Wednesday, January 26, 2011

FUEL Better: Green Tea

Green Tea

Green tea is made by briefly steaming the just harvested leaves, rendering them soft and pliable and preventing them from fermenting or changing color. After steaming, the leaves are rolled, then spread out and “fired” (dried with hot air or pan-fried in a wok) until they are crisp. The resulting greenish yellow tea has a green, slightly astringent flavor close to the taste of the fresh leaf.  Green tea is the least processed and provides the most antioxidant polyphenols and flavonoids which make up 30% of the dry weight of a leaf. A catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is believed to be responsible for most of the health benefits linked to green tea.

Most of the research showing health benefits is based on about 3 cups per day which offers 240-320mg of polyphenols.

Health Benefits: 

 Protects against death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease
  • A study that began in northeastern Japan, 1994 followed 40,530 adults (aged 40 to 79) for 11 years looked at the relationship between death and green tea consumption.

  • It found that women and men who drank > 5 cups had:
    • (23%, 12%) lower risk of death from all causes
    • (31%, 22%) lower risk of dying from CVD
    • (62%, 42%) lower risk of dying from stroke.

  •  A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2006 found that unsweetened tea is a healthier choice than almost any beverage, including pure water, because tea not only re hydrates as well as water, but provides a rich supply of polyhenols protective against heart disease.
Inhibits Atherosclerosis
  • Been shown to effectively lower LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lipid peroxides (free radicals that damage LDL cholesterol and other lipids or fats) and fibrinogen (a protein in the blood involved in the formation of blood clots), while improving the ratio of LDL to HDL cholesterol.

Lowers Triglycerides
  • A study in the Journal of Nutrition, 2005, found that the mix of catechins naturally found in green tea inhibits the activity of pancreatic lipase (the enzyme secreted by the pancreas that digests fat).  Result in slowing down the rate at wish the body breaks down fats into triglycerides and the rise of triglyceride levels in the blood stream is greatly slowed.

Promotes visceral (belly) fat loss
  • Three (3) major components contribute: catechins, caffeine, and theanine.
  • Studies suggest that these compounds prevent gastric and pancreatic lipase, (the enzymes that digest triglycerides and fatty acids), synthetase, the enzyme responsible for producing fatty acids into the form in which they can be stored in the body’s adipose fat cells. 
Protects against Cancer
  • The evidence over the last ten (10) years has been so overwhelming that the Chemoprevention Branch of the National Cancer Institute has initiated a plan for developing tea compounds as cancer-chemopreventive agents in human trails.
  • When green tea comes in contact with a cancerous cell it can help terminate them in a remarkable number of ways.
    • The polyphenols are powerful triggers of apoptosis (cell suicide).
    • EGCG’s protective antioxidant effects against several carcinogens are found to be 120% stronger than those of Vitamin C. Mutation Research, 2004.
    • Green tea inhibits angiogenesis (development of new blood vessels) Cancer cells can not divide and spread when there are no new blood vessels to supply them nutrients.
    • Research from National Cancer Institute shows Catechins also increase the production and activity of detoxification enzymes in humans, which enhances our ability to detoxify carcinogens.
    • Although Green Tea shows promise for a wide variety of cancer prevention current research shows the most protection from: prostate, ovarian, breast, colorectal, brain, lung, and bladder cancer.

Lowers blood pressure and helps prevent hypertension:
  • ½ cup – 2 ½ cups per day by 46%
  • More than 2 ½ cups per day by 65%

Improves Insulin Sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetes

Protects against Kidney Disease

Provides Bones benefits similar to calcium or exercise

Protects the liver from alcohol and other harmful chemicals

Increases Exercise Endurance

Protects against cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s 

Fights the Flu

*Consuming the spice, black pepper, when drinking green tea can significantly increase the amount of EGCG absorbed. Ex: Sprinkle black pepper on lunch or dinner while consuming green tea as your beverage.*

1 comment:

  1. Love your blog. I wonder if you have any specific information about Lipton Green Tea. I use 1 bag of the decaffeinated and 1 bag of the orange passion fruit & jasmine.

    Also, what about Yogi bedtime tea - herbal tea supplement - any nutritional value to that tea?