8 Amazing Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years throughout Asia. It's healthier than even black tea because its process doesn't involve fermentation like black tea's process does, even though it's made by the same plant, Camellia sinensis.
Dating back 4,000 years, it's the oldest known tea. Legend says it was first brewed in 2737 BCE.
Green tea promotes healthy, graceful aging inside and out. The antioxidants are good for decreasing signs of aging on your skin (did you know green tea is also an acne treatment?) and it also prevents age-related illnesses like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
The antioxidant catechin, which is abundant in green tea, has been shown to have a positive effect on brain neurons which potentialyl reduces the risk of Alzheimer's.
Also, Parkinson's disease involves the death of dopamine transmitters. Because green tea increases dopamine in the brain, it can lower the risk of getting Parkinson's, and possibly even help minimize some of the symptoms.
Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells in your body. It is one of the leading causes of death today and it has no known cure. However, green tea can reduce your chances of getting it in the first place.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants which can protect your body from unhealthy cell growth. It has more antioxidants than even the antioxidant powerhouse blueberries. Observational studies have shown that:
- Women who drink green tea reduce their odds of getting breast cancer by 22%.
- Men lower their chances of prostate cancer by 48% by drinking green tea.
- Green tea drinkers lower their chances of getting colorectal cancer by 57%.
Do you regularly drink green tea?
Studies have shown that the polyphenol found in green tea is a huge metabolism booster which makes you burn more calories doing your regular, daily activities than you would have otherwise, which forces your body to convert fat cells into energy. One study showed that green tea boosted the metabolism in men by 4%. Another study showed that green tea increases fat oxidation in general by 17%. Several studies even suggest that it targets fat in the abdominal area, so it's easier than ever to lose that muffin top.
One controlled trial, with 240 men and women, found that over the course of 12 weeks, the subjects who drank tea had more significant decreases in weight, fat percentage, and waist circumference than the control group.
So if you are looking to lose a few pounds or just get rid of some pesky fat, adding green tea to your daily diet can go a long way to helping that.
Makes You Smarter and Happier
Green tea doesn't exactly raise your IQ, but it does increase and improve brain function. Its key ingredients for this is caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine which work together to help neurons fire faster in the brain without the caffeine jitters and crash you can get from coffee. They also increase the feel-good chemicals of dopamine and norepinephrine, which reduces anxiety and increases alpha brain waves, a creativity booster and a preventer of depression.
The catechin in green tea can fight infections like influenza and strep throat as well improve dental health and fight bad breath. Studies have found that it destroys the bacteria that cause infections, bad breath, dental caries, and other dental problems.
Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II Diabetes is a disease that affects 300 million people worldwide. It involves having high blood sugar and the inability to produce insulin, which counteracts sugar.
Studies have shown that green tea increases insulin sensitivity as well as lower blood sugar levels, making it harder to get Type II Diabetes. In fact, one study found that it can lower the risk of getting the disease by 42%.
Reduces the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke
Studies have shown that drinking green tea makes you less likely to get cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke. Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world.
The main risk factor for these diseases is high cholesterol, or more specifically, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
Not only does green tea reduce both of these, but its antioxidants also prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidation. Scientists also believe that green tea relaxes blood vessels in the heart, making them better able to adapt to changes in blood pressure. Green tea also prevents clot formation, a possible cause for heart attacks.
Studies have shown that green tea drinkers on average lower their risk of cardiovascular diseases by 31%.
Promotes a Long, Healthy Life
It makes sense that green tea drinkers have a longer life on average than those who don't. After all, it helps prevents leading causes of death, like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Since it also reduces risk of Alzheimer's, depression, and other diseases, those extra years will most likely be happy ones, as well.
One study with over 14,000 subjects aged 65-84 found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die in a 6 year period.
Another study with over 40,000 adult subjects found that frequent green tea drinkers were less likely to die in an 11 year period.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Green Tea
- 1 tea bag or 1 teaspoon Green tea leaves
- 8 ounces water
- Pour warm water over green tea and let it steep for 2-3 minutes before removing tea bag or straining tea. Put in Drink warm or iced and enjoy.
- For maximum benefit do NOT use hot water. If the water is too hot it'll kill off the important antioxidants. You should also not put milk in your tea because it will neutralize them. However, lemon or lemon juice enhances the antioxidants and makes them absorb better into your system for a bigger impact on your body.
Even though I believe in the benefits of green tea and have backed up this article with research, I am not a medical professional (or even a medical student).
Green tea should not be used as a medical treatment without consultation with a medical professional. There have also been studies saying that it doesn't fight cancer or burn fat, so the true benefits in green tea can be inconclusive. There have also been studies shown that drinking green in excess tea is not good for those who are pregnant.