Being a storehouse of several antioxidant compounds, it is easy to think that green tea is definitely one of life’s greatest little miracles. But why? What are its benefits and what can we do to reap those benefits? Let us explore the answers to both.
To begin with, let us begin by clarifying the differences between green tea and other types of tea. All teas contain some proportion of antioxidants. However, green tea comes out tops in terms of concentration of these compounds. It has more than five times the concentration of black tea. This is primarily due to the presence of polyphenols, which have antioxidant activity. Because green tea contains these beneficial antioxidants, tea drinkers reap great health benefits.
Polyphenols are known to scavenge, or destroy, free radicals. In addition to its antioxidant activity, polyphenols are also said to stimulate genomics, the study of gene regulation. This means that they help repair cellular DNA damage and potentially prevent cell mutation, or evolution. Because of these benefits, researchers expect that the benefits of green tea will be shown in future research.
Mechanisms By Which Green Tea Benefits The Human Body.
There are also several mechanisms by which green tea benefits the human body. One is by preventing DNA damage from carcinogenesis. By preventing mutations in the genetic code, green tea appears to prevent the formation of cancerous cells in our bodies. Since cancers are mostly caused by mutation of cells, this makes green tea a powerful weapon in the fight against this dreaded disease.
Another way green tea protects against mutation is by reducing the activity of reactive oxygen species (RAS), which are molecules that attach to and damage cellular DNA. The excess damage causes mutations in the DNA, which can lead to cancerous growth. Resveratrol, another component of green tea, reduces the activity of RAS. Thus, when cells are damaged by the presence of RAS, there is less chance for the cells to become cancerous. As an anti-oxidant, resveratrol also helps to protect our cells against other toxins that we ingest through a diet. In other words, resveratrol protects us from a diet that may be filled with carcinogens.
Yet another of the many benefits of green tea is its anti-aging properties. Studies have shown that drinking green tea lowers your risk of contracting cardiovascular disease, while increasing your chances of staying healthy in general. The reason why green tea has these benefits for your heart and cardiovascular system, while not giving you a jolt in the wallet, is that it contains relatively low amounts of caffeine.
Some of the most profound benefits of drinking green tea involve your mind. Many researchers believe that a healthy diet and lifestyle may be responsible for the reduced stress level that accompanies those who live longer than others of a similar age. Green tea may help you cope with stress, because it appears to lower the levels of stress-related hormones in your body. In addition, research has indicated that the anti-oxidants contained in green tea can help protect the body’s cells from damage due to free radicals. This means that drinking green tea on a regular basis may not only help you live longer, but might also keep you healthier on the inside.