A drink with many cultural associations, green tea has enjoyed a role as one of the world's favorite beverages for centuries. The Japanese ritual of chanoyu, a tea ceremony, has been practised there since the 16th century. Japan also leads the way in their consumption of matcha, a powdered variety of the tea. Although individuals normally consume matcha in a different way, adding approximately 2 level teaspoons into 1/2 cup of water to whisk into a thicker consistency, its health effects remain the same.
Green tea contains particular type of polyphenol compounds called catechins that show an ability to increase fat loss by increasing the rate of thermogenesis, a process that describes how the body burns fat to maintain or increase core temperature. Dr Abdul Dulloo led a team of researchers that analysed the changes in fat burning following the consumption of green tea catechins, and found that overall energy expenditure increased. The proportion of energy that came from fat increased from 31 percent to an impressive 41 percent. They note that the catechins, particularly the highly potent EGCG, increased the availability of noradrenaline in the central nervous system, which increased the rate of thermogenesis.
Reducing Coronary Risk
Doctors have long associated the consumption of green tea with positive effects on the heart, although more evidence has supported this view in recent decades. Dr Joseph Mercola, a physician who has written a number of books about natural approaches to disease, believes the catechin compounds contained in all green teas benefit a number of conditions. He explains that the compounds in the tea help normalize high blood lipids and reduce arteriosclerosis and the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Helping Liver Function
Part of the benefit to the cardiovascular system lies in the powerful anti-oxidant action offered by the catechins. This function becomes particularly useful for organs such as the liver, which requires a high and ongoing supply of anti-oxidants in order to detoxify the body effectively. Green tea contains caretenoids and chlorophyll, although the majority of the anti-oxidant action lies in the catechin compounds. Vitamin and Herb University point out how the consumption of green tea has reduced the rate of liver disease in tests, with this effect becoming particularly pronounced when individuals consume more than 10 cups per day.
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.