The popularity of green tea as a health and fat burning supplement has exploded in recent years. Although green tea has become somewhat of craze in the supplement industry, it has long and well established roots in the Far East dating back thousands of years.
Tea leaves come from the Camellia plant species which are processed to produce the variety of teas we enjoy, including yellow, white, black and green teas.
Dating back thousands of years, green tea has been shown to possess many health benefits. The potential health benefits of green tea were recognised by Asian civilisations many centuries ago when it was commonly being used as a medicine as well as a beverage.
Green tea contains catechins, specifically epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which is a powerful anti-oxidant. Green tea catechins have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels2, prevent the formation of abnormal blood clots5, fight cancerous cells3, help prevent tooth decay1 and reduce cardiovascular risks4.
The catechins in green tea have also been shown to reduce body fat3, and it is this property which has led many supplement companies to include green tea extract within their fat loss products. Green tea extract with caffeine has been demonstrated to successfully increase fat burning and heighten a person’s metabolic rate by 4%6.
Green tea contains tannins, compounds which can aid digestion. Green Tea has been used for this reason in the Far East for many centuries. Some consume a cup of green tea after a meal to aid digestion and maintain a healthy gut.
There is no agreement on how many cups of tea is optimal for enjoying the apparent health benefits green tea may provide. Four to five cups seems common, although it is not clear if a higher level of consumption will lead to an increase in health benefits.
It is also worth remembering that the studies into the fat burning qualities of green tea were carried out with green tea extract, so purchasing green tea is its extracted form may be the wiser choice for this goal. Many reputable supplement companies offer green tea products at a reasonable price.
Green tea has long established origins in China and has been drunk there for thousands of years. We are only beginning to truly understand the health benefits of green tea and it would be wise to expect future discoveries to be made about green tea and its health inducing power!