The history of tea goes back millennia. Whilst we will never know the true founder of the fabled elixir, most historical texts seem to place the earliest tea drinkers in China some 3000 years ago. The oft-told tale of Shen Nong, a Chinese ruler, and scientist who would often boil his water to purify it is one such legend. The story goes that one day, a few leaves dropped from a close by tree and infused with his boiling water. Not only did Shen Nong enjoy the flavour of the resulting infusion but also felt energised and invigorated. He continued to record and study his findings and eventually proved popular with Chinese people.
Or even more legendary is the story of Bodhidharma, an Indian monk who made a vow to meditate for 9 years. Towards the end of his self-imposed stint, he falls asleep and such is his disgust at his mortal weakness, he cuts off his eyelids, dashes them on the ground and there sprouteth the tea plant!
Whichever version of history we choose to believe, tea has come a long way and we now have many varieties to cater for the modern palate.
In recent years green tea particularly has grown in popularity and is even now sold in supplement form as green tea extract. We've researched 6 reasons as to why you should be drinking green tea, as well as it being a distinctly warm and soothing beverage!
A cup of the green stuff every day can raise your metabolic rate and speed up fat oxidation. The thermogenic activity resulting from green tea is disproportional to the amount of caffeine in green tea, meaning there's something else about Green tea and its metabolism that causes it to burn fat more effectively! So if you're looking to drop a few pounds and lean out a little, perhaps think about incorporating this into your daily diet.
Digestive health is perhaps one of the most overlooked factors and its contribution to your health cannot be underestimated. Your digestive system is lined with natural microbes and when these microbes stop working or are wiped out through inflammation and disease, our digestion suffers. Green tea is a well-known digestive stimulant and contains tannins, a strong antioxidant. Tannins help boost immunity and provide protection from toxins. A note of caution though... too many tannins in the body are implicated in decreased iron!
So whilst humankind is on the search for a true cure for cancer, and whilst this may be a generation away, green tea has shown some remarkable anti-cancer effects. The antioxidants in green tea, known as polyphenols, have been observed to exhibit inhibitory effects on the growth of tumors at specific organ sites. In controlled studies, the polyphenols been observed to interfere with the cell replication process, As for saying that green tea can prevent/cure cancer is a big claim but if you're in the habit of having green tea already, this is encouraging!
Catechins are amongst the many active compounds in green tea also. These catechins can help reduce the risk of osteoporosis and other diseases that lead to the loss of bone density. The catechins are known to promote bone making cells and inhibit bone disintegrating cells.
A study in China found that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes was reduced by 33% for people who consumed an average of 6 cups of green tea per week compared to those who only had 1 cup! the mechanisms are still not clearly understood and the research is ongoing, but we're pretty positive you're beginning to build a picture of the potential of this remarkable drink
So there we have it, 5 unbelievable reasons to start drinking green tea. And if you already drink it, well...given the reasons above, maybe you should drink more! (watch the caffeine!)
Drink Green Tea and Stay Healthy