As the world's most popular beverage after water, green tea features regularly in the daily routines for millions across the globe. Made through brewing the leaves of the camelia sinensis plant in hot water, individuals normally consume green tea as a hot drink. However, the numerous health benefits remain regardless of the temperature, making cold green tea an equally effective tonic for cardiovascular health and fat burning.
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Green tea is rich with polyphenols -- compounds found in plants that help fight heart disease, cancer, diabetes and age-related brain changes, according to the January 2005 issue of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition." The major polyphenol in green tea is epigallocatechin-3-gallate, often referred to as EGCG. This polyphenol is reported in the September 2008 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition" as being able to help prevent obesity, decreases triglycerides, decrease liver weight and reduce body fat. The anti-obesity mechanism is reported to be green tea's ability to prevent fat from being absorbed in the intestines, which allows it to be excreted from the body.
Green tea also plays a useful role in reducing the risk of heart attacks and other coronary disorders. The Institute of Optimum Nutrition notes how the consumption of green tea provides a mild lowering effect on total cholesterol levels in the bloodstream, but lowers the undesirable LDL cholesterol while boosting the beneficial HDL cholesterol. It also makes platelets less sticky and reduces the oxidation of cholesterol, which can lead to the development of atherosclerosis and, as a result, strokes.
Green tea provides a strong antioxidant effect in the body which can help in a number of ways. The University of Maryland Medical Center credits the polyphenols as the active constituent in this regard, noting how they inhibit the development of cancerous cells in a number of experiments. The liver, an organ subject to a higher level of oxidative damage from detoxifying chemicals, can also benefit from the consumption of green tea; the Maryland academics explain how individuals consuming more green tea were significantly less likely to develop disorders of this organ.