The Rising Popularity of Green Tea
Although green tea has been consumed for thousands of years in Asia and other parts of the world, it has become popular in Europe and North America in the last few decades. Celebrities such as Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow have sang it’s praises, and I can even swing by Starbucks to pick up a cup. But again, many people don’t like the taste, so it’s no wonder that green tea extracts have become very popular in the health and fitness industry.
There are a few different options to choose from: powder, green tea capsules, and green tea oil; the oil is generally used topically to treat skin irritations and protect against damage. Capsules are the most convenient option for getting all the benefits of tea, and great for those “on the go” people; it’s as simple as adding it into a daily vitamin regime and forgetting about it.
So what are these benefits?
Some of the touted benefits of green tea include improved cardiovascular health, brain function, and the ability to fight off cancer cells. Whether its brewed or taken as a supplement regularly, it could help defend against many age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Tea leaves are packed with polyphenols such as catechins, which act as antioxidants. Antioxidants help fight free radicals which can damage cells and DNA. Free radicals play a huge role in aging and also the development and advancement of certain diseases. One of the most powerful antioxidants in tea is known as EGCG. This has been shown to help fight disease and even weaken or kill cancer cells. EGCG is one of the main components that make green tea so beneficial.
There has been recent speculation that green tea also helps with weight loss, which is one reason that green tea supplements have become so popular. While there is conflicting research, there is evidence that EGCG may help with weight reduction. EGCG is thought to be one reason why green tea can contribute to a healthy weight, because this antioxidant helps boost the metabolism. Any boost in metabolism is sure to help with maintaining weight and increasing energy.
So what type of supplement is the best?
Green tea Pills
Green tea pills and powders can be found in almost any drugstore or supermarket. However, this is something I would recommend splurging on a little. High-quality green tea supplements can be found in natural food stores like Whole Foods, or ordered directly on Amazon. There are also a wide range of websites specifically devoted to vitamins and supplements, such as Puritan’s Pride and GNC.A quality pill will have natural, organic sources and be produces directly from dried leaves. It will also be below the daily recommended amount of catechins. Some supplements have excessive amounts of catechins, and this could actually be dangerous if used too often or if too much is taken at once.
Supplements are generally considered to be safe for adults, when used as directed. Some people just don’t agree with them; it can cause a stomachache, constipation, headaches, nausea, or dizziness. According to WebMD, there have been some rare cases of liver failure associated with over consumption of green tea extracts. There is also a danger of interactions with certain medications, antibiotics, and some birth controls; it’s a good idea to check out the list of interactions before starting supplements.
Women who are pregnant or nursing are advised to speak with a physician before starting any pill or powder regimen. While small amounts of brewed tea are considered safe, it may be too much in extract form. In any case, it’s probably a good idea to discuss starting any supplement regimen with a doctor.
In general, green tea is considered very safe to drink or take daily. It’s hard to say no to something that is so rich in health benefits, especially when there are such convenient ways to get these wonderful benefits; I for one won’t be giving up my green tea habit anytime soon!