Science Behind Why Japanese Green Tea is Good for Health
Green tea has been a favorite among the Japanese for centuries. It is said that in 805 Buddhist monks Kukai and Saicho returned to Japan with young tea trees after studying in China. In 1181, another Buddhist monk named Eisai had been studying in China. Eisai introduced and popularized the sipping of tea for optimum health. About the same time, farmers started growing green tea in Uji, Kyoto. The last health reference Japanese book of Eisai’s about tea was in 1211; Kissa Yojoki (the Book of Tea).
With the introduction of green tea to Japan, along came much of the knowledge of it many health benefits. And through the extended use, advanced cultivation and learning of its many discovered medicinal values, Japanese green tea has remained a greatly valued beverage and food.
Great Health Benefits
Rendering to WebMD, green tea is a widely studied tea that has high concentrations of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Moreover, the antioxidants in green tea help combat cancer growth in the stomach, lungs, pancreas, breast and bladder. As well, the high antioxidant contents found in green tea may prevent the arteries from clogging. What is more, many studies find that this amazing tea may be able to burn fat, lower the risk of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, offset oxidative stress on the brain, improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of stroke.
A Rich Antioxidant
Green tea is renowned for being rich in antioxidants, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). In fact, many claim that this special antioxidant is what makes green tea have such powerful medicinal properties. Moreover, a recent post from Livestrong states that the epigallocatechin gallate in green tea may help lower total body weight and body fat levels. In fact, the fat burning antioxidant helps increases your body’s metabolism, especially visceral fat or fat that is in the abdomen.
According to Livestrong, epigallocatechin gallate may also be beneficial for people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, who are overweight and have high blood pressure. This is because this special antioxidant may increase fat burning abilities or boost the transport of stored fat to cells for oxidation.
However, research suggests that epigallocatechin gallate may not promote fat loss but with a larger dose taken with caffeine, it may create increased fat loss. Also, some studies show that patients with glucose problems had a decrease in circulating glucose levels which often goes with weight issues.
Another beneficial substance found in green tea is L-theanine or theanine. This amazing amino acid is found naturally in green tea. It is said to support many health issues such as anxiety, insomnia, stress, depression, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
In addition, theanine is claimed to support weight loss, increase concentration and improve the immune system. As well, some specialists believe that theanine may prevent Alzheimer's, stroke and some types of cancer.
What is more, theanine also shows promise as an aide for weight loss especially when combined with certain caffeine’s. In fact, theanine is often used as a supplement to shed pounds.
Polyphenols that are found in tea include tannins, theaflavins, catechins and flavonoids. And in green tea there are epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallates, epigallocatechin gallates and epicatechins. As well, green tea contains flavanols like myricetin, kaempferol and quercetin.
The polyphenols in green tea are said to have many health benefits like detoxing many vital organs and also preventing cancer. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, tea polyphenols have been shown to impede tumor cell proliferation and prompt apoptosis in laboratory and animal studies. As well, tea catechins have shown to obstruct tumor cell invasiveness and angiogenesis.
Compared to other teas, green tea has about the lowest amount of caffeines (excluding non-caffeinated herbals teas). The highest is black teas and then white. However, caffeine content is also dependent on many variables like the brewing, type of buds and leaves and how the plant was grown. For example, how your tea is grown and packaged with affect the caffeines content. Teas grown is full sun have less amounts of caffeines than tea that is grown in the shade. Also, teas that are ground into powder, sliced or chopped will have a stronger dose of caffeines than the regular leaves. Additionally, the buds and leaves that are oftentimes used to make white tea have more caffeines than mature and older leaves.
As of late, a concern with some consumers is the fluoride in both green and black tea. Further, green tea has two times more fluorides than black tea. On the other hand, many experts agree that the fluoride found in tea is at such minuscule levels that it would be difficult to consume enough tea to be toxic. In addition, about 50 percent of any type of fluorides is excreted and the other portion is deposited in the teeth and bones.
In fact, Dr. Weil M.D. feels that the worries in regards to fluorides in tea are overstated. Although large amounts of the material can cause brittle bones after several years, but this is very rare. As well, fluorides are toxic in very high amounts which may cause gastrointestinal symptoms and sometimes death. For example, a large amount would be about 20,000 times more fluorides than what is found in an 8 ounce glass of water.
It is no doubt that historically Green Tea has been providing variety of health benefit and is believed to be one of the main reasons why Japanese people live longer and healthier compared to other part of the world. More recent study and researches reveals and confirms the benefit from different angles of science. We can enjoy all the benefit by simply having a good quality cup of Green Tea today and every day.
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If you have ever thought that Green Tea is an “acquired taste” or that it is “too bitter” to enjoy, we’re here to change your mind! We want everyone to experience the health benefits of Green Tea and show you that this can be an amazing, refreshing, and delicious drink when made correctly. With just a few tips on how to brew this powerful leaf, we can change your mind about the taste and enjoyment of drinking Green Tea.
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Author : Kei Nishida
Kei Nishida is a writer, a Japanese Green Tea enthusiast, and the founder and CEO of Japanese Green Tea In. You can find his published work in Fresh Cup Magazine, Yoga Digest Magazine, T-Ching and more. He is also the author of three published books. Read more about Kei Nishida