Unconsciously, we may have not known that our morning tea is not just our average drink that kicks start our day. But, little did we know that our cup of tea could actually promote a healthier mind and body. At the present time, Tea has been one of the most widely consumed beverage worldwide next to water. Its use is dated back thousands of years ago beginning in China and India. It has served to be of great purpose and is continually making its name bigger even in the nootropic world. It does not only serve to be a refreshment but, could actually work to enhance our performance as well as preventing us from certain diseases. Let us now know what Gren Tea has to offer and how well it works inside our body.
Traditionally, Green Tea has been used in the Chinese and Indian medicine for a variety of medical purposes. This includes using it as a diuretic, an astringent, in treating gas, in regulating body temperature and sugar and also, in improving cognition and cardiovascular function. However due to much interest and extensive researches done on Green Tea, much of its benefits have now been discovered. Now, what are the health benefits that Green Tea may provide to us? And how does it act inside our body?
Before moving on to Green Tea and its uses, let us first understand what tea really is. Basically, tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and the main varieties of tea consist of green tea, black tea, and oolong. However, they only differ to how each of them is being processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, Oolong tea is partially fermented while Black tea is fully fermented. The more the leaves are fermented means a higher caffeine content and a lower polyphenol content. Meaning to say, green tea has the highest concentration of polyphenols among all the other variants of tea while having the least concentration of caffeine in it.
Now, these polyphenols serve to be one of the active ingredients that may be attributed to green tea’s health benefits. This is because polyphenols are micronutrients that work as anti-oxidants inside our body. It serves to prevent and protect us from toxins and free radicals that may damage our body. And as we all know, free radicals refer to molecules that are unstable and highly reactive causing damage to cells. Because of this damage, it may lead to a number of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and age-related diseases (1). Antioxidants, like polyphenols which are contained in Green Teas, work by neutralizing these free radicals and oxidative stress thus, preventing the destructive processes that the latter may bring. Being an antioxidant, polyphenols will significantly boost our immune system in defending itself from diseases and infection. Because of this property that Green Tea possesses, it will promote a healthier body and brain, protecting and preventing us from accumulating diseases in the future. (2)
Another compound contained in Green Tea which serves to be of great benefit is the EGCG or Epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG’s are the most abundant type of catechin found in Green Teas that serve to possess antioxidant properties as well (3). Just like the polyphenols mentioned earlier, EGCG’s defend our bodies from damaging compounds and serve to boost our immune system from different kinds of toxins and viruses that could eventually lead to diseases. Moreover, EGCG’s are thermogenic meaning to say, it increases or produces heat through metabolic stimulation and increases energy expenditure of a person (4). It promotes burning of fat through an increase in fat and calorie metabolism. Because of this, weight lifters, athletes, active individuals, and among many others, have sought of drinking Green Tea on a regular basis in order to promote fat loss and to promote lean body mass. Aside from this property that EGCG’s have, they also serve to reduce the risk of having cancer by preventing the growth of network of blood vessels for the tumor.
Aside from the polyphenols and EGCGs, green tea also contains L-Theanine. It is an amino acid that serves to promote relaxation and a feeling of calmness while letting you stay awake. It also plays a role in promoting a healthy brain through its antioxidant and neuroprotective properties. Moreover, it positively influences the GABAminergic system thus, improving mood, focus, memory functions, and overall productivity levels. (7)
Along with the promotion of a healthier body, Green Tea is being considered as the most widely consumed psychoactive stimulant since it contains a significant amount of caffeine. And as we all know, caffeine may also be found in coffee, chocolate bars, soda, and among many other products today. Caffeine, which is contained in green teas, work by increasing one’s mental energy, alertness, attention, focus, and wakefulness. Because of this, an improvement in cognitive abilities may be experienced. On the other hand, due to the presence of Caffeine, green tea influences some key neurotransmitters in our brain and one of which is Dopamine. The levels of Dopamine are increased within the brain and as we all know, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter responsible for an individual’s memory and learning capabilities, attention, pleasurable reward, behaviour and cognition, and most especially for mood and sleep (5). With an increased level of this neurotransmitter, there will be a significant improvement in one’s mood and cognitive abilities. It may also be of great help to deal efficiently with stress, anxiety, depression, and even signs of OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Caffeine’s effect on Dopamine is attributed for feelings of pleasure when you take a sip of your daily tea. Moreover, this is the reason why you feel so focused and motivated when doing your tasks. Caffeine works just like Heroin and Cocaine but, to a much lesser degree. This is because they work to increase the levels of circulating Dopamine within the brain.
Aside from the mental and physical boost Caffeine provides, some researchers have claimed that it may be of benefit to the medical field as well. This is because green tea improves cardiovascular function by decreasing LDL or bad cholesterol levels and by decreasing blood pressure. In this way, individuals suffering from hypertension and hyperlipidemia may be benefited. Studies have also shown that green tea may protect against different kinds of cancer since the polyphenols help kill the cancer cells and stop them from growing. (6)
On the other hand, green tea has been traditionally used to treat Diabetes. Recent studies have shown that green tea does actually help in preventing the development and slowing the progression of Type 1 Diabetes. Green tea also serves to regulate normal glucose and insulin levels in our body.
It is very crucial for any drug or supplement to be taken at the right amount and frequency for it to produce the desired effects while possibly eliminating or minimizing the undesired ones. With the case of Green tea, how much of it do we really need each day? The dosage of Green tea actually depends on the concentration of polyphenols and EGCGs. The ideal dosage would generally be 80 percent polyphenols and 55 percent EGCGs. This means having a daily dose of between 300 mg to 400 mg is recommended or roughly 2 to 3 cups per day. However, we should bear in mind that a variety of different formulations are available at the market today. It would be best to choose green tea with a higher quality.
Since there is a possibility to develop tolerance from green tea, it would be best to cycle its use.
Although green tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, taking it beyond the recommended dosage has been associated with a number of side effects. This includes headaches, dizziness, sweating, gastrointestinal problems, anxiety, palpitations, restlessness, and agitation. In order to avoid these green tea adverse effects, it would be best to stick to the recommended dosage.
When starting with any new drug or supplement, it would be best to start off with the lowest possible dose to see how you respond and then gradually increasing it over time. You might also want to consider consulting your doctor or healthcare provider first since a person’s condition and health status may play a role.
You can purchase Green tea online. It is available over the counter and thus, does not require prescription from a doctor. It is readily available in capsule form as well as liquid extracts. Buy Green Tea now and experience a variety of its health benefits.References:
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