Tea may be a welcome break for buzzing coffee lovers. When your immune system is on its last leg and you have already thrown back several cups of coffee along with your pre-workout supplement, why not complete your day with a cup of all natural green tea?
Asians have been enjoying the health benefits of drinking green tea for many centuries. Scientific research is now confirming 4,000 years of folklore and medicinal uses of green tea for achieving and maintaining good health.
Green tea has amazing antioxidant protection benefits that are provided by the polyphenols contained in the leaf and it’s actually a much better antioxidant when compared to vitamins such as C and E. Green tea is a more potent antioxidant than black tea. Green tea is produced by lightly steaming the fresh-cut black tea leaf. Whereas with black tea, the leaves are oxidized and this destroys some of the compounds that contain the potent antioxidant and anticancer properties that green tea has.
The different forms of cancer that green tea has shown promising in preventing include the gastrointestinal tract such as the stomach, small intestine, pancreas and colon. Lung, prostate, bladder and skin cancer have also been shown to include a reduced risk of developing which is an added benefit of drinking green tea on a daily basis.
Other Healthy Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
Researchers have found that by regularly drinking green tea, the “bad” type of cholesterol can be reduced and tea drinkers can eat almost twice the amount of food containing cholesterol as those who don’t drink green tea since they will surprisingly still have the same cholesterol count. This is important to note if you are an off-season bodybuilder who might be consuming high amounts of cholesterol in your diet (steak, eggs, etc).
Blood Pressure Reduction
Green tea has been extensively tested and has been found to be highly beneficial in lowering blood pressure and aiding in the recovery of heart attack victims.
Reduction of Blood Sugar
People with diabetes who consumed green tea had a reduction in their overall blood sugar levels. You may already know how to control your blood sugar with your diet, but now you can add a little green tea to your nutrition plan in order to help keep your blood sugar consistent.
Antiviral and Antibacterial Benefits
Green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of disease. Catechins, which are contained in the tea, are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective in treating everything from tooth decay to HIV. Green tea can also relieve influenza and diarrhea.
Other Health Benefits Include:
- Improving blood structure
- Preventing osteoporosis and arthritis
- Improving bone structure
- Preventing dangerous blood clots
- Aiding and preventing type two diabetes
- Helping Parkinson’s disease sufferers.
- Preventing bad breath
- Calorie burning – Green tea should be used as part of a healthy diet, as it
can play a role in controlling weight. Green tea works by increasing energy
expenditure and also has thermogenic properties which promotes fat burning.
One of the major differences between green and white tea is in the processing. Green tea is exposed to high temperatures to remove the moisture and dry out the leaf, while white tea is dried naturally using sunlight or by using lower temperatures indoors which preserves the tea’s polyphenals. Therefore, white tea is especially potent and it has three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green or black tea and has been shown to be 100% more effective in cleaning up free radicals that cause our skin to sag as we age. As someone who lifts weights and loves working out, I always make sure to drink several cups of white tea every week.
White tea is more expensive because it is produced in a different way from all of the other teas. The leaves come from a special bush and then are dried in the sun. Only the best leaves are selected. Some of the world’s best known tea experts consider white tea to be even finer than green tea. True white tea only comes from the Da Bai Hao Bush.
It is better to brew white tea at a cooler temperature instead using boiling water. There are also different kinds of white tea. The more expensive the tea, the better the grade of tea leaves that are used to produce the product. Yes, you get what you pay for!
White tea has a pleasant, mellow taste that is subtle and also sweet. It has a delightful aroma and the leaf tea is very fruity. The type that I have been enjoying lately is a black currant flavor by Tea of Life.
Vitamins in Tea:
- Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)– Helps build energy by converting energy from food. Promotes better appetite and digestion and is also needed for growth and reproduction.
- Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)– Healthy skin, eyes, nerves and energy metabolism.
- Vitamin B6– Helps to release energy from food and enhances the metabolism of proteins.
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)– Heals wounds and helps to mend fractures. It also fights some common types of viruses and bacterial infections.
- Vitamin K – Prevents blood clotting and helps build bone metabolism.
- Carotene– It is converted to Vitamin A upon digestion. Promotes healthy eyesight and skin.
- Folic Acid– Red blood cell formation and gene formation.
Minerals (tea is a rich source of minerals):
- Manganese– Vital for growth and the body’s development.
- Potassium– Essential for maintaining normal heart rhythm.
- Zinc– Essential for the development of reproductive organs and helps to heal wounds.
- Fluorine– Protects the teeth and strengthens the bones.
Polyphenols (Tea is a rich source of antioxidants):
- Flavonoidsand catechins are groups of polyphenolic They help fight against cancer causing radicals and heart disease.
The amount of tea consumed a day in Asian countries typically is three cups or more per day. It can be steeped for 3 to 15 minutes depending on your preference. There are many beneficial health reasons for drinking tea which could benefit everyone and its virtues are now being recognized. Tea drinking is becoming more popular in western countries and hopefully now it will become very popular in the fitness community!