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Top 5 Benefits of Green Tea

Posted 11-13-2014 05:52 PM by ChristaIB
Updated 11-13-2014 06:16 PM by ChristaIB

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Have you had your green tea fix today? If not, you might be inclined to incorporate it into your daily diet after you read how it can do more than liven up your taste buds and provide you with a boost of energy—it can promote wellness, too.

The Effects and Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is made from Camellia sinensis plant leaves that have not been oxidized, and because it is one of the less processed types of teas--the leaves are not fermented prior to steaming and drying--it is able to retain large quantities of polyphenols, which are plant-based substances that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Here are five specific ways green tea can aid in your health:

1. Green tea aids in weight loss – Although experts disagree about the role green tea plays in weight loss, it's a frequent ingredient in supplements designed to help you lost weight; that’s because some trials have shown it to boost the metabolism. The jury's still out on just how large a role green tea plays in weight loss, but it has very clear ties to helping melt pounds. If you're looking to slim down, it's worth the try.

2. Green tea is good for your heart – The component EGCG that exists in green tea can help prevent cardiovascular disease by reducing cholesterol buildup in the arteries. Although blood pressure has not been shown to be affected--meaning, the FDA won't approve it to be labeled truly "heart healthy"--green tea has, in large-scale studies, been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, too.

3. Green tea may reduce cancer risks – For certain types of cancers (breast, prostate, colorectal and lung, to name a few), the powerful antioxidants in green tea are linked to slowing the growth of tumors. Additionally, its protective properties may reduce the overall risk of developing certain cancers in the first place. (Note: Adding milk may reduce these positive effects)

4. Green tea can help protect your aging brain – The risk of developing degenerative diseases that attack the brain, like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, can be lowered thanks to the catechin compounds in green tea. These powerful components protect your brain's neurons and can make them strong enough to slow the effects of degeneration.

5. Green tea can keep your overall health in balance – Green tea is a total body, all-in-one power drink that has proven, lasting benefits for a number of areas in your body. Because green tea's antioxidants help destroy bacteria and viruses, you'll be much less susceptible to viral and bacterial diseases. Your skin and even your teeth will be better off for it, too. You'll be protected against everything from throat infections and bacteria-induced decay thanks to green tea.

How much do you need?

You'll need to drink more than one cup of green tea per day to see any of the many benefits it affords, experts say. Some say it takes a little as 2 cups a day, while others recommend up to 10. Find an amount that works for you. Keep in mind that there is caffeine in green tea, so if you're sensitive, or if you plan to drink a lot, a supplement may be better for you. If you decide to take a supplement, use as directed.

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