Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can put in your body. It can help you focus, fight aging, and even give you an energy boost! You’ve probably heard a lot about green tea benefits and how it is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that are great for your body and mind.
In this article, you will learn about the health benefits of green tea and how you can drink it to enjoy it best (for its taste and benefits).
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What Is Green Tea Good for?
Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. Originating in China but widely used throughout Asia, this beverage has a multitude of uses, from lowering blood pressure to preventing cancer.
The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for oxidation (the same process that makes an apple go from white to brown), whereas green tea’s processing avoids the oxidation process. As a result, green tea retains the maximum amount of antioxidants and poly-phenols, the substances that give green tea its many benefits.
Furthermore, green tea has significantly less caffeine black tea, meaning that it leads to less of a “slump” after drinking it. It will offer you energy without the intense caffeine kick that black tea and coffee often lead to. The extra energy helps you focus.
Let’s dive more into the various benefits of drinking green tea.
10 Green Tea Benefits for Your Body and Mind
While a great deal is known about the benefits of green tea, more research is still needed in order to expand our knowledge on just how green tea benefits us. Here are some green tea benefits currently supported by research.
1. Weight Loss
Green tea is known to decrease inflammation in the body, aiding in the weight loss process. More research is needed, but one study found that “the combination of GTE and exercise also produced greater changes in anti‐inflammatory (increases in adiponectin) and metabolic (decreases in hs‐CRP) markers than exercise alone”
If you’re looking to lose weight, exercise is the first step, but adding in green tea can help speed up the process, even if only slightly. Check out this article if you want to find out more about this: Is Drinking Green Tea An Effective Way For Weight Loss?
2. Increased Satiety
One study on how green tea affects insulin levels found that, while green tea had no effect on insulin levels after a meal, it did increase feelings of satiety, which means that study participants were less likely to continue eating. This can have positive effects on health by helping you consume less calories.
3. Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Scientists believe that green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
One study found that, in general, coffee and certain types of teas (including green tea) reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
4. Reduce the Risk of Esophageal Cancer
One of the most impressive green tea benefits is that it is thought to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
In one study, researchers found that the high concentrations of tea polyphenols “have shown inhibitory effects against the development, progress, and growth of carcinogen‐induced tumors in animal models at different organ sites, including the esophagus and lung”. While this kind of research needs to be replicated in more studies, it does suggest that green tea can slow the growth of some types of cancers.
5. Reduce Cholesterol
One literature review looked at 31 trials involving studies on green tea and cholesterol and found that, in general, “green tea intake significantly lowered the total cholesterol”. It specifically seems to target LDL as opposed to HDL, which an important distinction to keep in mind if you’re trying to target a certain type of cholesterol.
6. Delay Effects of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Green tea is thought to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. One research review discovered that “results seem to support the hypothesis that green tea intake might reduce the risk for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, or cognitive impairment”. However, many more well-designed studies are needed to provide decisive evidence for this.
7. Slow Tooth Decay
The bioactive compounds in tea, like polyphenols-flavonoids-catechins, have antibacterial properties that inhibit not only bacteria but acid production. Research suggests that this is the reason green tea has been shown to prevent cavities and tooth decay. This doesn’t mean you should stop brushing your teeth, but it does mean that green tea can really help when it comes to oral hygiene!
8. Lower Blood Pressure
Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. One literature review found that several studies concluded that green tea significantly reduces both systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
While several studies have shown that a higher consumption of green tea leads to lower levels of depression in elderly individuals, more human trials are needed to determine the way green tea influences depressive symptoms. In one study on mice, green tea polyphenols were shown to have antidepressant-like effects, suggesting that the same could be true in humans.
10. Antiviral Properties
Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents that make them effective for treating a variety of infectious diseases. While they may not prevent you from getting a viral infection, they may help reduce their severity, which is a great green tea benefit.
How Much Green Tea Should You Drink?
These are some of the many benefits of green tea, but the reality is one cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains. The jury is out on how many cups are necessary; some say as little as two cups a day while others insist that it’s five cups of green tea for the full benefits. If you are thinking of going down this route, you may want to consider taking a green tea supplement instead.
Potential Risks of Drinking Green Tea
There is caffeine in green tea. If you are sensitive to caffeine, then one cup a day should be your limit. Here’s a way to help you reduce a bit of caffeine in it:
Green tea also contains tannins, which can decrease the absorption of iron and folic acid. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, then green tea may not be ideal for you.
How to Drink Green Tea
The best temperature to brew green tea at is about 185 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, simply let boiling water cool for about two minutes to achieve this temperature. Add the sachet of tea and let it steep for three minutes. You can then remove the sachet and enjoy your tea!
You can also try mixing green tea with other healthy ingredients, such as ginger, a healthy and tasty beverage option.
You can also try matcha, a specific type of green tea that has a thicker texture.
Green tea is an ideal beverage for those looking for its delicious flavor, as well as its many health benefits. It’s important to remember that it does contain some caffeine, so it’s best to avoid drinking it about 6 hours before bed. Whether you want to lower your cholesterol, reduce symptoms of depression, or slow tooth decay, green tea can help, so start brewing a cup today!
More Healthy Drinks
- 15 Beautiful & Healthy Fruit Water Recipes To Replace Soda
- 20 Juice and Smoothie Recipes for Energy and Vitality
- Benefits of Water: Science-Backed Reasons to Stay Hydrated
Featured photo credit: Matcha & CO via unsplash.com