15/06/2015

Know Yo Greens! Green Tea - Some Facts!

On pretty much any health and fitness venture you take there will be at least one person that will praise Green Tea as the herbal remedy of gods. If your reading this, today I'm that person. So I've done a bit of research & here's what you need to know... 

Green Tea was first discovered in China around 4000 year's ago making it one of the oldest herbal tea's you can find. The Chinese would steam, fry and eat these leaves raw before settling on brewing it in hot water as a beverage, meanwhile not really understanding the benefits of what they were drinking.

Green tea actually comes from the same plants that our usual British brew's come from. Known as Camellia Sinensis it's the same tea but it is processed differently. Black tea is obtained by fermenting the tea leaves. The fermentation changes its color and flavor, while raising the level of caffeine and tannin in it. Where as for Green Tea the tea leaves are dried or slightly steamed but not fermented. 

Green Tea is rich in a group of chemicals called Catechin Polyphenols (also known as Tannins) which along side caffeine gives green tea it's characteristic bitter taste and stimulating effect. 
This group of super chemicals include Epicatechin, Epicatechin Gallate (ECG), Catechin, Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). 
Along side these chem's you have various Pro-Anthocyanidins (Flavonoids - I can't say that other word either). These are powerful antioxidiants as well as a bunch of Amino acids such as Butyric Acid & Liganin.  (Seriously who think's up these words?)
I've also read that vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C & E can also be found in green tea.

So what do all these super amazing scientific thingy's do for you?
  • Japanese researchers found that the abundance of the antioxidants in green tea appears to inhibit certain bacteria associated with gum disease and tooth decay. As an added bonus, catechins may also help reduce bad breath.
  • While it’s unlikely that green tea can actually prevent heart attacks, a Greek study shows that it does improve the function of blood vessels and arteries. A more recent investigation concluded that green tea could modestly lower blood pressure
  • A study from the Chinese University of Hong Kong showed that beneficial substances in green tea, including EGCG, can make their way into the ocular tissue, so they might provide protection against eye-related diseases such as glaucoma. (build up of pressure in the eye that affect's vision)
  • Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol as well as naturally speeding up your metabolism. So long treat feast pizza! 
  • Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect. This can help to battle issues with depression.
  • Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.  
So how much should you drink? Firstly pure green tea does contain a low amount caffeine, so if your pregnant or trying for a baby you should get advice from your doctor in regards to your daily intake.
I drink around 5 cups of green tea a day and 3 black teas. . & If I'm not drinking tea I'm drinking Smart or Fiji Water. I work in an office, it's thirsty business. 
If you really don't enjoy green tea but you still wanted the benefits, you could try Teapigs Pure Matcha Tea, its basically pure ground leaves. One teaspoon mixed with 30 ml of water done as a shot is equivalent to 15 cups of green tea. So like a cod liver oil, you just knock it back, yak a little and move on. 
The only problem I found with that method is that I get super high and buzzed for the first 30 minutes while it settles in my body from the caffeine hit and about 4 hours later I can sometimes feel a bit of a crash as if I've had a few too many coffee's. If your preggers do not try this method. 

Chin Chin! 




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