Green tea has long been valued for its wide array of health and wellness benefits. In fact, since its origin in ancient China thousands of years ago, the people of areas such as Japan, India, and China itself have revered it as a virtual cure-all, using it to successfully treat everything from headaches, to depression, to digestive upsets, to excessive bleeding. Green tea is still considered a staple not to be lived without in many parts of the world, and it is also quickly growing in popularity and demand as a health and wellness supplement as well.
The secret to the seemingly miraculous power of green tea lies in its high level of antioxidants, especially the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate, more commonly known as EGCG. EGCG is commonly known to possess a wide variety of curative and preventative health benefits. It’s a common ingredient in many weight control supplements due to its ability to aid in the prevention of obesity by increasing the oxidation of fat while boosting the body’s metabolism. It’s also been known to help prevent blood clot related health problems such as heart attack and stroke due to its ability to prevent abnormal clotting of the blood. ECGC has even been known to kill and retard the formation of cancer cells without the unwanted side effect of harming healthy cells in the process.
The benefits of regularly drinking green tea have often been compared to those associated with the drinking of red wine. Red wine contains a polyphenol called resveratrol which has been clinically proven to help lower the health risks associated with such unhealthy practices as a high fat, high cholesterol diet, or excessive smoking. Recent studies have not only shown that EGCG works very similarly to resveratrol as far as its beneficial effects on the body, but that it is actually up to twice as effective, making it a viable alternative to wine for many, especially those who would rather not consume alcohol.
As a powerful antioxidant, the EGCG present in green tea also packs a powerful punch when it comes to the prevention and treatment of many other ailments as well. It helps prevent premature aging and improve the overall health and appearance of the skin. It helps lower cholesterol, promote healthy circulation, and improve the health and functionality of the immune system. It’s also thought to lower one’s chances of developing many debilitating, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease. Green tea has even been proven to help prevent halitosis, tooth decay, and plaque by killing harmful bacteria that can quickly grow out of control in the mouth, causing these problems in the process.
As far as any negative side effects associated with the consumption of green tea, there really aren’t many aside from those associated with the consumption of any beverage containing caffeine. These include trouble sleeping, excessive urination, and stomach upset. However, in comparison to coffee or other kinds of tea, such as the commonly consumed and ubiquitous black tea, green tea contains a relatively low level of caffeine. Decaffeinated varieties are even available on the market for the use of those that prefer to experience the miracle of green tea without consuming any caffeine at all.
For more information, you can visit the Wikipedia Green Tea page or read more about the health benefits of green tea.