Tea leaves from the camellia sinensis plant boast potent antioxidants that promote cardiovascular health, brain health and more.* Green tea leaves have specific properties that white and black tea leaves do not. We take a closer look at the special qualities of green teas and how you can incorporate it into your health routine.
What's the Difference Between Black, White and Green Tea?
Black tea leaves are dried after being harvested. As they are exposed to the air, the leaves oxidize, much like an apple or banana starts to turn brown once it is peeled. The tea leaves are then oxidized and fermented until they are a dark brown, almost black color.
White tea leaves are made from unopened buds or the youngest new leaves on the camellia sinensis bush. They are air dried and undergo only mild oxidation before they are packaged for consumption. They are not fermented which gives white tea a very smooth and subtle flavor.
Green tea leaves are exposed to a heat source such as steam or a hot pan before they are air dried. This extra step prevents the leaves from oxidizing when they are exposed to air, so the leaves retain their vivid green color. Green tea is not fermented like black tea, which also helps contribute to its distinctive green shade.
The Benefit of Catechins in Green Tea
The lack of oxidation in the processing of green tea gives it a unique nutrient profile. Green tea contains the highest source of epigallocatechins (EGCG) of any type of tea or food for that matter. EGCG is a type of catechin or flavonoid that acts like an antioxidant within the body. EGCG has been the subject of thousands of scientific research studies. EGCG mops up harmful free radicals which is of particular benefit to the brain and the circulatory system.* Oxidative damage from free radicals can cause plaques to develop in the brain which are associated with cognitive decline and other serious health issues.* In the circulatory system, free radicals can make blood vessels stiff and less pliable, which is linked to heart-related health problems.* Green tea’s catechin flavonoids provide whole-body antioxidant support.*
Does EGCG in Green Tea Burn Fat?
EGCG does not burn fat directly but it does enhance the body’s processes for burning fat.* Studies show EGCG from green tea extract exerts favorable effects on metabolism by extending the activity of norepinephrine.* Norepinephrine signals our bodies to break down fat stores and use them as energy. It is believed that since green tea makes norepinephrine last longer in the body, this is part of the reason it seems to aid in weight management.* Another study found that green tea extract increased the levels of the hormone leptin in the body. Leptin is the signal your brain sends to tell you that you are full. It’s possible that the increase in leptin could lead to a lower calorie intake that could influence weight loss.* Green tea supplements should not be considered weight loss pills, but they can support healthy weight goals and other factors related to efficient metabolism.*
Surprising Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea supplements not only support healthy weight maintenance, but beautiful skin.* The potent antioxidants within green tea supplements can help the skin repair itself after sun exposure.* Sun exposure may cause up to 80% of wrinkles, sagging, sunspots and other visible signs of aging. While protecting the skin with a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 is the first step to reducing the damage from UV rays, green tea supplements can be useful in amplifying your sun protection efforts.* To learn more about supplements that improve the appearance of the skin check out the article Supplements for Skin Care.
How Much Green Tea Extract Should I Take?
Most trials researching the benefits of green tea use a dosage of 250-500mg. We formulate Nature's Lab Green Tea Extract with high potency for the best results. Our formula contains 500 mg of green tea extract in one capsule. Green tea extract is also included in our Resveratrol Ultra formula and pairs well with the high antioxidant activity of resveratrol and grape seed extract. If you want to focus on the healthy antioxidants found in green tea, our Green Tea Extract 500 mg is a convenient way to reap the benefits of green tea.
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