lose weight and are powerful antioxidants.
There are many health benefits to green tea (which I'll get into a little later on) but the main ones I want to touch on are 2 main ones: weight loss and anti-aging/skin health
Green tea compounds have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, with studies suggesting green tea extracts can help prevent ultraviolet radiation damage. Researchers at Emory University's Department of Dermatology in 2005 treated women who had moderate photo aging with either a combination regimen of 10 percent green tea cream and 300 mg twice-daily green tea oral supplement or a placebo for eight weeks. The women receiving the green tea showed significant improvement in the elastic tissue of their skin.
There have been a number of encouraging studies of skin benefits of green tea. Animal studies showed protection from skin cancer. Both animal and human studies have credibly demonstrated that topical green tea formulations reduce sun damage. Green tea appears to exert sun damage protection by quenching free radicals and reducing inflammation rather than by blocking UV rays. Therefore, green tea may synergistically enhance sun protection when used in addition to a sunscreen.
What about wrinkles, skin sag and other signs of aging? Can green tea help? The verdict is still out for this one BUT here's one study that's interesting.
A 2005 study took 40 women where half were given a combo of 10% green tea cream and 300 mg twice-daily green tea oral supplementation or a placebo regimen for 8 weeks. What they found was those who took the green tea cream and oral supplement showed a significant improvement in elastic tissue. The more elasticity you have in your skin, the smoother and more supple your skin is.
This is also why Dr. Andrew Weill and other researchers recommend you combine lemons with green tea. The first is because adding lemons to green tea can increase the levels of catechins by six times.
Also I believe Vitamin C has a role. Vitamin C, when combined with other antioxidants, is known for increasing the potency of antioxidant power with other antioxidants. Also, collagen (which is found in your bones, skin, heart) is created using Vitamin C.
According to The 4 Hour Body, Timothy Ferriss explains some of the "off-label" benefits of green tea (relating to weight loss and body composition). These include:
- EGCG increases GLUT-4 recruitment to the surface of skeletal muscle cells. It also inhibits GLUT-4 recruitment in fat cells. This basically means it inhibits the storage of excess carbohydrates as bodyfat and diverts them to muscle cells
- EGCG seems to increase cell death in mature fat cells. This means the fat cells commit "cell suicide." People regaining fat with ease is due to a certain "fat memory" (the size of fat cells decreases but not the number) which makes EGCG a fascinating candidate for preventing the bad rebounding most dieters experience (ie. situation where a dieter loses 10 lbs to only gain 20 back when off the diet).
Tim Ferriss was using 325 mg of green tea extract pills at a frequency of 3-4 times per day (for a total of 900 to 1100 mg per day). Stay away from green tea and EGCG if undergoing cancer treatment.
Other Green Tea Benefits
These are just some of the benefits of green tea. This little herb is quite a good addition to your diet and is very inexpensive as well. I highly recommend adding it to your diet.
Some interesting tidbits on tea for those who like trivia type information...
Many people are surprised to learn that all teas, white, green, oolong and black, are made from the leaves of the same species. While the variety of the particular Camellia sinensis plant as well as the weather conditions and soil contribute to the final taste of the tea, the significant differences of tea type develop in the processing of the leaves.
The distinguishing factor that determines whether a tea plant will become white, green, oolong, or black tea is oxidation. Oxidation begins after the leaf has been plucked from the plant, and begins a process of being dried, withered, rolled, and heat treated. A black tea is fully oxidized, causing it to turn black, while a white tea is barely oxidized at all, thus retaining its soft, silvery down.
Green tea has only 5-10% of the
caffeine in a cup compared to coffee.
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