Monday, April 03, 2006

Green tea as part of a stress-reduction diet

This page discusses dietary factors that contribute to stress.


However, the author of the text fails to mention green tea and the two very important ways in which it can help reduce stress.


First, not only does green tea have less caffeine (which in excessive amounts can contribute to stress) than coffee, but the antioxidants in green tea also coat the caffeine molecules in certain ways that slow the uptake of caffeine into the body. Slow uptake means a gentler boost, whereas with coffee, which lacks these antioxidants, the caffeine level in the blood first spikes and then drops suddenly as the body works overtime to break down all that caffeine. These sudden changes in blood levels of caffeine are responsible for the jolt and crash associated with drinking lots of caffeinated coffee.


Second, green tea is rich in theanine, which promotes relaxation by increasing the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid in the body and by increasing alpha-wave production in the brain, for instance.


—Mellow Monk


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