Green tea is a wonder remedy in a cup. Drink at least two cups of green tea every day for excellent health.
Indians are inveterate tea drinkers. Most of us love to start our mornings with a cup of fragrant, hot and sweet tea. The stronger our tea (when infused with spices), the better we like it. Tea is an integral part of our DNA – most of us cannot imagine going through our days without a cup of tea to cheer us up.
Lately, we have started waking up to the benefits of other teas. These teas are brewed with an infusion of tea leaves, herbs, flower extracts and even spices. They are brewed in hot water and consumed without milk or sugar. Green, chamomile, ginger, mint and white tea are some popular favourites.
On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, we take a look at the benefits of the most potent of these teas: Green tea.
- Packed with antioxidants. The most potent benefit of green tea is that is packed with essential antioxidants. These are known as ‘polyphenols’ that prevent the formation of free radicals in the cells. This process slows down aging and prevents tissue damage.
- Improves brain function. Green tea is known to contain small amounts of caffeine. This ensures mental sharpness without becoming a stressful stimulant. This property is important in the firing of neurons in the brain and improving brain function. Green tea can actually increase one’s neural activity and keep the brain free from disease longer.
- Burns fat and slims the body. Most people guzzle green tea in a bid to reduce their waistline, but the correlation between green tea and weight loss is a little more complex. Green tea fires up the metabolism and causes the body to burn fat faster to produce energy. This has the effect of reducing fat deposits in the waist, abdomen, hips, thighs and arms. However, this effect may not appear in every person.
- Useful for cancer patients. Its powerful antioxidant property has implications in the treatment of various cancers in the body. A person afflicted with cancer suffers higher oxidative damage in the cells and tissues. A liberal dosage of antioxidants can protect the body from free radical damage seen with cancer.
- Protects the brain in old age. As mentioned earlier, green tea has tremendous implications in keeping the brain active. Hence, this is an important property to exploit in the treatment and therapy of senior citizens afflicted with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Green tea has been proved to protect the brain against neuron damage, which may slow down or prevent the onset of these disorders.
- Great for the mouth. Those suffering from recurring dental infections and inflamed gums now have an enjoyable medicine: a cup of green tea. It supplies medicinal catechins to the infected areas of the mouth, including cavities and swollen gums. It kills bacteria that cause caries, cavities and halitosis.
- Lower diabetes risk. Perhaps its most excellent benefit is that it has the power to inhibit the onset of Type II diabetes. People with a history of diabetes in the family can stave off the disease with at least two cups of green tea a day. Green tea taken after meals can also help reduce blood sugar levels and aid better digestion.
On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, let us pledge to include green tea in our daily diet to enjoy good health all our lives.