As you sit there reading this, there’s a battle going on within you. Although you are oblivious to this battle, the result of it determines the health of your body and the length of your life.
The two tribes: antioxidants and free radicals have been at war since you were born. The free radicals are born with unpaired electrons and have committed themselves to a life of stealing electrons from parts of cells. Protein, DNA, cell membranes, etc are all helpless in their hands and losing their precious electrons causes them to not be able to function properly. You, yourself, may be the cause the free radical’s victory as the population of these bastards can be dependant on the food you eat, the air you breathe, etc. When you smoke, eat fried foods or even breathe bad air you’re giving the enemies an advantage.
In the action movies we watch, the good kills the bad for the overall good. But the antioxidants are even better than the good guys on screen. Rather than killing their enemies they donate their own electrons, neutralizing the free radicals causing them to lose their powers and become non-toxic cells.
So how can you help your little heroes out? By partaking the ‘elixir of life’, tea. Tea contains unique antioxidants called flavanoids and another additional hero: caffeine. It’s important that you know that the tea I’m talking about is: green, black, white, oolong, and pu-erh which are all derived from camellia sinensis and are reconsidered the ‘real’ tea. The additional hero, caffeine, blocks the enemy Adenosine allowing there to be an increase in the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters (dopamine & norepinephrine). Resulting an improvement of brain function, improving: mood, vigilance, reactions time and memory. Green tea also causes people to be less susceptible to neurological diseases (eg. Alzheimers) as it helps sustain the parts of the brain that regulates learning and memory. A combination move may be used to defeat the enemies whilst drinking green tea as it also contains L-theanine in addition to caffeine. L-theanine increases the activity of the neurotransmitter, GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects and increases dopamine and production of alpha waves in the brain. The combination of GABA and caffeine improves the brain function even more.
Other special powers of tea includes:
- Being able to defeat (but not always effective) wild cancer cells: the flavanoids help support detoxification of potentially tissue damaging molecules.
- When you decide to challenge a diet it helps increase your body’s ability to burn fat as well as increase your endurance level whilst exercising. It also increases your metabolic rate and keeps your waist circumference in check.
- Lowers risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Additional green tea powers:
- Helps diabetics process sugars
- Improves dental health by stopping the growth of streptococcus mutans which causes plaque formations and contributes to cavities and tooth decay
- Black tea: has the highest concentration of caffeine
- White tea: has the best anticancer properties
I would say tea is a strong supporter of the good guys, but warning, the more you repeatedly drink hot drinks the more you’re at risk of oesophageal cancer, so let your tea cool for a minute or two before drinking. Green tea bay also interfere with growth of bladder, breast, lungs, stomach and pancrease. But overall the benefits of tea greatly outweighs the risks.
So, as always I’ll like to leave some questions for you, which I’d love to hear the answers to in the comments section:
- Do you drink tea often? After reading this article will you drink it more?
- Is there anything in this article that surprised you or you found interesting? Eg. Whilst doing research for this article I was surprised to find out that only tea made out of camellia sinensis is considered ‘real’ tea and they’re the ones with the health benefits. Bye bye Chai tea (although it does contain black tea), hello green tea.