17 Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green Tea Health Benefits
Green, white and black tea are the same plant but with different degrees of oxidation during processing. Green and white tea have the most benefits since they are oxidized the least. Green and black tea are made from the leaves of the tea bush. White tea is made from the tea buds.
The scientific name for this plant is camellia sinensis. The common name for this plant is tea. All other plants that are made into tea are called herbal teas. Green tea is an herb, plant food or botanical. Wikipedia says that people have been drinking green tea for over 4,000 years.
China has spent many thousands of years looking for the best herbs for health. Even now modern hospitals in China use herbs on their patients. China recognized this plant as the best herb or botanical for many different things.
Green tea contains kaempferol, a phtochemical (plant medicine). This has anticancer, cardioprotective, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, antiosteoporotic, antiallergic and more activities.
Ginseng root is the best herb for anti-aging but it is expensive since it takes years for the roots to grow. Some ginseng roots are over 10 years old. But leaves grow very quickly. The Chinese drink tea because it is the best health tonic. They also add other herbs to it. Like jasmine tea is jasmine flowers (blossoms) added to green tea. For more on ginseng root see 9 Health Benefits of Ginseng Root.
WebMD.com has an article called Health Benefits of Green Tea. It says:
Green tea is so good for you that it's even got researchers raving.
"It's the healthiest thing I can think of to drink," says Christopher Ochner, PhD. He's a research scientist in nutrition at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. "Green tea is beyond a super food."
It goes on to say how research shows that it is good for a healthy heart, brain health, healthy brain, cancer, diabetes, weight loss and less stress. It says that the tea leaves should be added to water that is between 160 and 170F. Note that boiling water is 212F. They suggest drinking 4 cups a day, 2 with caffeine and 2 without caffeine.
I saw on Quackwatch, that was founded by a retired psychiatrist, that it said that green tea does not have cardiovascular benefits. PubMed is part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine that is one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). PubMed has an article called, Effects of green tea and EGCG on cardiovascular and metabolic health. It says:
Dose-response relationships observed in several epidemiological studies have indicated that pronounced cardiovascular and metabolic health benefits can be obtained by regular consumption of 5-6 or more cups of green tea per day. Furthermore, intervention studies using similar amounts of green tea, containing 200-300 mg of EGCG, have demonstrated its usefulness for maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health.
Please note that unlike WebMD.com, they say 5-6 of more cups of green tea per day. But do not sweeten it with something unhealthy like sugar. Sweeten it with something like the herb known as stevia. See Health Benefits of Stevia Herbal Sweetener. This article mentions that Japan has the longest living people of any country. They have been using stevia to sweeten their soft drinks for 40 years.
Because tea is 98% water it has all the benefits of drinking water. Steven Pratt M.D & Kathy Matthews wrote a book called SuperFoods Rx. It has the 17 healthiest foods in them and one of them is tea. Others include beans, blueberries, broccoli, oats, oranges, pumpkin, wild salmon, soy, spinach, tomatoes, turkey, walnuts and yogurt.
It says that tea contains over 4,000 chemical compounds. Another book by a medical doctor that I have (I have lots of books by MDs) is Anticancer: A New Way of Life. This M.D. got cancer and let doctors cure it. But it came back. That is common with cancer. So he learned about a new way to live and changed how he lived. Then the cancer was cured and he waited 25 years to make sure that it did not come back before writing this book.
He says that the more green tea that you drink, the less chance that you have of getting cancer. He says that it blocks angiogenesis and tissue invasion. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels by cancerous cells. If you drink 2 or 3 cups of green tea a day then your blood is filled with EGCG (epigallocatechin) and this is what is responsible for the above. It says that green tea is a liver detoxifier and it helps the liver get rid of cancerous toxins at a faster rate. Other food that are mentioned that fight cancer are mushrooms and the spice turmeric.
The other book on the healthiest foods to eat does not mention mushrooms and they are great for the immune system. Also when you eat mushrooms, you can tell people that you are eating fungus! Harvard University says that green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. Catechins are powerful anti-oxidants. EGCG is a catechin.
17 Health Benefits of Green Tea
1. Relieves stress
The reason I start with this is that people know about the caffeine in green tea and that even though it has benefits, it can cause people to have too much nervous energy. It also helps people to lost weight. But the EGCG in tea will help you to lose weight without any caffeine.
So besides caffeine, green tea also contains a rare amino acid called theanine or l-theanine. The only other place to get this rare amino acid is from eating the edible bay boletes mushroom. As far as webmd.com saying to consume some tea without caffeine, this amino acid has the opposite effect as caffeine and helps to relieve stress.
It promotes mental and physical relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety. It increases learning ability, promotes concentration, calms nervous agitation, helps with PMS and reduces blood pressure. This is why green tea lowers blood pressure if it is too high when caffeine is known to raise blood pressure. So next time that you are talking about tea, mention the theanine in it instead of the caffeine in it.
2. Green Tea Cleanses the Blood
People advise us to eat our greens. Green tea is a leafy green and you can eat it or drink your greens. It is green because of the chlorophyll in it that cleanses our blood. Once I bought some organic gunpowder tea. They take the leaves and roll them into pellets. After making the tea the pellets turned back into leaves and I ate some of them. They tasted similar to spinach.
3. Diminishes PMS Symptoms
Above it says that this is due to theanine but by cleansing the blood that would decrease PMS symptoms. A lot of research shows that your diet can greatly influence PMS symptoms. See this page about Menstruation and Diet for more on this.
4. Better Brain Function
This can be due to both the theanine and caffeine. WebMD.com says that what is good for the heart is usually good for the brain. Cleansing the blood helps people to have more clear thinking.
5. Green Tea Helps Cardiovascular Health
This helps with the stickiness of the blood and decrease the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies show that it reduces the chances of people having strokes and heart attacks. Research presented at the International Stroke Conference in February 2009 found that drinking 3 or more cups of tea per day can reduce the risk of suffering a stroke by as much as 21%.
6. Lowers High Blood Pressure
The above would also increase cardiovascular health. See #1 for why it does this.
7. Helps the Body Burn Fat and Lose Excess Weight
Both caffeine and EGCG help with this.
8. Helps Prevent Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease
Alzheimer’s disease occurs as a result of your brain cells being impaired, and eventually killed. This is partially caused by the buildup of toxic protein fragments called amyloid beta.
Green tea gets to the root of Alzheimer’s disease by three distinct mechanisms: preventing the formation of amyloid plaques, breaking down existing plaques, and creating critical new neurons in the brain.
As a result, green tea consumption has now been associated with a 54% reduction in the risk of developing cognitive decline.
9. Good for Pain Relief
Green tea is also known to help memory. An article on Woman's Day lists 5 Pain-Fighting Foods. Green tea is one of them. It says that this is due to the EGCG in it and other things. It also lists salmon due to the omega-3 in it, olive oil, cherries and ginger.
10. Green Tea is Anti-Inflammatory
This would help reduce pain and it lowers your chances of getting diseases that increase as you get older.
11. Green Tea is Anti-Aging
This can be due to many things but especially the anti-inflammatory effect.
12. Strengthens Immune System
Anything that cleanses the body and blood like green tea does would strengthen the immune system.
13. Helps Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have shown this and they say it is due to the polyphenols in the tea that help protect against inflammation and carcinogens.
14. Prevents Cancer
As mentioned above, this is one of the best foods for preventing cancer. For other ones see Great Foods That Fight Cancer.
15. Helps Dental Health and Builds Stronger Bones
This is due to the tea helping to control that bad bacteria in the mouth that prevents tooth decay, it helps gum health and it builds strong teeth and bones. As far as fighting cancer and building stronger bones and teeth, this is due to it being the most alkaline food that exists. Here is the original chart about alkaline foods by biochemist Ragnar Berg with green tea having an acid-binding abilty of 53.50.
Also to see what alkaline foods have to do with strong bones and teeth see The Real Cause of Osteoporosis. A study showed that the amount of calcium in diet has no effect on the above, but the amount of calcium in the urine does. See New Research: Drinking Tea Makes Bones Healthy And Strong.
16. Helps Asthma and Rheumatoid Arthritis
The theophyline (another phytochemical or plant medicine in green tea) relaxes the muscles which support the bronchial tubes, reducing the severity of asthma. As far as rheumatoid arthritis, this effect is explained in the above webpage about 5 Pain-Fighting Foods.
17. Relieves Allergies and Prevents Liver Disease
The EGCG helps the allergies. Research has shown that green tea destroys harmful free radicals in fatty livers.
See these 20 Benefits of Green Tea including more production of nitric oxide. Also see this article to see what more nitric oxide can do according to the Nobel Prize winners. Improve Circulation with Nitric Oxide.
Here is a webpage about green tea that has some quotes from studies with a link to a U.S. government study. Also it has some exact quotes about theanine with a link to the page from where they are from.
In the first video below about green tea, the guy also talks about yerba mate tea. This is not as researched as green tea but may be just as good. I drink green tea, white tea and yerba mate tea. In most of South America, yerba mate is the most popular beverage. It is the national beverage of Argentina.
It has a large amount of chlorogenic acid in it and this is the phytochemical in green coffee that makes it so good for weight loss. I love the taste of yerba mate tea. See Health Benefits of Yerba Mate Tea.