Tea: Few Facts

Tea: Few Facts

Drinking a few cups of tea may be good for your health. Here are few facts on Tea.

  • Tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant. They contain antioxidants that counter free radicals, which can damage cells. Antioxidants may reduce or help prevent some of this damage.
  • The difference between the three main varieties of tea (green, black, and oolong) is the process used to make them. Black tea is exposed to air, or fermented, which darkens the leaves and gives them flavor. Green tea is made by heating or quickly steaming the leaves. Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented.
  • There’s no hard evidence that drinking tea can prevent cancer in people in general; many factors affect cancer risk. However, several studies have linked drinking tea to a lower risk of cancer for some people. More research is needed to define those groups.
  • Some studies show that drinking green tea may help curb a few heart disease risk factors, including body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol absorption. However, the FDA denied a petition filed by a green tea maker that wanted to put heart-health claims on its product’s label, ruling that there wasn’t credible scientific evidence to support the claims.
  • There is some evidence that green tea may help control glucose (or blood sugar) levels, however, that hasn’t been widely tested in people. More research is needed to learn how much green tea would be needed and whether green tea also helps curb body weight and body fat.
  • Herbal teas are not made from the Camellia sinensis plant and are not really teas at all. Herbal teas are an infusion of leaves, roots, bark, seeds, or flowers from other types of plants. Common herbal teas include chamomile and mint. They are not associated with the potential health benefits of green, black, or oolong tea.
  • You get the most antioxidants from freshly brewed tea; those compounds are reduced in instant tea, decaffeinated tea, and bottled tea. Researchers have not determined how many cups of freshly brewed green tea are recommended each day, but people in Asia typically drink at least three cups daily.
  • Fresh brewing is the way to get the most antioxidants from your tea, so knowing how long to steep the tea is an important part of the process. Three to five minutes is the recommended amount of time for maximizing the benefits.
  • Iced tea often contains low to negligible amounts of catechins compared with the high concentrations found in a cup of hot tea, because adding water to brewed tea dilutes the concentration. However, iced tea and hot tea could contain approximately the same level of antioxidants if, when preparing iced tea, you use 50% more tea than when preparing a similar amount of hot tea to allow for dilution. About 85% of the tea drunk in the U.S. is iced tea.
  • Green tea contains caffeine, so pregnant women or those who are breastfeeding shouldn’t drink more than one or two servings of green tea per day, according to the American Dietetic Association. People with irregular heartbeats or anxiety disorders also should be cautious about how much caffeine they get, from green tea or other sources.
  • A Swiss study found that drinking black tea with a meal reduced iron absorption by 79% to 94% when compared with drinking water. People with an iron deficiency might consider drinking tea only between meals.
                                                                            Contents from:http://www.webmd.com
Tea and its benefits
Green Tea
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Green Tea

Green Tea

What is Green Tea and how is it made ?

The tea is a product of a plant known as C. sinensisa native of Southeast Asia. The tea brewed from the dried leaves of this plant has been drunk in China since perhaps the 28th century BC. It was first brought to Europe by the Dutch in the early 17th century AD.
Leaf buds and young leaves are used in making tea, the age of the leaves determining the taste and name of the particular commercial variety. After picking, the leaves either are dried immediately and completely to produce green teas, or are partially dried and then allowed to ferment to produce various kinds of black teas. After being sorted, all grades of tea are packed in foil-lined chests to prevent the absorption of unpleasant odors or the loss of aroma during shipment. In China, tea is sometimes allowed to absorb the scent from various flowers particularly Jasmine.

Tea is an aromatic stimulant, containing various polyphenols, essential oils, and caffeine. The concentration of caffeine in tea ranges from 2.5 to 4.5 percent, in contrast to an average concentration of about 1.5 percent in coffee.

Green Tea, is abundantly grown in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. This belt grows the best teas in the world.
Scientists from Japan Cancer Institute have been successful in identifying a substance in Green Tea called Catechins or Polyphenols, which act as strong antioxidants. They are in a position to clinically establish the old adage that “tea is a miraculous medicine for the mantainance of health”. Catechins remain unchanged in Green Tea as leaves are merely steamed, rolled and dried as opposed to black tea which is fermented.

A study of over 3,400 adults in Saudi Arabia–a country of tea-lovers–found that those who drank more than 6 cups per day of the brown beverage had a more than 50% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared to tea abstainers, even after adjusting for other factors such as smoking, diet and obesity.

Green Tea and Cancer

A new study by a team of Swedish researchers adds support to the growing body of evidence that green tea contains
compounds that fight cancer.  Green tea contains a compound called 
epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which helps inhibit blood vessel growth. This could be useful in preventing tumors from forming new blood vessels, which they need to survive. In a study on mice, the researchers also found animals fed on green tea showed a 55-percent to 70-percent reduction in blood vessel development in the cornea of the eye, a finding that could prove helpful to diabetics suffering from  retinopathy.
Other studies have shown EGCG blocked an enzyme needed for cancer cell growth and kept cells from becoming cancerous without harming surrounding healthy cells. The researchers point out heavy consumption of green tea may not be beneficial for women who are pregnant or for people recovering from wounds, conditions that both require blood vessel development. 

Green Tea Battles Arthritis

 Antioxidants found in green tea may reduce the severity and even prevent symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, a new study suggests. The antioxidants, called polyphenols, appear to possess more antioxidant potency than some vitamins. Researchers also point out there is anecdotal evidence suggesting that people living in India, China and Japan —where green tea consumption is high — have lower rates of rheumatoid arthritis.

Green tea polyphenols applied to human skin prevent ultraviolet light-induced damage, according to a study.

Tea and its benefits

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