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Polyphenols and EGCG: Evidence of health benefits of green tea compounds
Monday, 19 October, 2020, 13 : 00 PM [IST]
Sundeip Bhatia
In Indian households, tea is one of the most enjoyed hot beverages. With the advent of green tea, this healthy drink has taken the place of black or milk tea and coffee. The reason behind its growing popularity is that it come with truck loads of health benefits besides providing the raw and aromatic flavour of tea.

Green tea comes from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, which is a small shrub that is quite common in East Asia and India. Filled with antioxidants, polyphenols and EGCG (Epigallocatechingallate) green tea does wonder to our body and helps in fighting many chronic diseases. While the drink has been enjoyed for quite sometime, even today, scientists continue to uncover new and exciting benefits of the beverage.
Taking one or more cups of green tea per day helps you unlock some of these benefits: 
Green tea helps boosting immunity
Incorporating foods like green tea into our diet will help strengthen our bodies by raising our immune system, which may actually prevent some illnesses from flaring up. Various researches suggest that green tea will help keep illnesses at bay. Speak to your doctor once to see if drinking green tea is a healthy choice for you to incorporate into your diet.

Remember, green tea is caffeinated, so drink in moderation or consider buying a decaffeinated version. Since green tea leaves are slightly steamed before drying, so the nutrients are preserved intact unlike black tea or any other fermented tea, where many nutrient values get lost in the environment while processing the tea leaves.

Fat burning property which leads to weight reduction 
Green tea increases fat burning and boost metabolic rate.  A 2009 meta-analysis of studies in this area found that drinking catechin-rich green tea significantly reduced body weight. The same analysis also suggested that people, who drank green tea were more likely to maintain a healthy weight after significant weight loss. Caffeine present in the green tea also improves physical performance by mobilising fatty acids from fat tissue and making them available for use as energy. 

Cancer prevention 
Cancer, which is the leading cause of death globally, is the growth of uncontrolled cells in a particular section of the body. Research has shown that oxidative damage can lead to chronic inflammation, which can lead to chronic diseases, including cancers. Therefore, antioxidants can help protect against oxidative damage. Research has linked green tea compounds including EGCG has been shown to reduce the growth of breast and prostate tumours. 

Green tea catechins may improve brain function
This green tea contains a host of antioxidants known as catechins and flavonoids that give it a unique flavour and also offer extensive health benefits for cognitive function. Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is found almost exclusively in tea plants. L-theanine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, meaning that it sends signals to neurons. Several studies have shown that L-theanine appears to increase alpha-wave generation in the human brain, signalling a state of relaxation and thereby improving the brain function. 
Green tea EGCG is great for skin and hair
Not only green tea helps you to keep many chronic diseases at bay, but also it helps to make you look youthful. Many beauty products use green tea extracts for anti-inflammatory reasons. The antioxidants in the green tea protect you from harmful UV rays, oxidative stress, photo damage and skin cancer. It also helps to nourish your hair.

Green tea oxidants reduces PCOS in women 
PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) is one of the leading hormonal diseases in women. According to PCOS society, every one in five woman has PCOS. According to a study in the May 2005 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis, the blood estrogen levels were 13 per cent lower in women who regularly drink green tea, when compared to irregular green tea drinkers. Antioxidants in green tea help in lowering this stress, thereby helping to reduce many symptoms of PCOS. Green tea is rich in a compound called L-theanine that is known to reduce anxiety and calm the mind.

(The author is business head India, Shilpa Medicare Limited. He can be reached at sbhatia.ind@vbshilpa.com)
 
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