Green Tea for Healthy Living

Check the back of the bottle of many popular diet pills and you’ll see green tea or green tea extract listed as one of the ingredients.

Diet pills are often dangerous and packed with other unhealthy ingredients, but there’s a reason they use green tea. Green tea helps you lose weight. Of course it won’t be 20 pounds in one week or other nonsense that marketing companies like to claim, but green tea has been scientifically proven to burn calories and block fat absorption.
Green Tea Burns Fat

Food (including sugar and fat) is synthesized into a substance called triglyceride in the liver and small intestine. It is then carried into the bloodstream to other tissues in the body.

Triglyceride is used as source of energy for life support and physical activities, and is very necessary. The problem comes about when there are excess amounts of triglyceride, because then it’s turned into fat which subsequently causes obesity.

That’s where green tea comes in. It contains high amounts of polyphenols which activate the enzyme that is responsible for dissolving excess triglyceride. In the long run, this means that green tea effectively aids in burning fat.
Green Tea Stimulates the Metabolism & Accelerates Weight Loss

Green tea contains powerful antioxidants called catechin polyphenols that are responsible for many of the health benefits of green tea. One of them in particular, epigallocatechin gallate (or EGCG for short), has been found to stimulate the metabolism and accelerate weight loss.

EGCG, along with the caffeine in green tea, stimulates the central nervous system and causes fat to be released into the blood stream for the body to use as fuel. This process of fat being used for energy is called thermogenesis. It provides extra energy, sheds excess water, and also helps to burn body fat.

Although caffeine alone can stimulate the metabolism this way, it’s important to note that researchers found that the combined ingredients of green tea were much more effective at this process than just caffeine by itself.
Green Tea Helps You Exercise Longer

Everyone knows how important exercise is to losing weight. It burns calories, increases your energy, and builds muscle which in turn boosts your metabolism even higher. The catechin polyphenols in green tea appear to stimulate the use of fatty acids by liver and muscle cells. This subsequently reduces the rate that carbohydrates are used and allows for more endurance and longer exercise times. In fact, a study using green tea extract on lab rats increased the amount of time the animals could swim before becoming exhausted by as much as 24%.

More endurance means more exercise, which means more calories burned, and it all adds up to more pounds lost for you.

The Miracle of Green Tea

Is any other food or drink reported to have as many health benefits as green tea? The Chinese have known about the medicinal benefits of green tea since ancient times, using it to treat everything from headaches to depression. In her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life, Nadine Taylor states that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.

Today, scientific research in both Asia and the west is providing hard evidence for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea. For example, in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study indicating that drinking green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly sixty percent. University of Purdue researchers recently concluded that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells. There is also research indicating that drinking green tea lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as improving the ratio of good (HDL) cholesterol to bad (LDL) cholesterol.

What makes Green Tea so special

The secret of green tea lies in the fact it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant: besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. It has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. The latter takes on added importance when you consider that thrombosis (the formation of abnormal blood clots) is the leading cause of heart attacks and stroke.

Links are being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox.” For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent are smokers.

Why don’t other Chinese teas have similar health-giving properties? Green, oolong, and black teas all come from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. What sets green tea apart is the way it is processed. Green tea leaves are steamed, which prevents the EGCG compound from being oxidized. By contrast, black and oolong tea leaves are made from fermented leaves, which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in preventing and fighting various