History in Brief
Green tea also contains theanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has psychoactive properties
By Dr. Mercola
Black tea is highly oxidized both naturally when harvested, and deliberately, when it is subsequently crushed to accelerate the oxidation process.
Often this process is erroneously called “fermentation”, the oxidation of black tea is carefully controlled to avoid fermentation, which is actually a process that is used with some oolongs and other types of aged tea, such as Pu-erh ( red tea), which involves very little oxygen.3
Also, “total” oxidation is avoided when making black tea, as it would make it rancid. On the other hand, green tea could be lightly steamed or not manually oxidized at all, after the leaves have been harvested.
Black tea gets its color from the abundance of the tannins it contains, which are a form of antioxidants. The rest of the antioxidants appear as the black tea is oxidized, by chemically converting them into complex flavonoids called epigallocatechin gallate polyphenols (EGCGs) .4
Commonly known as theaflavins and terubigins, they are potent antioxidants, which some studies have shown may have significant health benefits, such as improving the anti-inflammatory response and a lower risk of coronary heart disease.5
Both black tea and tea contain a similar amount of flavonoids and beneficial antioxidants; 6 the minimal oxidation of green tea is what could help keep intact the significant levels of their natural phenols and antioxidants, or catechins.
The resulting reaction converts the tea catechins into the theaflavins and terubigins of black tea:
What gives Green Tea its ‘Super Powers’?
Like black tea, green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that crosses the blood-brain barrier and has psychoactive properties.
So, what’s the use of green tea?
The following section details the most powerful benefits of green tea according to studies published worldwide.
Holistic Benefits of Green Tea
Also, research shows the holistic benefits of tea consumption, including lower blood pressure, oxidative stress and chronic inflammation.
• Cardiac Health
And, according to a report in the Harvard Heart Letter, which compiled a list of studies about tea:
“People who drank more tea in an observational study had a 28% lower risk of coronary heart disease than those who drank the least amount of green tea.” Black tea had no effect on cardiac risk. [Own underline].
“However, when consumed in moderation, green tea can improve your cardiovascular health,” she says.
• Type 2 diabetes
Another study by a team of scientists from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, showed that tea moderately helped diabetic mice, equal or better, than the popular diabetic drug, Avandia (had no effect on severely diabetic subjects).
Also according to the research in Physiology & Behavior:
A blend of tea-caffeine improves weight maintenance, through thermogenesis, fat oxidation and fat-free mass saving … Together, these functional ingredients have the potential to produce significant effects on Metabolic targets such as thermogenesis and fat oxidation. ”
• Bone Health
Green tea is a newcomer in the field of bone health, but previous studies have also found that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a component of tea, blocks the activity of two molecules, IL-6 and cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2), which play a role in bone breakdown.
• Eye Health
Green tea catechins may help protect against glaucoma and other eye diseases, since research found that compounds travel from your digestive system to eye tissues.
They also discourage the development of blood vessels that feed tumors. Even EGCG acts as an antiangiogenic and antitumor agent, and helps modulate the response of tumor cells in chemotherapy.
• Mental health
tea can benefit your mental health to some extent.
• Energy boost
In comparison to the group that took a decaffeinated beverage, they lasted longer and also indicated that the exercise was easier to perform.
• Antimicrobial properties
Green tea catechins have the ability to kill bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, a common microbe found in the mouth.
The results indicate that green tea was as effective as chlorhexidine.
Based on this finding, green tea can be a safer and healthier alternative to conventional mouth rinses. In addition, green tea can also reduce bad breath.
The evidence also suggests that tea may inhibit the growth of certain viruses. The researchers found that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG) can potentially inhibit the spread of influenza virus.
Poultry farmers can also take advantage of this benefit by mixing green tea into the food.
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