Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world. Although water is the most widely consumed beverage, still, hundreds of millions of people drink tea every day based on health benefits and taste. Tea comes in three main varieties, black, green, and oolong. Green tea (Camellia sinesis), is believed to have the most health benefits thanks to the way it’s processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves, which contain the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea neutralize free radicals and reduce or help prevent some of the damage they cause.
Free radicals are damaging compounds in the body that alter cells, tamper with DNA (genetic material), and cause cell death. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles. Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems including cancer and heart disease. Based on studies using human subjects, animals, and in laboratory experiments, green tea is useful for:
-Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Green tea has been used as a stimulant, diuretic, astringent, and to improve heart health throughout the ages in China, India, Japan, and Thailand. Other traditional include improving mental processes, promoting digestion, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, and treating flatulence (gas).
In addition to tea leaves, green tea is available in capsule form and liquid form made from leaves and leaf buds. A cup of green tea contains 50-150 mg of antioxidant (polyphenols). Decaffeinated green tea also contains polyphenols, but they are concentrated. If you are sensitive to caffeine, caffeine-free supplements are available.