Originally from India and East Asia, green tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. This beverage is believed to be one of the healthiest due to its antioxidant content and many health benefits. Read on to discover 20 shocking health benefits of green tea you didn’t know.
- Green tea contains natural stimulants known as catechins
Green tea is also a natural source of caffeine and is a great way to refresh your mind when you’re feeling tired. The good news is that green tea has less caffeine than coffee, which means you can drink it all day without disrupting your sleep or suffering from the neurological side effects of excess caffeine.
- Nutrients are protected by minimal processing
There is relatively little processing involved in tea, in contrast to soda and other common drinks. After harvesting the leaves, they are allowed to soften and then rolled to squeeze out the juice. After the leaves are heated, they are dried and ready for use. This minimal processing means that green tea retains many of its natural phytonutrients.
- Green tea can help fight cancer
During normal cellular metabolism, your cells naturally undergo oxidative damage. A class of molecules called antioxidants can prevent or reverse this damage. One of the most powerful antioxidants is called epigallocatechin gallate, which is found in large amounts in green tea. Research in 1995 found that epigallocatechin gallate reduced the growth of breast and prostate tumours.
- Green tea is linked to a lower risk of heart disease
Green tea can also be healthy for your heart. In a seven-year study of 40,530 Japanese people, drinking three to four cups of green tea per day was associated with a 31% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease (Koriyama, 2006).
- It can help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism.
The phytonutrients in green tea can also help you lose weight and keep it off. A 2009 meta-analysis of studies in this area found that drinking antioxidant-rich green tea was associated with significant weight loss. Additionally, green tea drinkers were more likely to maintain a healthy weight after significant weight loss.
- Green tea balances healthy and bad cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad for you. Although low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular risk, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol may actually protect you from heart
disease. Although the exact mechanism of this effect is unclear, green tea phytonutrients appear to be associated with balanced LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, helping to maintain them in a healthy range.
- Green tea can help you relax
Green tea contains the amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, meaning it sends signals to nerve cells. Several studies have shown that L-theanine increases the production of alpha waves in the human brain, indicative of a state of relaxation.
- protects the brain against Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by profound memory loss and changes in thinking skills. Neurological disorders like this do not currently have a cure. However, the antioxidants in green tea appear to reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- Effective in preventing Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement and fine motor skills. Like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease is progressive and cannot be cured. Polyphenols in green tea can prevent cell damage caused by neurotoxins while promoting the survival of healthy cells.
- Drink green tea to maintain oral health
Our mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. The antifungal and antibiotic properties of green tea are natural. In fact, there is growing evidence that drinking green tea can prevent cavities and bad breath.
- Antioxidants in green tea can fight MRSA
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium commonly distributed in healthcare settings. MRSA is more difficult to treat with antibiotics than common staph infections. Therefore, new treatments are needed. Some preliminary evidence suggests that green tea may help fight MRSA.
- Drinking green tea can stabilize blood sugar levels
There is evidence that the flavonoids in green tea, including epigallocatechin gallate, reduce glucose production in the liver. This means your body can regulate your blood sugar more effectively and keep your blood sugar within a healthy range.
- Type 2 diabetes may be reduced by drinking green tea
Type 2 diabetes has become an epidemic in the United States, affecting approximately 10% of the population (American Diabetes Association, 2016). Drinking green tea can reduce the risk of infection. In a study, participants who drank more than 6 cups of tea per day had a 33% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who drank 1 cup of tea per week. This effect remained even after the researchers controlled for factors such as age, gender, and body mass index.
- Green tea is rich in fluoride, which promotes good dental health
Green tea contains fluoride, a mineral added to the water supply to support stronger dental health. A small increase in fluoride can prevent bacterial attack on the teeth.
- Green tea keeps bones strong
Loss of bone strength is an important public health problem, especially in postmenopausal women who are at risk of developing osteoporosis. Polyphenols in green tea can protect bone tissue from damage by increasing bone mass.
- The antioxidants in green tea improve the immune system
Drink green tea to ward off colds this winter. In a randomized controlled trial, participants taking green tea extract experienced a 32% reduction in cold or flu symptoms compared to a placebo control group (Rowe et al., 2006). The exact mechanism of this effect is unknown, but it may be related to the vitamin C content of green tea.
- Green tea makes you look younger
Green tea is not only good for your health, but it also makes you look good! Cosmetologists often use green tea products for anti-inflammatory effects. For example, a complex regimen with 10% green tea cream and green tea supplements increases skin elasticity, making skin look younger with age.
- Green tea can help minimise sugar cravings
Green tea naturally contains zero grams of sugar, making it a healthy choice for those concerned about added sugar. Green tea is the healthiest option compared to soft drinks and fruit juices that contain a lot of sugar. If you’re used to sugar-sweetened beverages, the easier-to-drink taste of green tea may take some getting used to.
- Green tea can increase your productivity
In addition to being mildly stimulating, green tea can improve your ability to focus. If you’re feeling sluggish in the afternoon, brew a cup of green tea to motivate yourself and increase your productivity.
- Green tea associated with longevity
The cumulative health benefits of green tea mean it can help you live longer. In fact, a large study of participants over the age of 11 found that three to four cups of tea per day reduced the risk of death by 5% in men and 18% in women.