Green Tea for Lean, Mean and Clean Body

An earthy brew that orginated from China, green tea is a type of tea made solely from the leaves of Carmelia Sinensis. Unlike black and oolong teas, green tea is made from unfermented leaves and therefore reported to contain the highest concentration of antioxidants called Polyphenols.

Antioxidants are free radicals scavengers. Free radicals are compounds in the body that damage and alter cells, tamper with DNA (genetic material), and also cause cell death. Free radicals naturally exist in the body, but environmental toxins (UV rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these highly active molecules. Scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.

Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting regular green tea drinkers may have lower chances of heart disease and developing certain types of cancer. Green tea has also been recognised to be useful for weight loss management.

Research shows that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises good HDL cholesterol in both animals and humans. One population-based clinical study found that men who drink green tea are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not drink green tea. Results from one animal study suggest that polyphenols in green tea may block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promote its excretion from the body. In another small study of male smokers, researchers found that green tea significantly reduced blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.

How to brew green tea? Generally, 2 grams of tea per 100ml of water, or about one teaspoon of green tea per 5 ounce cup, should be used. With very high quality teas like Gyokuro, more than this amount of leaf is used, and the leaf is steeped multiple times for short durations. Green tea brewing time and temperature varies with individual teas. The hottest brewing temperatures are 180°F to 190°F (81°C to 87°C) water and the longest steeping times 2 to 3 minutes. The coolest brewing temperatures are 140°F to 160°F (61°C to 69°C) and the shortest times about 30 seconds.

Green tea/extracts promotes fat loss by increasing metabolism, suppressing hunger and keeping energy levels high. For weight loss, try drinking 3 cups daily or take a green tea extract (capsule or tablet form). Green teas is also a featured player in weight-loss formulas. Follow label directions, as products vary.

For further health benefit, consider taking a supplement containing powdered "green nutrients," which boosts vitality by supplying a range of nutrients. You can mix a green foods powder with water, juice or a protein smoothie. Use a combination formula containing green nutrients such a chlorella, barely grass, wheat grass and kelp.

N.B. Unless specifically decaffeinated, green tea contains caffeine. Normal green tea itself may contain more caffeine than coffee, but the length of infusion with hot water and the amount of time the green tea leaves are used can greatly alter caffeine intake. Experiments have shown after the first 5 minutes of brewing, green tea contains 32 mg caffeine. But if the same leaves are then used for a second and then a third five minute brew, the caffeine drops to 12 mg and then 4 mg.
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