I remember not really caring for tea when I was younger. After spending some time in India and learning more about Ayurveda as well as the health factors of various herbs, however, I realized that if I didn’t start drinking tea, I would be missing out on one of the easiest ways to care for and nurture your body.
So I began experimenting with teas! Although I am now a fan of a variety of teas, both herbal and caffeinated, it is quite evident that one particular tea takes the cake in health benefits. You guessed it – green tea. In fact, I am sipping some green tea right now as I sit down to write this post 🙂
Did you know green tea is said to be the healthiest beverage on the planet?!
It is chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants that do the body good. Read below to find some of the interesting and wonderful effects of drinking green tea.
1. Green Tea’s Bioactive Compounds Improve Health
Many of the plant compounds in the tea leaves make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients to keep you healthy.
Tea is rich in polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer. Green tea is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight. Catechins inside green tea are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage. They also protect cells and molecules from damage and help fight the effects of aging.
2. Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function
Green tea can actually make you smarter because of the caffeine contained in it. Although it has less caffeine than coffee, it gives you enough to produce a response without causing the jittery effects that coffee might.
Caffeine consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, reaction time, and memory. And green tea seems to provide just the right amount of caffeine.
Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.
3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning
Green tea is included in the ingredients of most fat burning supplements because it has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate.
4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Some Forms of Cancer
Oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and antioxidants may have a protective effect against cancer. Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do, according to some studies.
Studies have shown a 20-30% reduction in breast cancer among women who drink green tea regularly. In addition, they found a 48% lower chance in men developing prostate cancer and 42% reduction in colorectal cancer among those who drink green tea. However, more extensive research is needed to confirm the effects of green tea on cancer rates.
5. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s As You Age
Green tea may improve brain function in the short term AND long term. The bioactive compounds in green tea discussed earlier can have protective effects on the brain that can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (the two most common neurodegenerative disorders).
6. Green Tea Can Improve Dental Health and Lower Your Risk of Infections
Catechins are molecules in green tea that are known to kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the flu, lowering your risk of infections.
Catechins can also inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans, which is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay. Green tea has also been shown to reduce bad breath.
7. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
According to a review of seven studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic. Other controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood sugar levels, which could help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
8. Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world. Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, which can lower your chance of developing cardiovascular disease.
9. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Obesity
Green tea can boost the metabolic rate, which could help you lose weight. Studies have shown it leads to decreases in body fat, especially in your abs.
One study was a 12-week randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and belly fat.
10. Green Tea May Help You Live Longer
Since green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, they may live longer than those who don’t drink green tea.
In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank five or more cups of green tea a day were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period.
- Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
- Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
- Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.
Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the six year study period.
When choosing green tea, try to buy some brands that are higher quality, because lesser brands contain excessive amounts of fluoride. The benefits of drinking green tea still outweigh the risk of low-quality brands, though! Drink up, folks 🙂