Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks we have for both our brain and the rest of the body.
It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on our body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.
- 1 What is Green Tea?
- 2 Nutritional Value of Green Tea
- 3 Health benefits of Green Tea
What is green tea?
Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originally from China, but widely consumed throughout Asia, this healthy drink has many uses, from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer.
Green tea actually comes from the same plant where normal tea is obtained. Scientifically, it is known as Camellia Sinensis. In fact, it is originally the same tea, but it is processed differently. Normal tea or black tea is obtained from the fermentation of tea leaves. This fermentation changes its color and flavor, while increasing the level of caffeine and the tannin it contains. On the other hand, in the case of green tea, the tea leaves are dried or lightly steamed, but not fermented. This is what makes it look green when it's made. As a result, green tea thus preserves the maximum amount of antioxidants and polyphenols, substances that provide numerous benefits.
Nutritional Value of Green Tea
What gives green tea its characteristic flavor, bitterness and stimulating effect, is a group of chemicals, called polyphenols (commonly known as tannins, which contribute to the bitter and astringent taste). These polyphenols include catechin, epicatechin, epicatechin gallate (ECG), epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and various Pro-anthocyanidins. It also contains flavonoids, powerful antioxidants. Flavonoids, along with some amino acids such as Thianine, are responsible for the intense taste of green tea.
Green tea contains caffeine and amino acids such as L-theanine and butyric liganin, xanthine alkaloids such as adenine, dimethylxanthine, theobromine, theophylline and xanthine, contains pectin (substance also found in fruits), saccharides (sugar), chlorophyll and triterpenes saponins. Some vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamins C and E are also found in green tea. After the impressive list, maybe we can begin to understand why green tea has so many beneficial components.
Health benefits of Green Tea
The health benefits of green tea are mainly due to its antioxidant properties, but let's see all of them now in more detail.
Improvement of brain function
Green tea does more than just keep us awake, the key active ingredient in this case is caffeine, a known stimulant. But green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee, although enough to produce a response in the body without causing the "nervous" effects associated with excess caffeine.
What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. Thanks to this, the activation of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine are increased.
Caffeine favors several aspects of brain function, including improved mood, our level of vigilance, reaction time and memory.
However, green tea contains more than caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-Theanine, which is able to cross the blood barrier of the brain. L-Theanine increases the activity of the GABA inhibitor neurotransmitter, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases the level of dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.
Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine from green tea can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent in improving brain function.
Due to L-theanine and the smallest dose of caffeine, many people report that it offers them a more stable energy and they are much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
Green tea increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify the levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which the body converts food into calories. Recently, green tea has replaced many other drinks in the western world as its aid in weight loss and obesity, which remains a chronic problem in many places.
Free radicals created in the body are responsible for body deterioration, one of which we see as the signs of age and related symptoms. The main task of antioxidants is to neutralize the oxidants or free radicals present in the body and Green tea is very rich in antioxidants. The polyphenols present in green tea are responsible for the antioxidant effects, the most powerful among them epigallocatechin gallate. Thus, Regular consumption of green tea can effectively delay the signs and symptoms of aging.
Strengthens the immune system
Research shows that people who regularly drink green tea suffer from less common bacterial and viral infections. Green tea increases the strength of the immune system. The catechins present in green tea prevent bacteria and viruses from adhering to cell walls in order to infect them. These catechins also counteract the toxins released by the microbes. This antimicrobial property also protects you from bad breath, dysentery, diarrhea, tooth decay, indigestion, flu, cough and cold, and colitis, all of which are caused, in some way, by fungal and microbial action. .
Tones muscles and skin
This is another powerful benefit of green tea. Astringent substances trigger contractions in muscles and tissues, toning muscles and skin. Even if we don't want to drink green tea, a simple mouthwash every day with green tea can cause enough contraction in the gums to keep them firm and attached to the teeth, which prevents loosening and loss of teeth. You can also wash your hair with green tea and feel it grow strong and healthy every day.
It improves arterial and heart health
Scientists believe that, another of the benefits of green tea is that it improves the lining of blood vessels, helping to keep them relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It also protects against the formation of clots, which are the main cause of heart attacks.
It has anticancer properties
In addition to causing premature aging, free radicals are also responsible for causing certain types of cancer. The catechins present in green tea neutralize free radicals, prevent the formation of carcinogens such as nitrosamines and reduce the risk of cancer in people who regularly consume green tea. It is prescribed as a home remedy to help in the prevention of cancer, particularly for those patients at high risk of cancer of the esophagus, colon, rectum, pancreas and intestines.
Green tea reduces the levels of "bad" cholesterol in the blood and improves the proportion of "good" cholesterol, probably due to its alkalinity.
It is antidiabetic
If not taken with sugar, the alkaline nature of green tea helps reduce the level of blood glucose. On the other hand, The antioxidant and astringent qualities of green tea ensure good health and better functioning of the pancreas. The improvement of pancreas function offers a more efficient and regulated insulin secretion and the subsequent improvement in sugar breakdown and absorption. This increase in functions can help prevent the onset of diabetes.
Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
It is said to be able to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Studies in mice showed that green tea protects brain cells from premature death and restores damaged brain cells.
It has antidepressant properties
Theanine is an amino acid that is found naturally in tea leaves. This substance seems to be that It has a relaxing and soothing effect, becoming a great benefit for mental health.
Green tea, apparently, can also Help prevent wrinkles and signs of aging, this is due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacity. Animal and human studies have shown that green tea applied topically can also reduce skin damage caused by the sun.