Drinking Green Tea to Improve Your Health
We have access to more information about our health now than any time in history. It seems like everyday there is a new miracle, a new cure for the things that ail us, another pill or potion that will make us feel better. Green tea is the "now" nutritional supplement. It has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, but is it worth all the hype? What exactly are the benefits and are they effective enough to consider? The Food and Drug Administration has not officially approved green tea or endorsed any of its properties, but believers swear by them.
One of the pros (or cons, depending on your side of the fence on the issue) of green tea is its caffeine content. The tea contains about have the caffeine as a regular cup of coffee. There are several schools of thought on caffeine's effect on the body. It's definitely a stimulant, and some choose to avoid it for that reason. Some dieters say going decaf helps them curb their sweet tooth. Others say the little caffeine boost helps rev them up for their workout.
Another unsubstantiated perk of this beverage is its ability to delay and sometimes alleviate the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Most such diseases involve the build up of a certain kind of plaque in the brain, which restricts blood flow and leads to the nerve damage that is characteristic of such illnesses. In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, the antioxidant EGCG has been shown to positively affect the amount of harmful beta-amyloid protein plaque in lab mice. The animals that were treated with a daily injection of EGCG exhibited a whopping 54 percent less of the harmful plaque than the animals that weren't treated.
If green tea is what it takes to stave off such dreadful diseases, why isn't everyone drinking it? Simple, it's just not enough. Other antioxidants found in the tea water down the effect of RGCG. In order to reproduce the same effect in humans that the lab mice experienced, the dose would have to be about 1,500 or 1,600 milligrams a day. The large amount has been tested on humans and found to be safe.
Advocates of green tea also say it contains thermogenetic qualities that speed up metabolism and help with weight loss. To get the maximum health benefits of green tea, you'd need to drink the concentrated form of RGCG, which can also be found in vegetables. People who make a point to consume foods that contain RGCG keep themselves detoxified. Doing so reduces their chances of developing cancer and other diseases.
Be aware that the health hype of green tea has aided its commercialism. Beverage brands have been quick to jump on the bandwagon and offer a plethora of variations on the theme. Just because it says "green tea" on the label doesn't mean it has all the nutritional benefits you've heard about. After processing, it might not even be good for you at all. Always read the nutritional information on the back of the label and be sure of what you're consuming.
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