You must have surely heard of the benefits of green tea antioxidant, which helps fight diseases and increases immunity in the human body. However, do you know what an antioxidant actually is and why it is beneficial for you?
What is an Antioxidant?
Antioxidants work on a chemical reaction called oxidation, a chemical reaction between oxygen molecules and the substances they come in contact with.
This process creates disease-causing oxidative damage to the human body, due to the highly unstable and reactive free radicals that move freely in the body. These free radicals cause electron stealing, while antioxidants neutralize and stabilize free radicals and work to prevent electron stealing. Our body produces a certain quantity of antioxidants, but it still requires the help of antioxidants found in foods. Some of these are: beta-carotene, vitamins E and C, selenium, and various phytochemicals, such as quercetin and lycopene. Catechins, especially EGCg, is one of the most effective and powerful antioxidants.
Benefits of Green Tea
One of the diseases that can be caused by the deficiency of antioxidants is Parkinson’s disease. In this disease, there is damage caused to brain cells due to a combination of factors, such as excessive inflammation and raised iron levels, both of which increase free radical production. This uses up all of the brain’s supply of protective antioxidants and triggers the production of specific proteins, such as amyloid-beta (which encourage apoptosis or cell suicide). Though this is a grievous situation, regular drinking of green tea has been seen to help patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.
Based on cell culture and a study on animals, it has been shown that drinking green tea can provide some amount of protection from lung cancer. When the subjects of the study drank green tea, the DNA damage resulting from smoking was reduced, cell growth was subdued, and cellular triggers for apoptosis in abnormal cells were heightened.
Why is Green Tea so Beneficial?
It is the catechins. The catechins are naturally occurring plant chemicals in green tea leaves. These have powerful antioxidant and disease-fighting properties.
There are five types of catechins. The most healthful of them is epigallocatechin gallate or EGCg. EGCg is a powerful antioxidant that decreases the free radical damage linked to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other similar degenerative diseases.
It is good to know that the magic of the catechins can be felt in other ways, too. They are known to destroy some powerful bacteria such as salmonella and cholera, they can subdue virus action in case of flu and HIV, they fight tooth decay, they fire up the immune system, and they raise the body’s metabolic activity.
When metabolism is boosted, weight loss occurs. But how does green teas help to achieve increased metabolism? Well, the catechins influence metabolism by decreasing the absorption of fat, escalating fat excretion, reducing appetite, and subduing intestinal lipases. Each of these helps to shed and keep off weight.
So grab a cup of the good green stuff now!