Drinking a cup of green tea is more than warm you up the winter!
Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and have been used in Chinese and Japanese traditional medicine for centuries.
I have already told you about the capacity of green tea to fight the flu and cold thanks the vitamins and minerals contained in its leaves. But green tea is able to do more than that.
First of all you have to know that all teas (white, yellow, wulong, black...) have the same properties but green tea has an higher concentration of chemical compounds. As its leaves are less processed than other teas, it maintains the freshness and the properties of the Camellia Sinensis plant.
Here some of the main ingredients of green tea and their benefits.
Polyphenols. They are the most abundant group of plant phenolics compounds and they are powerful antioxidants. It means they can reduce free radical damages in the body's cells. Many Researches (since 80's)* proved that antioxidants in green tea play a role in maintaining the arteries young. How? Reducing the negative effects of bad cholesterol and increasing the production of good cholesterol; fighting plaque build-up in the blood vessels; keeping blood pressure in balance, regulate blood sugar level.
This is why the regular consumption (three cup per day) of green tea works like a prevention in reducing risk of stroke and heart diseases rather than brain degeneration like Alzheimer and Parkinson.
Catechins are a group of polyphenols . They are considered a natural antibacterial.
As food is can be a source of bacterial infection, especially when is not handle well, the habit of drinking tea with meals or straight after them can reduce the risk of developing infection.
Very important is the presence of a special catechin called EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate) a compound that has been found in many studies to have anti-cancer properties.
Scientific studies have found that people who regularly drink green tea reduce their risk of breast, stomach, esophagus, colon, prostate cancer.
Flavonols. Another group of polyphenols known for their strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Many people who suffer from chronic inflammations, such as arthritis, experienced a reduction of aches and pains.
These are just the main benefits of drinking green tea regularly but there is much more...
for now I just recommend to consider drinking loose-leaf-tea as part of a healthy life style!
*Kada T., 1985; Yang C., 1993; Demirer T., 1990; Journal of the National Cancer Institute (1994)