Chinese herbal green tea has notably become the “supplement of choice” for many seeking greater health and control over their weight. For good reason: not only does it have an interestingly appealing flavor when prepared as tea, science defends some astounding benefits when it’s used as a supplement for immune enhancement and fat mobilization.
Camellia sinensis, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)
Green tea, including black and oolong teas, are all derived from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. This powerful tea’s legacy was originally discovered by an emperor some 4,000 years ago. Since that time, traditional Chinese medicine has recommended green tea to relieve bodily aches and pains, aid digestion, fight depression, soothe headaches, enhance immune functioning, detoxify the body, provide “instant” energy, and even promote longevity.
This plant can be made into green, black, or oolong teas. The black and oolong teas are fermented, so the active ingredients may be altered and therefore may not have the same benefits as green tea.
Defending our bodies against daily stress can help us become more productive both at work and in the gym. And, new research has shown green tea may help our bodies burn more calories, faster, which is why it’s showing up in more and more fat-loss formulas.
No deficiency conditions are known to exist.
Research indicates that Green Tea may be useful in the treatment of:
Green tea has quickly become the “supplement of choice” for many seeking greater health and control of their weight. Not only does it have an interestingly appealing flavor (when prepared as tea), it appears to have science defending some astounding benefits for immune enhancement and fat mobilization when it’s used as a supplement.
Green tea, or more accurately, the polyphenols in green tea, appears to activate our bodies’ “natural viral-killer” immune cells, which scavenge and fight off bacteria and flush out toxins. These all-important polyphenols in green tea also appear to use calories in our bodies as energy and thus may assist our “fat-fighting” efforts.
Active individuals and those who regularly deal with life’s stressful events (in today’s hectic world, who doesn’t?) may be less able to recover from symptoms of stress or to fight off infections. Green tea may just be the answer to help combat and even prevent the negative effects of stress, such as fatigue, irritability, and anxiousness.
You see, green tea is a powerful antioxidant, which basically means it may protect our bodies from the free radicals that damage cells and weaken our immune systems. Of course, this is important for active people as well because intense exercise has actually been shown to increase free radicals in our bodies, and if free radicals are running amuck, it’s more difficult to recover.
What may be even more interesting to some is that green tea appears to be able to help our bodies burn more calories, faster. A recent study in Geneva showed that green tea is naturally packed with caffeine and compounds called “catechin polyphenols.” This is of significant interest to those of us trying to reduce our weight because both of these substances have been documented to speed up resting metabolic rate — or more simply stated, rev up our bodies’ calorie-burning potential. You see, the caffeine found in green tea allows our bodies to use bodyfat for energy (that is, it’s “lipolytic”). When stored calories are used for short-term energy, our bodies burn more fat.
In fact, this study, performed on healthy men, showed green tea alone produced a four percent increase in energy burned, over a placebo, for an extended period of time. The researchers concluded that green tea may be useful for speeding up fat burning and promoting our bodies’ ability to burn more calories over an extended period of time.
Green tea originally gained recognition as a potential cancer fighter, especially of the gastrointestinal tract, such as the stomach, small intestine, pancreas, and colon. It is also believed to be beneficial for fighting lung and breast cancers.
In addition, drinking green tea after meals has been shown to help fight the bacteria that cause dental plaque.
What’s more, green tea demonstrates heart-healthy properties — and may even protect against cardiovascular disease. This is because it may improve the ratio of LDL “good” cholesterol to HDL “bad” cholesterol, helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels as a result.
Green tea’s long history of success in regard to its potential cancer-fighting, immune-enhancing, and heart-healthy properties continue to gain attention from researchers, doctors, the media, and people from all walks of life. Because of our society’s increasing awareness of cancer-causing agents in our environments and our need to protect ourselves, along with our desire to continually ward off unwanted bodyfat, we will likely hear more about the potential nutritional benefits of adding green tea to our diets.
When choosing a green tea, it is best to look for the measurement of polyphenols, which are believed to be responsible for green tea’s benefits. Three cups of tea per day should provide around 240 to 300 mg of the polyphenols.
When tea is consumed with or right before meals, it is believed to inhibit the formation of cancer-causing agents. Consequently, the custom of drinking green tea with meals in Japan has been suggested to be the main reason for their low cancer rates.
None known. But, as with all caffeine-containing supplements, one should try not to consume too much before bedtime, as it might interfere with your ability to sleep.