Glowing skin, rosy cheeks, strong and healthy figures of the people inhabiting Afghanistan owe mainly to their heavy consumption of green tea throughout their lives. This light-golden, hot drink flavored with green cardamom is an essential part of their breakfast and a necessary digestive after meals. During the harsh, snowy winter season, they increase the use of green tea and most of the times drink it instead of water, hence, the chances of catching cold and flu remain almost nil. Though, being listed as No. 185 on the list of countries by GDP(PPP) per capita, the Afghan population enjoys strong and healthy bones even at the age of 70 or above, owing to the fact that the green tea significantly increases bone mineral density.
How Green Tea Started
The consumption of green tea as a medicinal herb and as a hot drink dates back to more than 4000 years in China and 2000 years in India. Due to its magnificent benefits, the green tea persistently remains one of the healing herbs and a delightful, hot drink for millions all over most of Asia. Obtained from an evergreen tree called Camellia sinensis, packed unfermented and least processed, the green tea delivers a delightful bouquet along with the highest concentration of beneficial nutrients when prepared for drinking. This molten gold, rightfully deserves to be called, is one of the greatest gifts of nature to man to bulwark against various dangerous diseases.
How Green Tea Prevents Cancer
Containing epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which is a cancer fighting flavonoid, green tea plays a pivotal role in fighting cancer. Catechins, especially EGCG, among the main active compounds in green tea leaves, shut down the system (called tyrosine kinase receptors) through which both atherosclerosis and cancer send their messages for growth. These systems, work as relay stations for abnormal cell growth. The result is the prevention of or halting of the disease processes that depend upon excessive cellular growth. For cancer prevention, the evidence is so overwhelming that the Chemo prevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute in US has initiated a plan for developing tea compounds as cancer-chemo preventive agents in human trials.
Promising a longer and a significantly protected life, green tea has proved through clinical research that patients suffering from certain cancer (e.g. bladder cancer and ovarian cancer), who drank green tea had a substantially better 5-year survival rate than those who also suffered from the same but did not consume any green tea.
Green Tea and Cardio Health
Regarding cardio health system in human body, green tea plays a marvelous role. Daily consumption of green tea, ranging from 2-3 cups a day, lowers the blood pressure and prevents hypertension. The green tea catechins not only prevent the development of cardiovascular disease, but also liquidize the blood and prevent the formation of blood clots by inhibiting the formation of pro-inflammatory compounds derived from omega-6 fatty acids. Furthermore, the patients suffering from acute coronary artery disease can minimize the damage, caused by this disease, in their bodies by drinking green tea regularly. Quite simple and natural absorption of green tea in the human body minimizes heart cell death after a heart attack or stroke, and by the same mechanism minimizes the brain damage that occurs after a stroke. Plus, the ECGC speeds up heart cells’ recovery from damage, allowing the tissues to recover more quickly and lessening damage to organs.
Green Tea Strengthens Bones and Teeth
The catechin flavonoids in green tea play a significant role in supporting both healthy bones and teeth, by strengthening bones and killing the bone-destroying cells. Its benefits to the human skeletal system are similar to Calcium or Exercise. Researchers at the University of Tokyo have shown drinking green tea may significantly increase bone mineral density. Pertaining to the fact that the tenacity and firmness of the teeth owe to the gum health, green tea protects the teeth by reducing the damaging effects of the bacteria which are most responsible for gum diseases.
Strong Digestive System
Green tea is traditionally famous for improving and stimulating digestion system and controlling blood sugar in the body. Brewed with thinly sliced ginger and lemon, green tea increases its function of digestion and glucose regulation in the body. Furthermore, green tea may also reduce the increased risk for colon cancer caused by a high fat diet. Drinking a cup or two of sugarless green tea after each meal is enough to avail maximum benefits for digestion and sugar control. Yet, the most marvelous result depicts in weight loss, as it contains three major components that promote fat loss: catechins, caffeine and theanine.
Excellent Brain and Neuro Function
Green tea catechins, until recently thought to work simply as antioxidants, are now known to invoke a wide spectrum of neuro-protective cellular mechanisms. Hence, it quite possibly protects against Cognitive Decline, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. Green tea keeps elders mentally sharp and slows down age related decline in brain function such as a declining memory, cognitive impairment, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
How Green Tea Saves Life of Smokers
In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, thus, green tea lowers the risk of heart and lung disease in smokers. Being a highly potent antioxidant, green tea promises amazing benefits for the human bodies stricken with poisonous chemicals of smoke and alcohol. Even as minimum as one cup of green tea a day significantly reduces the chances of developing cancer in smokers.
Green Tea – A Healthy Drink for Mom and Baby
A clinical study carried on pregnant women, who regularly drank sugarless green tea after every meal, revealed that their children were born with stronger digestive systems compared to those children whose mothers did not consume any green tea during their pregnancies. Added to this, mothers enjoyed a smarter waist line after delivering the baby, and better mental and physical condition.
With these miraculous benefits and easy to prepare recipe freshly brewed green tea will always remain the healthiest natural delicacy in hot drinks.