It seems that many people are now discovering the health benefits derived from drinking green tea. Known to the Chinese and other Asiatic peoples for centuries, green tea, found to contain high amounts of Catachin Polyphenols, otherwise known as anti-oxidants, not only are excellent fighters of Cardio Vascular disease, but have also been found to be effective in the treatment of many kinds of cancer.
One of the most important of these antioxidants, Epigallocatechin Gallate, usually known by the initials EGCG, appears to not only inhibit the growth of many cancer cell, but actually destroys them. In comparison with people in western cultures, Asian people who drink large amounts of green have been found to have reduced risks in contracting diseases like cancer of the esophagus by as much as 60%. In a manner very much comparable to French and other Southern Europeans who drink large amounts of red wine, green tea reduces blood cholesterol levels dramatically and helps prevent the formation of plaque in the arteries, as well as blood clots – one of the leading causes of heart attacks and strokes.
Why is green tea much healthier than regular processed tea? The secret is found in the processing of the Camellia Sinesis plant from which the tea is made. The leaves are steamed, preventing the loss of the important EGCG anti-oxidant. While still containing caffeine, green tea retains the vital anti-oxidants that enable it to provide its beneficial health value.
Other Chinese teas, such as black and oolong tea, also contain levels of EGCG antioxidants. But their benefits as much less due to losing much of the EGCG levels during processing.
Besides fighting cardio-vascular disease and cancer, green tea is also effective against rheumatoid arthritis, infections, and impaired immune functions.
How much green tea should be drank per day to achieve the most benefits? There are many theories on the quantity of green tea consumption; but studies have found that drinking at least 10 cups of green tea per day prevents the formation of cancers for several years longer than for people drinking fewer than 5 cups per day. It has also been found that older people drinking similar quantities of green tea have less problems with rheumatoid arthritis, a common disease in old age. Japanese women who drink higher quantities of green tea are less likely to have breast cancer than those who do not.
When brewing a cup of green tea, it is recommended to let the bag steep in just boiled water for at least 3 minutes. After removing the bag, the liquid should be allowed to cool a bit before drinking. If this seems like a bit too much to do for many people in our modern, rushed society, it’s worthwhile in the end, in order to achieve the tea’s maximum benefits.
In addition to the standard or ‘classic’ version, green tea can also be purchased with flavors including, mint, lemongrass, cinnamon, apple, and other flavors.