Coffee may have been your go-to beverage whenever you felt tired or stressed. But lately, you have realized that the caffeine present in it gives you a sudden boost of energy followed by an equally bad crash.You may have also observed that a cup or two of coffee leaves you susceptible to acidity and heartburn. These reasons are enough to make you want to switch to a drink that’s relatively lighter, soothing, and perhaps even healthier, such as green tea.
Green tea is the perfect detox drink as it contains flavonoids and antioxidants that make it beneficial for your overall health and wellbeing. While green tea is also known to contain a certain amount of caffeine, you can always go in for the decaffeinated version. Daily and consistent consumption of this beverage is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, bring down cholesterol levels, slow down the progression of auto-immune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, manage pulmonary and respiratory ailments and prevent tooth decay, among other things. Talk about green detox and how?
In this article, let’s explore what green tea is, it’s nutrition components and the many health benefits it has to offer in great detail.
What is Green Tea?
Scientifically known as Camellia sinensis, green tea is made from buds and leaves of the plant that haven’t gone through the oxidation process the way black tea goes through. Usually, green tea leaves are freshly harvested and promptly steamed to prevent fermentation. What you get as a result is a dry stable product. However, what must be noted here is that despite the steaming process, the colour of the leaves remain undisturbed, thereby maintaining its characteristic green hue.
Although the concept of green tea originated in China, its manufacture and production has spread far and wide, predominantly across Asia.There are numerous varieties of green tea such as matcha, genmaicha, gyokuro, sencha, tencha, hojicha, and more. The differences between the variants are based on the variety of camellia sinensis that’s used, the horticultural method put in practice, the growing conditions, the time of harvest, and process of production, among other factors.
The Nutritional Aspect of Green Tea
Green tea is scientifically proven to contain an antioxidant known as epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG), which makes it the healthy drink that it is. It is this antioxidant that makes it a beneficial home remedy for preventing and tackling gut issues, reducing inflammation in the body, aiding the weight loss process and uplifting moods.
As per the USDA Food Data Central, a cup of green tea contains only 29.4 mg of caffeine compared to a cup of coffee that contains 40 mg of caffeine. Along with it, it also contains a blend of B vitamins, iron, potassium, sodium, and zinc, and a group of chemicals known as polyphenols that is known to reduce oxidative stress in the body, which is the root cause of all chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart diseases and even cancer. Additionally, it contains no natural sugar or dietary fiber.
It also contains amino acids like thiamine that gives it its potent flavour. Besides, it contains other amino acids like tyrosine, leucine, theanine, xanthine alkaloids such as adenine, dimethylxanthine, theobromine, theophylline, and xanthine; carbohydrates such as pectin, which is also found in fruits, among other things. But what makes green tea distinct from the rest of the beverages is the presence of pigments such as triterpene saponins and chlorophyll, which lends the tea its green colour.
Benefits of Green Tea
Given its rich nutritional profile, green tea has a plethora of health benefits. Let’s look at them below in great detail.
Acts as an immunity-booster
Studies show that those who drink green tea regularly have a better immune system as they do not fall prey to bacterial and viral infections frequently. Green tea contains an essential flavonoid known as catechins that help to prevent bacteria and viruses from attaching themselves to cell walls thereby causing infections. There’s enough scientific evidence to prove that catechins fight the toxins that the harmful microbes and pathogens release. These antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial properties of this essential flavonoid is what prevents gut-related issues, bad breath, cough, cold, flu-like symptoms, and other microbial and fungal infections. So if you want a dose of green detox, make this beverage your daily go-to drink!
Aids in Weight Loss
If you want to lose weight, the first thing you ought to do is make the switch from your regular tea or coffee to green tea. Firstly, you don’t need to add sugar to green tea, so that automatically subtracts calories. Those who want to enhance the flavour of their green tea, can add half or one teaspoon of honey or stevia to it. Secondly, green tea is known to detoxify the liver, thereby fastening the metabolism rate of the body, which helps people to lose weight. Drink a cup or two of green tea during the day and it will help you lose a few extra pounds. Continue to have it as a routine for a significant amount of time and it will help you manage your weight and stay in shape. Moreover, it helps boost stamina and build endurance to exercise better and see changes in your body. So let green tea be your daily detox drink!
Improves Heart Health
Green tea contains certain components that are known to lower blood pressure. This in turn, reduces the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. As per a 2000 study published by a team of Chinese researchers, daily consumption of green tea has the potential to increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood tremendously, which prevents the bad cholesterol levels in the body from oxidation. For the uninitiated, oxidation is a process by which vital molecules, such as DNA and proteins, in our cells get damaged. Continuous oxidation can cause the cells to get damaged and eventually malfunction or die. Thus, when LDL particles in the body oxidize, there’s a high chance of developing coronary problems. Green tea helps to reduce this oxidative stress, courtesy its antioxidant properties and keep serious heart conditions at bay.
Slows Down Aging
Oxidative stress can cause free radicals to increase in your body. Free radicals are compounds that are linked to multiple chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, among other ailments. The buildup of free radicals in the body also causes it to age soon. The body needs to develop antioxidant defenses to keep these free radicals from piling up in the body. Green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, is the most effective remedy as it helps to neutralize these free radicals with the catechins and other important flavonoids such as EGCG present in it. That’s why regular consumption of this tea can effectively slow down the signs and symptoms of aging in the body such as on the skin and hair.
No wonder then that Wellbeing Nutritions, Skin Fuel, contains matcha green tea extract, among other ingredients such as bioactive Japanese marine collagen, l–glutathione, hyaluronic acid, and other vitamins and antioxidants to help improve skin texture and complexion, control pigmentation and discolouration, reduce acne and wrinkles, and give your skin a natural glow.
Regularly drinking green tea has a potential to lower cellular damage, bring down inflammation and better manage blood sugar levels so as to inhibit any kind of spikes during the day. This tea also contains the bioactive compound, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which as per scientific research, triggers the uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle cells, thereby reducing the blood sugar count. Green tea thus helps to reduce blood sugar levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes and other metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance.
Apart from this, a cup of green tea also acts as the perfect detox drink. It helps to uplift your mood and fight fatigue and tiredness, apart from acting as a stimulant to make you feel energised and increase your productivity.
The aforementioned benefits are enough to make you want to switch to green tea if you haven’t already! Green teas like chamomile and lavender are known to help you relax and sleep better so a cup of them, if decaffeinated, can also help you sleep well. Besides, it also helps to slow-down signs of aging in the body, especially the skin and hair. Make drinking green tea an integral part of your everyday routine to lead a healthier, youthful life!
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