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Green Tea: Natures Secret Remedy

Aug 17, 2007
Green tea may sound like something you might serve with Dr. Seuss' green eggs and ham, but it's certainly not something that will upset your stomach. In fact, it may very well help it. Initially cultured in the fourth century B.C., green tea has been used for brewing tea as well as treating diseases since ancient times. The Chinese have used it for years, treating everything from headaches to depression.

Although it and black tea are derived from the same plant, it is the difference in their processing that sets them apart. Green tea is dried but not fermented, as black tea is. This allows it to hold its beneficial chemicals intact. The beneficial chemicals are catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants such as this prevent free radicals (which are particles in our bodies) from harming our cells. Free radicals may lead to cancer. In this way, antioxidants hinder cancer cell growth by killing cancer cells. However, they do not harm healthy tissue.

Research has shown it is effective in fighting a variety of cancers. There have also been studies demonstrating that green tea may help lower cholesterol and prevent blood clots, which can lead to strokes or heart attacks. It may also help with hypertension, kidney function, and arthritis. Green tea is also believed to give the immune system a boost by allowing it to fight viral and bacterial infections. This would also help to prevent allergies, colds and flu.

Skin aging is a result of free radical damage, so green tea can help with skin care as well. In fact, some skin care brand names are using green tea in their products today. Green tea may also help improve memory and slow the development of Alzheimer's. Since it boosts insulin activity in the body by more than 15%, it can help with diabetes. Furthermore, it may aid with weight loss, since it is believed to increase metabolic rates. This may also strengthen bones, which may help prevent osteoporosis. Green tea may even help with tooth decay by killing bacteria that causes plaque. The only negative side effect of green tea is insomnia due to the caffeine content. However, the caffeine content in green tea is still lower than that in coffee.

As little as four to five cups of tea per day has shown to be beneficial to the human body. The taste is fresh, light, and some say green or grassy. Some teas have a bit of sweetness and some are astringent. Typically, green tea is not served with milk and sugar, but that is for you to decide.
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