Sunday, January 9, 2011

And even more benefits of green tea....

My journey continues to grow in knowledge of health and wellness, and I love it. Many of us are already aware that green tea containing ECGC (which not all do) have great anti-oxidant properties and help ward of cancer.This week I learned even more about the benefits of green tea, it helps reduce anxiety, controls appetite and increases metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and helps with cognitive thinking.
Green tea contains polyphenols, the most beneficial one is called *ECGC. These anti-oxidants help reduce the growth of cancer cells in the body, this has even been proven in studies! Drinking green tea, or applying it to your skin, can even help block the cancer-causing effects of the sun's rays. More and more, sunscreens can be found with green tea listed within its ingredients.
Did you realize that anti-oxidants in green tea help reduce inflammation? Inflammation is the cause of so many health issues. Aching joints are an obvious one, and I recall when I had back issues, inflammed nerves were pressing on my spinal discs. We have glands that swell from inflammation (prostrate is one example). Green tea helps reduce arteries from contracting, thus reducing blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease. People who drink 1/2 cup of green tea a day are 50% less likely to wind up with hypertension than non green tea drinkers.
It's good for the brain. Green tea contains theanine, which is a natural relaxanat amino acid. It can help reduce relax a person and  help manage stress. It increases GABA, a brain chemical which produces a calming effect (as mentioned in a previous blog post, the bio-identical (natural) hormone, progesterone, also has a similar effect). It increases the alpha waves in the brain, thus helping one to focus better. (Perhaps college students should consume green tea before final exams, what do you think?) I was also very excited to learn, no pun intended, that green tea can counter, or block the excitatory effects, of  excess glutamate, which is an essential brain chemical. Monsodium glutmate, which abounds in our store-bought food products, is a silent killer of brain cells. MSG is causing our brain to have major excesses of glutamate. It is thought by Dr. Russel Blaylock, to be one of the reasons we are seeing so many more children with ADD, ADHD and more. We can educate ourselves, read labels, and shop wisely, but truth of the matter is - we cannot protect our children from all sources of MSG. I do wonder how it infiltrates the school lunch system. I will be inquiring about that. Meats are even injected with MSG, and many kids have access to vending machines - chips are loaded with MSG.  If we could only get our children to drink green tea (AB brand is a caffeine free green tea - green teas in general are caffenated), perhaps we can help counter the effects of their diet.
Our elderly parents could benefit as well. Older adults who drink two cups of green tea a day are less likely to develop cognitive thinking disorders, such as Alzheimers and Parkinson's, than those who do not. Apparently the anti-oxidants fight the free-radical damage to the brain nerves, causing these conditions.
Granted, drinking green tea can be an acquired taste. I have friends who say they simply do not care for it. First of all, you can brew your tea too strong. When steeping your tea, remove your tea bag or tea filter after only a few mintues (3-5 is generally recommended, depending upon your personal tastes). If you leave a tea bag in your cup while sipping, your tea will develop a bitter taste. (Trust me, speaking from personal experience here!) If you have made a gentle, calming brew, but still do not find green tea to your liking, you might consider adding a bit of fresh lemon juice and/or a natural sweetener such as honey, agave nectar or stevia. Adding in table sugar pretty much defeats the healthful purpose of drinking green tea.
From the Somers' KNOCKOUT book I learned, from one of the docs curing cancer, that we all have genes programmed to protect us from cancer cells. However, as we age the genes can "go silent", and can in fact, be "turned off" - due to the many environ toxins and such that we expose our bodies to. We need to turn the switch "back on", and reactivate the genes that have gone silent. Studies show there are chemicals in green tea which are molecular switches, which can reactivate some of those switched off oncogenes. Drink up!!
Not to go to waste! Leftover tea can be applied to insect bites, scrapes and burns with a cotton ball - it's a natural anti-septic that reduces itching and swelling. However, I would not use green tea enhanced with sweeteners for this purpose.
I have enjoyed AB green tea many evenings for nearly a year. Having learned even more about its benefits, I have decided to replace morning coffee with green tea in 2011. The Figure 8 detox tea blend also contains 8 additional supporting herbs, including milk thistle, that increase metabolism and promote optimal health by helping to cleanse the liver, kidneys and the blood. Our liver and kidneys are our greatest defense against disease, including cancer, and it is up to us to ensure these vital organs are detoxified and cleansed on a regular basis.
Before I over-steep your sensors with too much information, let me close today's post with information from a USDA study. I hope you have enjoyed this post, and perhaps learned something new.

Making an effort towards purely living,
Rita S.
USDA Study

A 2007 report published by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) analyzes nearly 400 foods for their EGCG content.
The scientists brewed one gram of tea leaves in 100 millimeters of water. Figures below are translated into milligrams per 8-ounce cup (about 225 millimeters), which is the standard cup size used in the Western world.
Top of the list is regular green tea. One cup has a whopping 180 milligrams of EGCG. Decaffeinated brewed green tea has only 60 milligrams, about a third of regular tea. Flavoured brewed green tea has 45 milligrams. Bringing up the rear is instant or bottled green tea with only a pitiful 9 milligrams. Unfortunately, it is the most popular American tea beverage. (Rita's note: In other words, drinking Snapple containing green tea is doing very little for your health, and I would bet it contains fructose or other artificial sweeteners that counteract any ECGC benefits with a substantially greater amount of free radicals found in the sweeteners.)

*Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is one of four major catechins in green tea. Catechins belong to the flavan-3-ol class of flavonoids. Green tea catechins are the flavan-3-ols found in green tea leaves. All catechins including EGCG are polyphenolic substances.  Green tea catechins, especially EGCG, make up approximately thirty percent of the dry weight of green tea leaves. Of the catechins, EGCG is the most abundant one in green tea leaves.

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