Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The dried leaves and leaf buds of Camellia sinensis are used to produce various types of teas. Green tea is prepared by steaming and pan-frying these leaves and then drying them.The useful parts of green tea are the leaf bud, leaf and stem. Green tea is not fermented and is produced by steaming fresh leaves at high temperatures. During this process, it is able to maintain important molecules called polyphenols, which seem to be responsible for many of the benefits of green tea.
Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health, and regulate body temperature. Recent studies have shown that green tea can potentially have positive effects on everything from weight loss to liver disorders, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols (especially catechins) are responsible for the tea’s anticancer properties. The most promising of these is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). This, along with other polyphenols, fights free radicals and protects the cells from DNA damage that is caused by the reactive oxygen species. Green tea polyphenols can also modulate immune system function. In countries where green tea consumption is high, cancer rates tend to be lower, but it is impossible to know for sure whether it is the green tea that prevents cancer in these particular populations or other lifestyle factors.
An analysis of published studies in 2011 found that consuming green tea, either as a beverage or in capsule form, was linked to significant but modest reductions in total and LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
Many studies have shown that green tea can increase fat burning and help you lose weight. In order to burn fat, it must first be broken down in the fat cell and moved into the bloodstream. The active compounds in green tea can aid in this process by boosting the effects of some fat burning hormones.
Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age. The Alzheimer’s Society commented that “this study adds to previous research that suggests green tea might help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, the researchers used a far higher dose of the active green tea chemical than would ever be found in the human body. More research is needed to see whether green tea is protective at a much lower dose, and to understand the mechanism involved.”
Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet. It is loaded with antioxidants and various substances that are beneficial for health.