Green Tea – The Pros and Cons

January 14, 2015

Tea has always been seen as a staple drink in China while its popularity is on a rise in all places in the world. It is preferred not just because of its multiple health benefits, but also because it is a stimulating beverage that refreshes the mind and body alike.

Historically, tea has been prepared by baking, steaming, blending and filtering. It is mainly classified into black, green, white and oolong tea, based on how leaves are processed and prepared after they are harvested. While green and black tea may both be plucked from the same herb, black tea is a fermented tea while green tea is a non-fermented tea. After plucking and being partially withered, they are heated to 200o C to prevent fermentation. But black tea is withered and rolled before heating after which it is left to ferment, and fermentation allows it to develop its distinct flavor. Even though it has been used as an herbal remedy in China since 2800 BC, it became a popular beverage in Japan by first millennium AD with advent of cultural ties. In recent times, its popularity has increased in western countries, even though black tea remains to be the preferred drink.

One of the factors that attributes to its popularity is the numerous health benefits it offers. Since it is processed to the minimal, green tea is rich with antioxidants that overcome damage caused by free radicals and fight the aging process. Some of the simplest ways to maintain good health are losing weight and having five cups every day.

Triglycerides, though a source of energy in our bodies, when present in excess lead towards fat storage. Green tea and weight loss are often associated with each other because it contains polyphenols that effectively dissolve excess triglyceride deposits in our bodies. Consumption of green tea and weight loss are also interlinked because polyphones present in it have epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG which accelerates our bodies’ rate of metabolism. Metabolic rate is the rate at which our bodies burn calories to produce energy, and release of energy occurs by a biochemical process in which calories are combined with oxygen. Rate of metabolism broadly depends upon the number of calories our bodies use to release this energy, wherein a higher rate of metabolism ensures that we process more calories and feel energetic.

Another way by which green tea aids us in weight loss is by acting as a natural appetite suppressant, while thermogenic properties of it also help facilitate the process of weight loss. Thermo genesis increases heat produced in our bodies and promotes weight reduction by increasing the rate of metabolism and burning calories faster. It can be even more effective for weight loss if it is used in conjunction with regular exercise or a diet plan. Alternately, consumption of green tea is also beneficial for many health conditions including high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease, infections and an impaired immune function, making it the perfect drink for improved everyday health and well being.