Your Healthy St. Patrick’s Day Drink – Green Tea!
St. Patrick’s Day has been infamous for everything green when it comes to celebratory food and beverages, including: green beer, green eggs and ham, four-leaf clover cookies, corned beef and cabbage (yes, usually dyed green). But, another interesting fact about an infamous green beverage isn’t derived from a holiday, rather the infamy stems from 1,000’s of years of steeping history. Due to it’s healing, health benefits, green tea ranks only second to water as the most popular drink…in the WORLD! Whether it’s pre-, post-, or even during your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this upcoming weekend, you might find it worthwhile to read up on how and why this green beverage is so reputable.
There are loads of detox products on the market; everything from “10-Day Quick Cleanse” packs at Whole Foods to “Skinny Tea”, but green tea may be one of the most beneficial. Instead, of directly detoxing your body, the active ingredients in green tea actually support your body’s natural detoxification system rather than detoxing them directly. To get a better idea about how green tea contributes to the process, let’s first start by understanding how our body naturally detoxes itself.
How Our Body Detoxes
Medically speaking, detoxification refers to the body’s built-in systems of organs and processes designed to eliminate toxic substances. Toxins are any substances that cause harmful effects on the body and may come from either internal or external sources like the air, water, or food we eat. Excess medication may also take a negative toll on the body and need to be cleared out of the bloodstream.
Organs in your respiratory system, immune system, your skin, intestines and kidneys all help your body detox, but the liver is largely responsible for the majority of detoxing efforts. The liver chemically alters toxins to reduce their toxicity in the body. From there, toxins are then sent to the kidneys for elimination via urine. The process consists of three different phases and depends on a variety of enzymes, protein, vitamins, and minerals in order to complete each phase; it’s quite complex.
Role of Green Tea in Detox
Green tea may help detox your body, but rather than eliminating toxins directly (Your body is already awesome at doing that!), green tea has polyphenols and other antioxidants which are both powerful agents that directly support your body’s detoxing efforts. Polyphenols have a dual role. 1. They support and heal your liver, the body’s major detox organ, and 2. They’re a form of antioxidants that fight free radicals.
“The primary polyphenols in green tea are flavonoids. Among the various flavonoids, some of the most potent antioxidants belong to a group called catechins. While green tea contains several different catechins, one of them — epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG — is the most abundant and has the strongest antioxidant capacity, reported the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics in August 2015. Green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that’s used to produce another important antioxidant, glutathione.” These free-radical fighting substances (polyphenols and catechins) increase the body’s ability to ward off disease and slow down the degenerative processes of aging by combating oxidative stress caused by free radicals in the bloodstream. Specifically, these special, concentrated antioxidants found in green tea are known to combat damaged DNA, high cholesterol, and even cancer.
Additional Benefits of Green Tea
Beyond the benefits of green tea listed above, this infamous green beverage has also been shown to have the following health benefits:
- Reduction of cholesterol in the blood stream
Due to it’s ability to efficiently metabolize fat, the chinese believe drinking a cup of green tea following a greasy or fatty meal will decrease the chances of the ingested fat becoming stagnant in the bloodstream, which can lead to clogged arteries and inelastic blood vessels.
- Stimulation of the digestive system
Green tea reduces intestinal gas and offers support for irritable bowel disorders such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
- Prevention and reduction of weight gain
Clinical studies suggest that green tea’s polyphenols create a fat-burning effect in the body, as well as increase metabolism. Green tea has also been shown to stabilize and regulate blood sugar levels, which can contribute to weight gain when unstable.
- Reduction of Inflammation
Green tea slows the body’s inflammation response, as well as, the breakdown of cartilage, which has been shown to aid those suffering from arthritis.
Do you sip on green tea regularly? With all the benefits, why not celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and your health with this glorious green drink?
-Health & Wellness Coach