Green Tea: Drinking to health and beauty


A cup of green tea. Photo/Courtesy
A cup of green tea. Photo/Courtesy

I recently visited a friend in China, a fascinating and rapidly changing country where old customs and habits hang on despite the prevailing modern way of life.

The highlight of my trip was experiencing their food and eating habits. The first thing I observed about the Chinese was that they have a strict eating routine; breakfast is at 7am, lunch at 11am and dinner is taken by 6pm.

I believe their eating habits are the reason most Asians have petite bodies. Looking at it logically, I take my supper at 11pm and go straight to bed while a woman from China takes her dinner at 6pm and gets time to take a walk afterwards.

So strict is their timing that at one time I went to a shopping mall with my friend and on our way we passed by a local park where people were seated having their lunch at 11am, almost like it was programmed in their minds.

I also noticed that everyone carried a thermos flask along with their packed lunch. The same was repeated in every shop we visited as we shopped. My friend explained that the Chinese take green tea with all their meals. I was curious.

I did some research and found out that green tea has medicinal qualities and a history of use in China going back 2,700 years.

Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body.

It refreshes the mind, helps in losing weight and has medicinal effects on some modern day diseases such as radiation sickness, cancer, heart disease and blood sickness.

Below is a breakdown of the major benefits of green tea:

Weight loss and treatment of obesity

Green tea can aid in weight-loss by reducing the appetite and boosting metabolism, according to an article published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners in 2010.

Studies have not established the exact daily dose of green tea that will best support weight loss, but you can drink at least two to three cups a day while staying under the upper limits of recommended caffeine intake.

The caffeine found in green tea is partly responsible for its weight-loss effects

 

Improves physical performance and burning of fat

Certain substances in green tea increase the levels of hormones needed to break down fat.

This releases fat into the bloodstream and makes it available as energy.

Antioxidants in green tea lower cancer risk

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells and is one of the world’s leading causes of death.

It is well known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect.

Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do.

Longer life

We all have to die eventually. That is inevitable. However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer.

According to a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (five or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11-year period.

Finally I have to point out the fact that my friend’s Chinese gardener is 106 years old and he still wakes up every morning, even during winter when temperatures are low, and does his job perfectly.

It may not be scientifically proven but when we asked him what gives him the energy at an old age, he laughed and said he owes it to green tea.

He went ahead to that there is a saying in China that green tea can add you ten more years.

That said, I carried some packets of green tea from China and I plan to start drinking my way to a long, healthy and disease free life.

NOTE: In order to feel better, lose weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases, you might want to consider making green tea a regular part of your life.

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Liz Anyango
Story By Liz Anyango
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