Tea has long been believed to have positive health benefits but it’s only been scientifically studied and proven in recent years. Green tea has been used as medicine in China for about 4000 years, using it to treat headaches, depression, arthritis, infection and more. It is reputed to be helpful for cancer, cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.
The health benefits of tea are largely because it has a high content of flavenoids which are plant-derived antioxidants. Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. One catechin in particular is epigallocetachin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is an anti-oxidant that has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and to kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. In test tubes, catechins have been found to be more powerful than vitamins C and E in stopping oxidative cell damage and appear to have other disease-fighting porperties. Studies have been finding associations between drinking green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including skin, breast, lung, esophageal, gladder and colon. In 1997, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol which is known to limit the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet in the prevention of heart disease. A Chinese study that was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that drinkers of green or oolong tea showed a 46-65% reduction in hypertension risk than in people who were not tea drinkers. It is said that it can even help prevent tooth decay. Its bacteria destroying abilities can kill the bacteria that causes plaque and can help prevent food poisoning.
As a diet aid, new evidence is coming out that green tea can help dieters. According to a report published in the International Journal of Obesity, some antioxidants in green tea seem to have a “small positive effect” on weight loss and weight maintenance. Green tea contains caffeine which is known to increase thermogenesis which is the process of the body burning calories. The American Journal of Physiology:Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology published a report in 2007 that stated that green tea may fight the decrease in metabolisim that usually accompanies weight loss. The study reported to show that green tea may also inhibit the effects of an enzyme that is known to trigger the breakdown of brain chemicals that are involved in regulating the appetite.
So, while a green tea won’t help you lose weight by itself without all of the other necessary aspects of dieting and weight loss, it can help support your weight loss! Moderately increasing consupmtion of green tea my help you have some weight loss benefits without any negative health drawbacks. However, it does have high levels of caffeine that might have a negative effect on certain health conditions such as anxiety, diabetes and high blood pressure.