I grew up drinking sweet tea. Everyone in Texas drinks "sweet tea" - it's black tea with sugar. I still drink sweet tea but with raw sugar and only during the summer. My tea is "green tea" now. I drink it plain with no sweetener. I weaned myself off honey in my tea and now it tastes like 'cough syrup' with the honey... YUCK...
There are so many health benefits in green tea or green tea extract. I'm glad because I have no desire to stop my tea habit :)
Green tea is a type of tea made from the leaves of Camellia senesis. Unlike black tea, very little oxidation occurs during processing, so its biological properties are distinct. Although it is a traditional drink in China and other Asian cultures, it is only recently become popular in the West. Its use has been associated with lower risks of some chronic diseases. For example, a study in Japan revealed that people drinking more green tea have a lower risk of stroke and cerebral hemorrhage than those who drink less. In a rat model of hypertension and stroke, green tea consumed from an early age provided some protection against high blood pressure and delayed the onset of stroke.
Green tea contains catechins, which are biologically active polyphenolic flavonoids that are potent antioxidants. If fact, green tea extract is about 200 times more potent than Vitamin E, with benefits for healthy people and people with chronic illnesses. For example, patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing hemodialysis are at risk for increased chronic inflammation due to blood coming into contact with dialysis tubing and filters. This inflammation contributes to cardiovascular disease and exacerbates the general effects of aging on the body. The antioxidant effects of green tea extract have been shown to reduce this inflammation and may help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Consumption of green tea has been used as part of weight loss management plans. Green tea extract can help the body burn fat, increase exercise performance, and may help maintain normal body weight. Green tea extract also seems to help maintain insulin sensitivity, important to keeping blood glucose levels within normal limits to prevent diabetes. Medications for mental illness, such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and treatments for mood disorders, can often cause rapid unwanted weight gain and lead to diabetes. Green tea alone or in a combination supplement has been shown to increase metabolism and reduce body fat in some patients taking these medications.
Green tea also has anticancer properties. It has been shown to inhibit angiogenesis, the process by which tumors form new blood vessels and become malignant. Green tea extract also appears to interfere with the inflammation and rampant cell growth in cancer development. In already established cancer, green tea extract can directly affect apoptosis pathway-cellular proteins that can carry out programmed cell death.
Finally, green tea has a protective effect against influenza viruses, not only by reducing the ability of viruses to enter the body’s cells, but also by inhibiting their growth inside the cells.
Tea has been used as a medicine for 5000 years in China. Green tea antioxidant properties can protect the liver from exposure to toxins such as industrial chemicals and excess alcohol. IT can also help people recover from viral hepatitis and liver cancer.
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