One thing that gives the Japanese their relative good health and longevity is the health benefits of green tea. But why Japanese Green Tea and not Black Tea?
Add Japanese Green Tea to Your healthy diet and reap the health benefits.
Recent research has linked the increased consumption of Japanese green tea with the reduced risk of medical conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
This rich, aromatic tea will not only keep you cosy this winter, but may just benefit your health as well.
Japanese Green Tea is a Strong Antioxidant
Researchers seeking an explanation for the Health Benefits of Japanese Green Tea and Green Tea’s apparent health-giving qualities believe they have found it, in the form of substances known as polyphenols, which are strong antioxidants that have the potential to supress disease-promoting molecules known as free radicals.
The most important polyphenol in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), a potent antioxidant that probably contributes to the protective cardiovascular and neurological effects reported in many studies.
Further research suggests that EGCG is the most potent weapon that Japanese green tea has against disease. EGCG has been found to promote a number of cancer-protective actions in the body, including an ability to help in the deactivation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens).
Japanese Green Tea has been consistently linked with a reduced risk of cancer in both men and women.
In one study published in 2004, the health benefits of Japanese green tea for women consuming green tea every day were found to have a 47 per cent reduced risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming none at all.
In another study published that same year, researchers found that men taking Japanese green tea each day had about a quarter of the risk of prostate cancer compared to those who took no green tea.
Other research has found that increased green tea consumption appears to protect against other forms of cancer too, including those of the stomach, colon, lung and skin.
The health benefits of Japanese Green Tea seem to extend to the circulatory system too.
Research has found that individuals who consume green tea tend to have lower levels of cholesterol in their blood. Studies have also shown a decrease in blood pressure.
Green tea has also been linked with weight loss. Some studies have shown that people can shed a few pounds by simply swapping coffee for green tea.
A healthy diet and plenty of exercise is of course the best way to lose weight, but a little Japanese green tea may add to an overall lifestyle change.
The above health benefits of Japanese Green Tea go at least some way to explaining research which links Japanese green tea consumption with a reduced risk of stroke and heart disease.
So, Why Green Tea and not Black Tea?
All tea, including green, black and oolong come from the same plant.
However, green tea, unlike other teas, is unfermented so all the active health giving ingredients remain unaltered. The other teas, which go through a fermentation and oxidation process, still contain some of the healthy properties, but appear to be more muted.
It should be noted that you can drink too much green tea. The majority of your liquid intake should be water, but a cup or two of Japanese Green Tea each day can offer some amazing health benefits.
Now You know the health benefits of Japanese Green Tea, what about the evidence?
The scientific community has shown strong interest in uncovering just what the benefits of green tea might be, but some have been cautious and say that there is limited long term evidence that green tea can combat certain diseases.
However, a recent study (reported on the ScienceDaily website) has found green tea improves the risk factors involved in heart disease. #
Drinking green tea improves the way cells in the lining of the circulatory system work. These cells are called endothelial and if they are not working well, then atherosclerosis may take hold. So the function of the endothelial cells are an indicator of cardiovascular risk.
A team of researchers at the Athens Medical School (Greece) led by Dr. Nikolaos Alexopoulos conducted a trial where volunteers had their brachial artery measured after consuming green tea, caffeine and hot water. The brachial artery was measured for the amount it had dilated. Dilation occurs when there is an increase in blood flow, and increased blood flow is good news.
Dilation was significant after drinking green tea, while it wasn’t after drinking hot water or caffeine. It is known that black tea also impacts positively on endothelial function, but green tea is likely to have stronger antioxidants as it undergoes less oxidisation during processing.
What is positive for us is that antioxidants reverse the effect of oxidisation in the human body. This has to be good for many diseases.
In fact another study mentioned in the Science Daily report showed that damage to the endothelial cells caused by smoking can be reversed by green tea. Overall tea drinking and the health benefits of Japanese Green Tea are linked to reduced cardiovascular problems and mortality rates.
Another study, whose researchers were motivated by the value of green tea in oral hygiene, has looked at antibacterial activity in inhibiting bacteria. A bacteria called DNA gyrase binds itself to a location. Drugs cannot be used to remove the bacteria because of serious side effects.
A team of researchers at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana (Slovenia) found that green tea catechins, in particular one known as EGCG (short for epigallocatechin), are able to target the DNA gyrase. The benefit of green tea, according to the lead researcher Roman Jerala, is its safety record as opposed to toxicity associated with drugs.
Further related research has found that Japanese green tea helps overcome the resistance of certain bacteria to antibiotics. Dr. Mervat Kassem from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University in Egypt found that drinking green tea at the same time as taking the antibiotics improved the efficiency of the drugs to kill the bacteria including a strain of superbugs.
It is the catechins that are the most effective antioxidants in the tea. If these have the potency to reverse damage to cells, what other effects does green tea have? Caution shown by some is valid; but others are a little too cautious given the conclusions of the recent research which has published positive news about the health benefits of Japanese Green Tea.
The antioxidant levels of Japanese green tea… are reported to be a hundred times higher than that of vitamin C and 25 times that of vitamin E.