Tea is the world’s most consumed beverage if you remove water from the equation. Unlike other natural teas, green tea does not spend time in the oxidation process. It gets plucked, heated or steamed, and dried. Since it is the least processed, it contains a higher amount of antioxidants. Research shows that it fights everything from cancer to gum disease. Let’s start brewing the 14 surprising benefits of green tea.
14 Amazing Benefits of Green Tea
Any discussion on the benefits of green tea must start with the compound catechin (EGCG). Until recently, scientists acknowledged that the antioxidants in green tea helped treat and prevent disease. However, they did not know the exact mechanism that contributed to its success. Now, they know catechins deliver the bulk of medicinal benefits. Although all tea contains catechin, green tea has a larger amount.
2. Boost Energy
Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee or an energy drink, sip on green tea to give your body a boost. It contains less caffeine than other drinks and doesn’t cause the jitters. Studies show that it works to mobilize fatty acids in the body’s fat tissues. Consequently, the body uses the fatty acids as an energy source.
3. Heart Healthy
Your heart needs healthy foods to lower blood pressure and keep cholesterol in check. Green tea does both. It acts as a fat grabber to prevent fatty substances from clogging the arteries. Additionally, it moves good cholesterol through the bloodstream. Research suggests drinking four or more cups of green tea daily can reduce the risk of heart disease.
4. Reduce Cancer Risk
If you or someone you know is battling cancer, talk to your doctor about the benefits of green tea. Recent studies point to a link between green tea and the reduction of cancer cells. The catechins delay the proteins that cause tumor growth. Chances of developing breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer are lower with green tea.
5. Protects Against Diabetes
Adding green tea to your diet can prevent and control diabetes. Researchers believe the polyphenols promote insulin activity. Green tea slows down the sugar contained in starches, allowing proper digestion. Reports show Japanese adults who drank at least six cups a day had a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes.
6. Improve Memory
Eating right, exercising, and getting a good night’s sleep can keep your memory sharp. Still, researchers note that green tea helps the brain process information better. Findings show drinking green tea promotes communication between the frontal and parietal lobes. Participants who drank the tea had better information recall.
7. Reduce Anxiety
Drink a cup of green tea to soothe your nerves. An amino acid in green tea called theanine has a calming effect on the brain. Theanine acts as a neurotransmitter to boost the brain’s alpha waves. A study lead by Dr. Juneja points to relaxation and lower stress when consuming the beverage. Participants received 50-200 mg of theanine. Within 40 minutes of intake, they experienced an increase in alpha waves. Plus, no drowsiness occurred.
8. Stronger Bones
The benefits of green tea look promising in investigations on bone health. Scientists observe that three components of catechin – epigallocatechin (EGC), gallocatechin (GC), and gallocatechin gallate (GCG) contain an enzyme that stops the cells that cause age-related bone loss. Good news for those looking for ways prevent rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
9. Protects the Skin
The polyphenols in green tea work to reduce harmful free radicals that damage the skin. Drinking green tea can shield it from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. A study notes that the polyphenols in the tea protect the skin from UV radiation and improves skin quality. Women who drank the tea experienced improvements in elasticity, roughness, and scaling.
10. Burns Fat
You may not realize it, but your body can hit a peak even with proper nutrition and physical activity. Add green tea into the mix to rev up your metabolism. Studies cite the fat burning benefits of green tea. When combined with a healthy diet and exercise, it elevates thermogenesis (burns calories). Scientists saw a 17% increase in burned fat among men who drank green tea and exercised.
11. Kills Bacteria
Green tea has antibiotic properties that ward off a host of diseases. Findings show that the catechins in green tea can attach to the pockets of bacteria. Doing so prevents bacteria from causing sickness and lowers your risk of infections. Green tea produced compelling results in killing 28 disease-producing bacteria. Surprisingly, it yields even better results when combined with other antibiotics.
12. Oral Health
Keep your mouth healthy by drinking green tea. As stated above, green tea has bacteria-killing properties. Sugary foods can cause plaque, which produces acids. Consequently, the teeth start to decay. Periodontal studies list the benefits of green tea on oral health. The catechins in green tea reduce enamel loss, prevent tooth decay, and kill bad breath.
13. Eye Health
If you are looking for ways to improve eye health, try green tea. The ECGC compound penetrates eye tissue and protects them from diseases. In laboratory tests, each part of the eye reacted to different amounts of catechins. The retina took in the highest concentration. Activity continued for more than 20 hours after consuming green tea extract.
14. Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
Research cites surprising evidence on the benefits of green tea on cognitive functions. Green tea prevents new plaque and breaks down existing plaque. It also creates new neurons in the brain. MRI scanning shows an increase in the working memory in adults. The tea protects the dopamine neurons in the brain. Ultimately, it seems green tea can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Researchers continue to find new benefits of green tea each day. Consuming it will help you feel better, fight diseases and potentially live longer. Green tea has no serious side effects. However, it may trigger a reaction in those who are sensitive to caffeine. As with any food or drink, consult with your doctor if you take medication.
Images taken from depositphotos.com.