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Boost Your New Years Resolutions With Green Tea

  Green tea, Camellia sinensis, is the same plant as black tea. The difference between the two is in how they are processed. Black tea is allowed to oxidize, which causes its dark color, while green tea is not oxidized. Both naturally have caffeine, as long as they haven’t been decaffeinated in some way, and green tea is widely believed to have healthy benefits for those who consume it.     During January, many people are working towards making healthy lifestyle changes, using the New Year and the power of resolutions to help them. Whether your resolutions are still chugging along, or they’ve fallen by the wayside, green tea may be able to help you with your goals. Let’s take a look at the benefits of this delicious tea.  

Health Benefits of Green Tea

Though there is no conclusive evidence of the health benefits of green tea, there have been tests which have shown some advantages to drinking it. There are many people who still tout its effectiveness.  
Weight Loss – Unfortunately, there is no evidence that green tea helps with weight loss.   Diabetes – It has been found that green tea can help lower fasting blood sugar but there have been inconsistencies in fasting insulin levels.   Cholesterol – Green tea can help to decrease total cholesterol in the blood with a lowering of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) but no effect on HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol).   Heart Disease – In the fight against heart disease there was some correlation with a 5% lowering of risk of death from cardiovascular causes, a drop in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and a reduced risk of stroke.   Cancer – There are those who believe green tea is beneficial in the fight against many types of cancer such as esophageal, lung, oral, and liver cancer. (However, be aware that green tea does interfere with some chemotherapy drugs, so please consult your physician if this might affect you.)   Risk of Death – A 4% decline in risk of mortality was seen with adding as little as one cup of green tea to the diet.  
Even with the purported benefits of green tea, be sure to avoid the “too much of a good thing” syndrome. As the old saying goes, all things in moderation and that goes with green tea, especially the supplements. Green tea supplements have been found to cause liver toxicity in high doses.  

What’s So Special About Green Tea?

So, what exactly is it about green tea that brings these positive health benefits? Polyphenols! What are polyphenols? They are the phytochemicals, plant-based compounds, that include antioxidants. The most prevalent of these is EGCG. All teas have EGCG with green tea containing the highest amount, 7380mg per 100g. This catechin is what is believed to have the potential for those health benefits mentioned above. Catechins reduce the formation of free radicals in the body.   There are some who believe green tea can help you to be smarter as well. Of course, it has caffeine which studies have shown an increase in brain function. Green tea also has L-theanine, an amino acid which is believed to help with anti-anxiety, an increase in dopamine, and more. The combination of both caffeine and L-theanine is thought to be particularly effective for improvements in brain function.   Another side effect of drinking green tea? It can kill bacteria. Some studies show that green tea can kill the bacteria that causes plaque on teeth and bad breath. It may even help to kill the virus that causes influenza.   Green tea may even be a welcome addition to your beauty arsenal. There are those who apply green tea topically (directly to the skin) for help with wrinkles and signs of aging from overexposure to sun. Who knew?  

When Should You Drink Green Tea?

While there are no hard and fast rules about taking tea for certain benefits, there are times you may wish to drink it or not due to the caffeine content. Morning and mid-afternoon are generally considered the best times to take green tea. Drinking tea late into the evening may have a detrimental effect on your ability to fall asleep due to the caffeine content.  

Types of Green Tea

There are a number of types of green tea. They include:  
Sencha   Matcha   Genmaicha   Houjicha   Bancha   Gyokurocha  
If you would like to add green tea to your health regimen, CoffeeAM has quite a few you can choose from. For a sweet flavor with your green tea, consider our Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose Tea or our amazing Jasmine with Flowers Tea. For a unique tea, our Japan Genmaicha Green Tea definitely has you covered. Those of you who prefer a decaffeinated version, our Japan Decaf Sencha Green Tea is for you. Or treat yourself to our China Dragon Phoenix Pearl Green Tea. The delicate jasmine flavor of these pearls of tea must be experienced to be believed.   Now that you know about the possible beneficial effects of green tea, what are you waiting for? We could all use a boost to keep us going on those resolutions. Who’s with me?
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