Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green Tea

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About Green Tea

Latin Name: Camellia sinensis

Tea has been consumed for over 4,000 years. Though tea originated in India and China, green tea consumption took root in China first. Most cultures around the world consume tea as a beverage in some form or the other. Milk may or may not be used to prepare tea.

There are 3 main varieties of tea: black, oolong, and green. The essential difference in all these teas is in their processing method. Green tea is the least processed and therefore contains the highest concentrations of polphenols: the catechins.

Tea plants grown on a higher altitude have a richer flavor as the leaves mature slower. Tea plants remain commercially productive for almost 100 years.

Nutrients in Green Tea

Tea contains various catechin polyphenols of which epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant and the most beneficial.

Green tea also contains phytochemicals, carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamins C, A, K, and many of the B-complex vitamins. It also contains chromium, manganese, selenium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium. Green tea is free of calories.

Green tea also contains caffeine (theine), tannin (flavonols), theophylline, theobromine, and saponins. In fact, green tea contains over 450 organic compounds.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

One cup of green tea provides 80-105 mg of polyphenols, while it provides 20-35 mg of EGCG.

Many studies have been conducted on the benefits of green tea. It has been found that those who drink green tea regularly have a lower risk of certain conditions, infections, and diseases.

Green tea plantation in Korea
Green tea plantation in Korea | Source

Green Tea and Cholesterol

Green tea lowers LDL cholesterol, raises HDL cholesterol, and lowers total cholesterol. The polyphenols in green tea not only prevent the intestinal absorption of cholesterol but also help in removal of cholesterol.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

Those who drink tea with the aim to lose eight will be glad to learn that green tea aids in weight loss. In fact, it helps burn fat by boosting the metabolism. The catechins, caffeine, and theanine in green tea do just that.

Interestingly, green tea acts to effect the fat loss from the abdomen and viscera. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2005 issue, indicates that green tea lowers body fat, waist measurements, and helps in reducing weight.

A cup of green tea
A cup of green tea | Source

Green Tea and Cancer

The catechin polyphenols, especially EGCG, in green tea may play a role in cancer prevention as they kill the cancer cells. Green tea may reduce the risk of a variety of cancers like those of the ovary, prostrate, prostrate, colon, rectum, lungs, bladder, breast, oesophagus, pancreas, stomach, and skin.

Green tea also helps in shrinking malignant brain tumors in affected children.

Research at the University of Strathclyde, in Glasgow, Scotland, points toward this as reported in the Huffpost, Canada (see sources below).

Green tea helps in protecting against cancer. The October 2004 issue of the journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology reports that green tea polyphenols improve the efficacy of cancer drugs while the August 2004 issue of Cancer Letters reports that green tea reduces the negative side effects of cancer drugs.

Green Tea and the Heart

Green tea reduces risk of heart disease as it lowers cholesterol and triglycerides. High cholesterol and triglycerides are indicted in atherosclerosis. Consumption of 3 cups of green tea a day cuts down the risk of heart attacks by as much as 11%.

Drinking 5 cups of green tea also lowered the risk of death from chronic vascular disease and stroke by 23%-62% in women and by 12%-42% in men. Women interestingly were better protected. A study in Japan published this report in the September 2006 issue of JAMA.

The catechins in green tea make the blood thin thus preventing formation of blood clots and thereby reducing the risk of strokes. EGCG also protects the heart muscle from damage in those with acute coronary artery disease.

Green tea also helps in faster recovery after a stroke or heart attack as it reduces heart cell death. It also protects the brain cells and reduces brain damage following a stroke.

Therefore daily intake of green tea is very beneficial for the heart and brain.

Studies also indicate that green tea lowers high blood pressure by as much as 65% in those who drank more than 2-1/2 cups of green tea daily.

Congee, a type of rice porridge, a traditional food of Nara, Japan
Congee, a type of rice porridge, a traditional food of Nara, Japan | Source

Green Tea and Diabetes

As reported in the August 2004 issue of BMC Pharmocology, green tea increases the ability of the body to better utilize blood sugar. Also, EGCG improves insulin sensitivity in those with type 2 diabetes.

Green Tea and Liver disease

The metabolism of alcohol produces free radicals that damage the liver if they are cannot be countered by the antioxidants in the liver. Green tea catechins, in particular EGCG, protects liver against the damaging free radicals. Thus green tea can be taken not only to protect but also treat liver disease as research suggests.

green tea donuts
green tea donuts | Source

Green Tea and Immunity

Green tea raises the number of T cells in the body, which are necessary for proper immunity development as research from Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University indicates. This study was published in the journal Immunology Letters.

Green Tea and Rheumatoid Arthritis

The catechin EGCG in green tea is shown to reduce inflammation and joint damage in Rheumatoid Arthritis, as research by scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School shows.

EGCG reduces the production of inflammatory chemicals and in higher doses halts their production, the research shows.

Green Tea for Digestion

The catechin EGCG in green tea along with other polyphenols counter the bacteria and virus present in the digstive tract, reduce inflammation, and swelling in the stomach.

Green Tea and Kidney Disease

Green tea helps in controlling the production of free radicals by certain immunosuppresant drugs that are needed to be given after an organ transplant.

Other parameters of kidney function like serum creatinine, uric acid, blood urea nitrogen, and urinary excretion of glucose were also bettered.

These were shown in an animal study published in January 2005 issue of Pharmacological Research.

Green Tea and Bone Density

The catechins in green tea increase bone density as a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo has shown.

Green tea makes bones and teeth healthy, thus effectively preventing osteoporosis and peridontal disease. The catechins prevent the bacteria responsible for gum disease from producing toxic products that destroy bones.

Green Tea and Endurance

Green tea increases endurance in studies on lab rats. It is to be noted however that a single dose before exercise is not effective. Green tea had to be taken daily over a period of weeks to get the benefit of increased endurance.

It is estimated that about 4 cups of green tea should be taken everyday by athletes wanting to get the same levels of endurance benefits as observed in these test animals.

green tea cakes
green tea cakes | Source

Green Tea and Neurodegenerative Diseases

Neurodegenerative diseases cause death of brain cells mainly due to over production of free radicals due to various causes.

The catechins in green tea protect against the degenerative changes in the nerves and subsequent reduction in damage and death of brain cells.

The main causes of brain damage are the accumulation of iron in particular areas of the brain and damage to the brain cells and damage to the brain cells by the free radicals. These 2 factors have been found to be the causes of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, cognitive decline and other neurodegenerative disease conditions as one ages.

Studies on animals at the Douglas Hospital Research Center, McGill University, Quebec, Canada suggest that drinking 1-2 cups of green tea daily is beneficial in cutting down Alzheimer's disease risk.

Also consuming 2 cups and more of green tea is beneficial in lowering risk of Parkinson's and cognitive decline.

Two reports - one in the February 2006 issue of the American Journal of Clinical nutrition and the second by researchers at Japan's Tohuko University show that consumption of 1-2 cups of green tea daily reduced the rate of cognitive decline, memory loss, dementia, and Alzheimer's disease.

The catechin EGCG is believed to benefit in multiple ways in keeping the memory sharp, of those advanced in age.

Green Tea and the Flu

Green tea's main catechin EGCG fight the flu virus and both prevents and reduces the length of the flu attack. Reports published in the November 2005 issue of Antiviral Research indicates this.

Green Tea and Memory/Cognition

In a study a drink containing an extract of green tea was found to activate an area of the brain that is associated with memory.

Green tea polyphenols also increase the blood supply to the brain by widening the blood vessels.

Green tea also prevents senile plaques that hinder cognition from depositing in the brain.

Green Tea and Black Pepper?

It has been observed that simultaneous consumption of black pepper with green tea increases the absorption of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) markedly by more than double than if green tea was taken alone.

It would therefore be beneficial to add black pepper to soups, salads or meals if green tea is being taken along with them.

Caffeine Content

Green tea hydrates even though it contains caffeine since it contains only 30 to 60 mg caffeine in 250 ml of tea compared to more than 100 mg caffeine in coffee. However it may cause insomnia due to the caffeine content.

Note about Bottled Tea

To obtain the antioxidant benefits of green tea do not drink bottled green tea but drink it freshly brewed. These are the findings of a recent report.

Bottled green tea not only had varying amounts EGCG which varied in brands but also has added sugar thus not offering one the full health benefits of green tea.

Always Consult Your Physician

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.

More References

  • http://www.thepmc.org/2009/12/library-health-benefits-of-green-tea/
  • http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Tea_leaves_and_health
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/5334836.stm
  • http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/blogs/dont-drink-bottled-green-tea-for-antioxidants
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17906191
  • http://nccam.nih.gov/health/greentea
  • http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2239634/Looking-morning-boost-Forget-coffee--green-tea-holds-key.html
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110602143214.htm
  • http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/benefit_of_drinking_green_tea
  • http://www.gnet.org/the-antioxidant-power-of-green-tea-extract/
  • http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/06/29/ajcn.110.010926.abstract
  • http://news.psu.edu/story/154848/2011/10/04/green-tea-helps-mice-keep-extra-pounds
  • http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/apr2008_New-Research-On-The-Health-Benefits-Of-Green-Tea_01.htm
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/08/22/green-tea-benefits_n_1821929.html#slide=1398950.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

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Comments 36 comments

rcrumple profile image

rcrumple 4 years ago from Kentucky

rajan - Another great hub. Very informative about the benefits of Green Tea. I'd enjoyed it for many years, but have gotten away from it as of late. Easier to grab a cup of coffee at places than to take the time to prepare it. Need to get back to it for sure. Had never heard of the cookies and such. Really interesting! Great Job!


dwachira profile image

dwachira 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

Hi Rajan,

I like tea a lot, a day will not pass without taking a cup of tea. You have provided here very useful information about tea benefits. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up and useful.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Richard,

I'm sure this information has inspired you to restart drinking green tea even though I agree coffee is easier to grab. I appreciate you sparing time to read and comment.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Danson,

Thanks and I'm glad you found this useful.


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

As a person interested in the health benefits of just about anything I read this really carefully. I have known of most of these great benefits but have been unable to get into the green tea habit..(coffee). I was thinking about making a pitcher of it and drinking it during the day instead of water. This green tea really does have so many benefits I am blown away. As always you do this great job on presenting benefits of specific foods, herbs and supplements. Thanks so much Rajan....I like waking up to this healthful note. Voting up and sharing on facebook.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Carol, maybe this hub will just about motivate you to just go for green tea now. It would be a great idea to make a whole day's quantity at one go to carry it along. Thanks for the appreciation and read. And of course the sharing.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Wow, you are the master!!!! I of course drink green tea, but green tea donuts??? Never heard of it, but you better believe I'll be looking for those. :) What great ideas; I wonder if we have those pastries at our local bakeries? If not, we'll be baking soon.

Have a wonderful weekend, Rajan, and yes, I am sharing.


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Rajan, it is 3:42 PM on a Friday afternoon here in Walla Walla, and after reading this article, I am headed home right away to brew myself a cup of hot green tea. I had no idea that this stuff was so nutritious and an aggressive combatant against so many dreadful diseases. Thank you so much for once again reinforcing why I'm a follower of yours!

Aloha, brother! Nice going!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Bill - thanks, my friend. I do hope you get to try them soon. Have a great weekend. Thanks for sharing.

@ Keala - I'm sure the tea was refreshing. Mahalo, my friend. Have a great weekend.


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I did not know about many of these benefits, especially the cholesterol, which I need to lower. The taste alone is good enough, so the benefits are a bonus. Voting this Up and Useful.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A great read rajan an dthank you so very much for sharing. Here's to so many more for us both to share on here.

Eddy.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting hub. Green tea sounds good to me. Will try some of those recipes. Passing this on.


eHealer profile image

eHealer 4 years ago from Las Vegas

hey Rajan, How are you? I love green tea and no will drink it more! I had noticed, a few years back, that people were selling green tea in all kinds of inappropriate ways, like Green Tea Ice Cream, and Green Tea Beer. Of course, none of their items actually contained green tea as an ingredient, one has to look carefully at these food promises. Thanks Rajan, what a great hub.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ alocsin - thanks for visiting.

@ Eddy - thanks. I'm glad you like it. Thanks for visiting.

@ Gypsy - Rasma, I do hope you try it if you haven't as yet. Thanks for coming by and for sharing it.

@ ehealer - I agree Deborah, There is a lot of difference between what is promised and what actually is put. So one should be on guard. Many thanks and I hope you take it more often.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I knew green tea had many health benefits but no idea they were so many. I drink tea every day and like green tea. When my current supply is out, I will invest in some green tea. Thanks for the information. We must put healthier options in our bodies and stop killing ourselves with sugar and processed foods. Green tea can take place of many drinks that people imbibe.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Brenda, I so agree with all you say. I drink at least 2 cups of green tea a day and I can feel a difference in the energy levels and an improved digestion. I take it with a spoon of honey.

Glad you like the information and I'm sure you'll feel much better when you make it a regular part of your diet.

Thanks for stopping by.


alifeofdesign profile image

alifeofdesign 4 years ago from New Hamphire

I've enjoyed drinking green tea for years, but began drinking much (much) more after my cancer diagnosis. This hub offers many good reasons to drink, eat, and use green tea in so many different ways. I just love the photos that you include, rajan jolly!! I've never had a green tea pop or a green tea cake, but I would love to. I really like green tea ice cream and marcaroons. ...oh sure, I'd try a green tea donut, as well.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Graham,

I do hope you continue enjoying the health benefits of green tea and also try out some of these exciting recipes with it. Many thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your input. Thank you.


midget38 profile image

midget38 4 years ago from Singapore

Rajan, I absolutely love green tea. I love green tea macaroons as well! And am tempted to try the green tea mask too. It's a really effective antioxidant. Thanks for sharing these benefits, and I will share as well.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 4 years ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Hi Rajan, A very useful hub.....i have been on green tea for last two years may be....now i know so much benefit it has got. Though i started off unknowingly. Many thanks for the much informative hub, Keep up the good work.

Thanks and regards,

deergha


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Michelle - glad you appreciate the benefits of green tea. Thanks for the appreciation and sharing.

@ dghbrh - Deergha, glad to have your input on green tea and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for being here.


ChristinS profile image

ChristinS 4 years ago from Midwest

great information on green tea. I love it and have contemplated switching to it entirely instead of my coffee in the mornings. I did not know that black pepper helped with absorption - very interesting. A thorough and comprehensive hub voted up and shared. :)


elle64 profile image

elle64 4 years ago from Scandinavia

excellent infor -you can't go wrong with green tea


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Christin - Green tea instead of coffee should be definitely welcome for its many health benefits which you are surely going to enjoy now. Thanks for sparing time to read, comment and share.

@ elle - thank you.


Mama Kim 8 profile image

Mama Kim 8 4 years ago

Oh I just love green tea!! Especially making desserts out of it ^_^ Thank you for such a fantastic hub... just have to share and vote on this one!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Hi Sasha, nice to know you make green tea desserts. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate the votes and sharing.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Wow! I always heard that drinking green tea was healthful and I have all different kinds of teas in our home. Will definitely start drinking more of the green tea after reading this informative hub. I had no idea that tea plants could live to be 100 years old or that consuming black pepper along with the tea boosted the health benefits. Your health hubs are amazing! All kinds of up votes and sharing.


sarovai profile image

sarovai 4 years ago

Thank u for detailed information about Green tea and their usage qty daily basis and benefits of the same.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

@ Peggy - thanks and I appreciate the visit and comments.

@ sarovai - you are welcome and thanks for coming by.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

A tea with many helpful benefits and you said it the best, thanks


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Devika for stopping by.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Wow! Rajan, this is once again a really awesome hub on the benefits of tea. When I lived in Taiwan in the 70s, I was introduced to green tea by the Taiwanese. The tea leaves were put into boiling water, and then the tea after a few minutes was consumed in very small almost thimble-sized containers. It was great. Thais don't drink as much tea as the Chinese, however, the green tea leaves are grown in the mountains of Northern Thailand near the Burmese border. Voted up as interesting and sharing. Also Pinning and tweeting.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks for this info Paul. It would seem the Thais use green tea as a medicinal dose. This is very interesting. Thanks for reading and I appreciate all the votes and sharing.


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

I am always discovering hubs of yours that I haven't read yet! I actually did a HubPages search specifically for the topic of Green tea, and I was barely surprised to see you have written about it. I enjoy green tea very much, and I like to know how beneficial it is. You always pack a lot of useful information in your hubs, as well as the videos of delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing this with us.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA. Author

Thanks Kathryn. I'm glad you found the info you needed. Thanks.


Arpitha 18 months ago

Lovely tips..

Green tea has amazing benefits I have been following this from past 2 years by the suggestion of eVaidya.com online which is working very well..good to know this insights..

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    rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly (rajan jolly)1,139 Followers
    310 Articles

    Rajan is a major in Botany and Chemistry. Has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years of his career breeding layer & broiler parents.



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