According to a five thousand year old Chinese legend, green tea was discovered by Emperor Shen Nung when a few tea leaves accidentally fell into a cup of hot water he was drinking. Regardless of the accuracy of this particular myth, green tea has been consumed in China for thousands of years. From China, the popularity of green tea soon spread to the rest of the Orient, especially Japan.
Green tea and its medicinal properties are also prominently featured in Chinese and Japanese literature. “Cha Jing” – literally “tea Classic” is a very popular treatise on the varieties and uses of green tea penned by Chinese author Lu Yu during the rule of the Tang Dynasty (600-900 AD). Green tea was introduced in Japan by a Zen Buddhist monk named “Myoan Eisai” who wrote the popular “Kissa Yojoki”; a book that describes how consumption of green tea benefits all the vital organs of the human body, especially the heart. Nowadays you can find green tea all over the world and even online at stores such as amazon as a green tea extract supplement or conventional green tea! So, why should you try out green tea?
Green tea benefits
1. A study performed by a British university has shown that regular consumption of green tea increases fat oxidation rates by close to 20%. Thus green tea is a powerful natural tool which helps in obesity management without any adverse side-effects. Green tea weight loss is a popular form of diet because it’s a simple addition yet seems to actually have noticeable effects.
2. The polyphenols in green tea are present in the form of catechins. These green tea catechins (GTC’s) contain an extremely powerful antioxidant called Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). EGCG destroys free radicals and prevents free radical damage of cells and DNA which has been linked to cancer and several other chronic medical conditions. In particular, regular consumption of green tea has been found to be very effective in avoiding esophageal cancer. It has also been proven that EGCG has therapeutic value in the treatment of certain neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. Make sure to read this page on antioxidant benefits if you want want to learn more!
3. The four polyphenols and the various polysaccharides present in green tea are known to lower cholesterol and prevent various cardiovascular diseases. Recent research has shown that green tea suppresses the production of a peptide named “Angiotensin 2”; which is responsible for increased blood pressure and vascular constriction (narrowing of blood vessels).
4. Regular green tea consumption also helps lower blood sugar, thereby preventing diabetes. A green tea diet is also helpful for diabetics, as it manages blood sugar levels and the carotenoids in green tea help prevent Glaucoma which is widespread among diabetics.
These green tea benefits probably give you a very good reason to start a green tea diet but furthermore what’s interesting about all these green tea benefits is that they also include important vitamins!
Green Tea Vitamins
Though the health benefits of green tea have been known to the Chinese and the Japanese for many millennia, serious medical research on the same is relatively recent. Research has shown that green tea is a rich source of Carotenoids (vitamin A), Ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin E and also many of the vitamin B complex benefits; they also contain a large proportion of flavonoids (Vitamin P) in the form of polyphenols or catechins. The vitamin content in green tea fulfills any vitamin deficiency caused by an improper diet.
Along with the above mentioned health benefits of green tea, there may be many other medicinal uses which are yet to be discovered.