Green tea has been around for centuries, especially in the East where it has been used as a medicine for ages. Recently a lot of research has been done in the West to unravel the incredible health benefits of green tea, which is one of the healthiest beverages on our planet.
So what makes green tea different from the other true teas? Well, the leaves are the least processed, resulting in more intact antioxidants, which are proven to be responsible for the many health benefits of green tea. Green tea is made through a steaming process, whereas the other true teas undergo an oxidation process, which destroys most of the powerful antioxidants.
Here are 8 major health benefits of green tea, confirmed in research studies. These amazing health benefits are excellent reasons why you should drink more green tea and reap its many health benefits.
1. Reduced Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
The antioxidants presented in green tea help to block the oxidation of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and raises your “good” cholesterol (HDL). Green tea has beneficial effects on your blood vessels. It may lower a high blood pressure and the formation of clots, which are both possible causes of a heart attack or stroke.
2. Boosts Metabolism And Burns Fat
The catechins found in green tea are responsible for boosting your metabolism and helps to burn fat faster. Especially in the abdominal region. Although green tea isn’t a weight loss miracle on its own, it may be very helpful as a weight loss aid.
3. Cancer Fighting Properties
Antioxidants play a major role in reducing the risk of all types of cancer. They show a protective effect by neutralizing free radicals within your body. Those free radicals are responsible for oxidative damage which increases the risk of developing cancer.
Research does not only show a reduced effect on the development of cancer, it is also believed that the polyphenols are responsible for killing cancer cells and inhibiting their further growth.
4. Improves Brain Function
Green tea contains caffeine which stimulates your brain without causing an agitated effect, like coffee. By blocking adenosine, caffeine increases the concentration of dopamine and norepinephrine, which leads to a better brain function.
Another organic chemical substance, found in green tea, called epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) enhances learning and memory by increasing the production of neural progenitor cells.
5. Reduced Risk Of Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s
Green tea not only aids us with our memory in the short term. It does show protective effects against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer and Parkinson.
Studies show that the powerful catechins are protecting our brain cells from dying and they can even restore the damage done to those cells.
6. Prevent Diabetes Type II
Green tea has been used in traditional medicine for ages to control blood sugar levels. Recent studies show that EGCG’s improve glucose intolerance and insulin sensitivity. Green tea can prevent blood sugar spikes by improving the use of insulin.
7. Anti-viral And Anti-bacterial Properties
The catechins presented in green tea can inhibit the growth or even kill bacteria and viruses. Especially your teeth will reap the benefits of this. Green tea inhibits the growth of mouth bacteria and helps in the killing process of these bacteria who cause the formation of plaque, cavities, tooth decay and a bad breath.
8. Skincare And Anti-aging
Quite often we see green tea popping up as an ingredient in many of our organic beauty products. Free radicals are well studied and are responsible for skin-aging. Damaging free radicals deplete oxygen from our cells and break down collagen. Collagen is essential to maintain a supple and young looking skin.
Due to the high levels of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPC’s), another very powerful antioxidant, green tea delays the premature aging process. It protects us against sun damage, skin cancer, expression lines and wrinkles.
Although green tea contains less caffeine then coffee or other true teas, you shouldn’t drink more than 5 cups a day to avoid caffeine related side effects. Always opt for higher, organic quality brands. Lower quality leaves or bags often contain fluoride and have a bitter and grassy flavor. But the health benefits of green tea will still outweigh any risks.
Incorrect steeping is another reason why most people don’t like the taste of green tea. Steep too long and your tea will taste bitter. Therefore many of us add sugar and milk, but actually this is a bad idea, as especially the milk reduces the antioxidant value.
Another tea which has amazing health benefits is Ginger Turmeric tea and you can get more information about it in my article about the Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea.