Health Benefits of Green Tea
by Karimah bint Dawoud, muslim chaplain an well being writer
The Chinese have known the benefits of green tea for nealry 5000 years.I remember first drinking this tea many years ago in Soho Chinese resturant before or after we had been out clubbing , dancing all night long and exhausted we would go for Chinese.
As we waited for our food,the polite waiting staff would bring us this pleasant delicate tea in cute little cups, little did I know of this leaf’s amazing health benefits but as you get older, inshallah, you get more concious and feel the need to look into things and see why other cultures do things that seem good.
I drink green tea first thing in the morning after water, sometimes with a slice of lemon in it,personally I find somehow it makes me think more consciously about what I am going eat next.Green tea is a good start after a glass of water.
Moroccans drink alot of green tea mixed with fresh mint leaves, its great way to start and end a meal, great for the digestion , some people however put toooo much sugar in it, in a cold climate this is completely unneccesary specially if you have a sedentary, not active life style , it has too many calories and is not good if you have diabetes. The mint and green tea is great, just cut down or cut out the sugar …its not necessary…..it’s not about what you like…its about what’s good for you!
A little bit of Islamic history thrown in the mix, how did Chinese green tea travel as far as Morocco? via the chinese anciet tea horse road, that was also known as the southern silk route. the chines up to teh 20th century had a need for horses.horses could be seized through conquest or gracefully received as gifts. however in the 7th centurary, the time prophet muhammd fgot eh revealtion seixing horses from mulsim was not an options and things had to be paid for, under the tang dynasty the chinese had a new export- Chinese tea. The Chinese and Arabs were trading pre Islam but with the rise of the Islamic empire a new set of rules had to be observed.
our delightful green tea travelled along The Tea Horse Road and finally found its way to the Magreb.
Green tea comes from the same plant from which normal tea is obtained. Scientifically, it is known as Camellia Sinensis. In fact, it is the same tea but processed differently. The normal black tea is obtained by fermenting the tea leaves. This fermentation changes its colour, flavour and raises the level of caffeine and tannin in it. Whereas, in case of Green Tea, the tea leaves are dried or slightly steamed but not fermented. This makes it look green when brewed and otherwise.
Green tea originates from China and has become associated with many cultures in Asia from Japan and South Korea to the Middle East. It has recently become more widespread in the West, where black tea is traditionally consumed. Many varieties of green tea have been created in countries where they are grown. These varieties can differ substantially due to variable growing conditions, horticulture, production processing, and harvesting time.
Over the last few decades green tea has been subjected to many scientific and medical studies to determine the extent of its long-purported health benefits, with some evidence suggesting that regular green tea drinkers have lower chances of heart disease and of developing certain types of cancer. Although green tea does not raise the metabolic rate enough to produce immediate weight loss, a green tea extract containing polyphenols and caffeine has been shown to induce thermogenesis and stimulate fat oxidation, boosting the metabolic rate 4% without increasing the heart rate.
According to a survey released by the United States Department of Agriculture in 2007,the mean content of flavonoids in a cup of green tea is higher than that in the same volume of other food and drink items that are traditionally considered of health contributing nature, including fresh fruits, vegetable juices or wine. Flavonoids are a group of phytochemicals in most plant products that are responsible for such health effects as anti-oxidative and anticarcinogenic functions. However, as a tea information site points out, the content varies dramatically amongst different tea products, basing on the same USDA survey.
Green tea drinkers appear to have lower risk for a wide range of diseases, from simple bacterial or viral infections to chronic degenerative conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, stroke, periodontal disease, and osteoporosis.
Protects against Death from All Causes, Especially Cardiovascular Disease
In August 2006, a European study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that tea is a healthier choice than almost any beverage, including pure water, because tea not only rehydrates as well as water, but provides a rich supply of polyhenols protective against heart disease.
Now, a Japanese study published in the September 2006 issue of JAMA, suggests that drinking green tea lowers risk of death due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease.
Shinichi Kuriyama, M.D., Ph.D., of the Tohoku University School of Public Policy, Sendai, Japan, and colleagues examined the association between green tea consumption and death due to all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer.
The study, which began in 1994, followed 40,530 adults, ranging in age from 40 to 79, in northeastern Japan for up to 11 years. Within this region, 80% of the population drinks green tea with more than half consuming at least 3 cups a day.
Compared with participants who consumed less than 1 cup of green tea per day, those drinking 5 or more cups a day had a significantly lower risk of death from all causes and, specifically, risk of death from CVD, with women receiving even stronger protection than men:
|Green Tea Benefits|
|In Women||In Men|
|23% lower risk of dying from any cause||12% lower risk of dying from any cause|
|31% lower risk of dying from CVD||22% lower risk of dying from CVD|
|62% lower risk of dying from stroke||42% lower risk of dying from stroke|
Only weak or neutral relationships were seen between black tea or oolong tea and all-cause or CVD mortality.
While this study found no cancer-preventive benefit from drinking green tea, other large studies, including a meta-analysis of 13 studies published July 2006 in Carcinogenesis (Sun CL et al), suggest that green tea reduces risk of breast cancer. In this study, compared to women who did not drink green tea, those consuming the most green tea were 22% less likely to develop breast cancer.