The Amazing Benefits
Though green tea is a beverage that has become increasingly popular and enjoyed by millions the world over, it has been consumed in China and Japan for thousands of years. The plant itself is native to Asia, and is called Camellia sinensis, the three main varieties are black, green and oolong. The teas start out the same, the difference, however, is in the processing. As the leaves are picked, they are then either heated or steamed and then dried. The whole process results in little or no oxidation and no fermentation. The nutrients and antioxidants are retained, and the result is a wonderful, healthy, smooth tasting brew known as green tea.
The variety of tea that most people are familiar with is black tea. After the tea leaves are picked, they are snapped, broken or rolled, which produces oxidation, and then they are dried. The drying process stops the oxidation, but the oxidized process itself does remove most of the antioxidants called polyphenols that provide nutritional benefits. Though much of the health benefits are removed, the flavor of black tea is a familiar, pleasing, and very palatable taste, and is widely consumed.
Studies Suggest Green Tea Has Therapeutic Properties
Green tea is not only available in the traditional bag form, but in leaf form, as vitamin supplements, and as the ever popular trendy beverages. However one chooses to consume the delectible beverage, it is one of nature’s healthy alternatives to traditional medicine. There have been many studies over time that have served to confirm what has been known in many Asian cultures for generations that consumed as part of the regular diet it helps to promote and support good health. Enjoying a cup or glass as an alternative to other drinks has been shown to improve the immune system, support cardiovascular health, improve the level of HDL, the good cholesterol, as well as counteract cell damage caused by free radicals.
Green tea has been shown to be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of or even the prevention of certain cancers by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. Evidence in some studies suggest that the tea aids in weight loss by boosting metabolism, assists in regulating blood sugar and insulin spikes, as well as helps the digestive process. The effective and very powerful antioxidants in green tea make it a natural remedy for certain ailments, the consumption of which can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.
Japanese green tea is also called matcha, and is also available in powder form. The elixir has a vibrant green color, mostly due to how it is handled prior to harvesting. In many areas of Japan, the leaves are covered with mats, and then steamed to prevent fermentation. There are different types of Japanese green teas grown in different localities, all with their own unique flavor. The labor involved to produce superior Japanese teas requires many steps over different harvest times, all resulting in refined truly exceptional quality teas.
The legendary beginnings of Chinese green tea that is enjoyed all over China, goes back 4,000 years. Drinking the refreshing beverage in the ever popular and authentic tea houses that are found throughout parks, cities, on the roadsides, or in the hills and valleys is a very special and memorable experience. The plants are grown either in sun or shade, typically in rows, and harvested several times a year. The procedure is a refined process, and a particular well-known Chinese tea has even won several national awards. There is even a National Chinese Tea Museum, the largest such museum in the world, and a very popular tourist attraction.