More On Green Tea

weight lossTea is a drink made from the Camellia sinensis plant. After water, tea is the most popular drink in the world. Green tea is particularly healthy because of the way it is prepared, and in this regard contains high amounts of antioxidants called catechins. Catechins are phytochemicals belonging to the flavonoid group of polyphenols, and they have been shown to have a number of health effects. The health benefits of green tea include protection from a number of disease and disorders including cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, obesity and inflammatory conditions. The health effects of green tea may vary from that of black tea, because while black tea has high amounts of oxidised polyphenols, green tea contains a much lower concentration of oxidised polyphenols. While often seen as a detrimental compound, the caffeine in green tea may be beneficial as studies show that caffeinated green tea is beneficial at causing weight loss in animals and humans, and this weight loss may have secondary health benefits.

green tea

As well as catechins, green tea contains a number of chemicals that may have health effects. Proteins make up about 20 % of the dry weight of green tea, and these proteins include enzymes. Free amino acids make up between 1 and 4 % dry weight of the tea. One free amino acid, L-theanine, has been shown to have particular effects at causing relaxation. Carbohydrates make up between 5 and 7 % of the dry weight of tea, and these include cellulose, pectins, glucose, fructose and sucrose. Lipids present in green tea include alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid. Vitamin B, C and E are also present as are a number of minerals including calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, sodium, potassium, cobalt, and nickel. The mineral composition tends to reflect the quality of the soil the tea is grown upon.

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Cabrera, C., Artacho, R. and Giménez, R. 2006. Beneficial effects of green tea – a review. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 25(2): 79-99

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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