Obesity has become one of the major health issues in our society today. More than half of the American population is overweight or obese. As a result, diet and weight loss plans have become increasingly popular. But not all diet plans work. And not all of them are necessarily risk-free. A safer alternative for people wanting to lose weight are green tea diets.
For thousands of years, green tea diet has been highly valued by the Chinese as an herbal and medicinal drink. It was believed that green tea diet was first discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung who was boiling water when the leaves of a nearby tree fell into his pot. The result was the first ever pot of green tea.
Like all three of the major Asian teas in the market, green tea comes from the plant called Carmellia sinensis. Much of the health benefits of green tea diets owe to the steaming method of making it. As opposed to black and oolong tea which undergoes full oxidization, green tea diet is only gently steamed, preserving the natural antioxidants in its original form.
The Health Benefits
There are many health benefits associated with having a green tea diet. One of these green tea diet benefits is preventing cancer. Certain substances present in green tea diets are said to help in destroying cancer cells without harming any neighboring tissues. This substance in green tea diets is called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG.
EGCG in green tea diets is also helpful in increasing the 24-hour energy expenditure of the body. A study on green tea diets conducted by American and Swiss scientists in the University of Geneva showed an additional increase of four percent in the body’s natural energy expenditure. People who were on a green tea diet were more likely to use up more fats than those not on a green tea diet.
Also, green tea diets are said to greatly help in lowering down cholesterol levels in humans. The study on green tea diets was conducted in China using 240 people with high cholesterol levels as subjects. These people were placed on a green tea diet of one capsule (equivalent to seven cups of green tea) or were given one placebo every day. After twelve weeks, those who were on a green tea diet dropped sixteen percent in their cholesterol levels.
Green tea diets can also be a potential cure to obesity. The catechin polyphenols present in green tea diets can delay the reaction of gastric and pancreatic lipases in the body. These enzymes are responsible for converting calories in the body into fats. By delaying these enzymes, green tea diets can therefore stop fat from being stored and prevent obesity in people.
Green tea diets contain substantial amount of caffeine that make it a mild appetite-suppressant. However, caffeine content in green tea diets is not as high as those found in other caffeine-based beverages, like coffee. Caffeine may be harmful for the body since an excess of it can cause heart palpitations, hypertension, and insomnia. Because green tea diets contain only very low levels of caffeine, there is no danger of experiencing these side-effects.