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Green Tea Is the New Black

September 18th, 2008

green-tea2.jpgTraditional black tea is out! Although Asia is well known for its superior knowledge in the field of electronics and gadgets, they are also well known for their traditional and cultural beliefs. The Western world has embraced the Asian culture for many reasons, including health, longevity and spirituality. Asian culture has become popular for its spiritual connections with nature, Feng Shui, Tai Chi and yes, the infamous green tea. Green tea has become so popular that it ranks as the most widely consumed beverage worldwide, second only to water. This article by Chantel Davis describes some of the benefits of this newly popular beverage.


So we’ve all heard of the beneficial effects of green tea, but what exactly is it? Contrary to popular belief, green tea is not made from a different plant than the tea that you are probably accustomed to; in fact, it’s actually made from the same plant as the traditional black tea that most of us are already accustomed to drinking. It’s all a question of processing. Green tea leaves are not allowed to ferment as other teas are during processing. The leaves are instead preserved via steaming or baking, allowing them to retain more of their essential polyphenols and keeping their caffeine content low.

So what is it in green tea that makes it so good for us? The key to green tea’s value lies in its polyphenols. The polyphenols present in green tea have been found to have antioxidant qualities and have been attributed to helping fight cancer. Although further studies are necessary to support these claims, various studies have found a lower incidence of cancer among those who consume green tea on a daily basis, such as people in many Asian countries. Other studies have found green tea to have positive effects on metabolic rates, mental alertness, boosting the immune system, inflammatory bowel disease, bad breath, and sleep apnea-related brain deficits. Studies have also found that green tea may help prevent diabetes, lower chances of cognitive impairment, lower stress hormone levels, and may even inhibit the HIV virus.

Animal testing has also produced some great results. One such study found that green tea’s polyphenols may in fact block the absorption of cholesterol and expedite its secretion from the body. Another study at the University of Louisville in the United States found that rats that were administered green tea polyphenols via their drinking water were less susceptible to sleep apnea-related brain deficits after being intermittently deprived of oxygen throughout their sleep cycles, similar to what happens to humans suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.

So what does this say about green tea? While the facts are still a bit murky, green tea is undoubtedly a great addition to your diet. For thousands of years, various Asian cultures have been using tea as part of their traditional medicine, used to treat everything from heart problems to flatulence. These days, more and more people are turning to holistic methods of treatment as modern medicines produce increasingly unfavorable side effects or prove ineffective altogether. By consuming green tea, you are joining the millions of people down through the years of history who have trusted in its wonderful healing properties.



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