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The Origin and Benefits of Green Tea

The Origin and Benefits of Green TeaThe earliest references of green tea date back to the year 2737 BC. Its history is indeed long and fascinating. It is linked to Chinese Emperor Shennong, who accidentally drank water that had a dead tea leaf boiled in it and found it very refreshing. In its early days as a beverage, green tea was expensive and available only for affluent and wealthy people of China. It was not until the fourteenth century that green tea became widespread throughout China for people from all walks of life. They enjoyed its taste and appreciated its medicinal qualities. The benefits of green tea were thus discovered centuries back.

European traders were first introduced to tea in the sixteenth century during their trips to East Asia. The sailors were so pleased with the benefits of green tea that they started sending it to their homelands where it slowly became a popular commodity. Even today, Great Britain's national beverage is tea although majority of British tea drinkers prefer black tea.

Green tea was also shipped over to the American countries, where it enjoyed great popularity among the early colonists. Indeed, the beverage became so popular in America that Great Britain imposed a Tea Tax in 1767. This infuriated the colonists and sparked the Boston Tea Party of 1773. On December 16, 1773, after officials in Boston refused to return three shiploads of taxed tea to Britain, a group of colonists boarded the ships and dumped 45 tons of green tea into Boston Harbor.

Even though it has such a long history, the benefits of green tea are still being discovered. Scientists continue to research and conduct studies to determine the health benefits of green tea and the results so far have also been astonishing. Green tea is less-processed than oolong and black teas and this is why it retains more of its antioxidants offering more health benefits.

One of the benefits of green tea is reflected in the way it provides protection against cardiovascular diseases. Such diseases are often caused or worsened when there is a high level of free radicals or toxins in the blood vessels - the antioxidants in green tea stop those free radicals from being produced. As with free radicals, green tea antioxidants also slow the production and rapid multiplication of abnormal cells that can cause cancer.

Among other benefits of green tea is the ability of its antioxidants to remove iron from the blood and protect certain brain cells necessary for memory retention and spatial cognition. Research shows that green tea can reduce its drinkers' risk for neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia. This is indeed one of significant health benefits of green tea.

Green tea protects cells responsible for creating new bone and also destroys the cells that break down bones. In this way green tea builds a person's bone density and offers protection against osteoporosis.

The people who are trying to slim down or lose some weight can also enjoy the benefits of green tea. With its combination of antioxidants and caffeine, tea in this form has a unique ability to help its drinkers lose fat by inhibiting the enzyme that turns fatty acids into fat cells. Drinking a cup of green tea daily can help to make weight loss plan more manageable.

The aforementioned health benefits of green tea are only a few good things about the beverage - researchers keep discovering more and more health benefits of green tea. With such an impressive amount of antioxidants, it does make sense that green tea has become so popular, especially among the health-conscious people.
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