Green tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It is extracted from the Camellia sinensis plant and is available in several varieties. You can enjoy green tea in cold, hot, and powdered forms. Its popularity is due to the presence of many powerful compounds in it that offer health benefits. Due to the health benefits of green tea, it is part of a wide range of diets.
Historically, green tea was prominently used in China as a medicine. Nowadays, extensive research is being carried out in the science community on green tea. Countless studies have concluded it to have a protective effect against different ailments.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Let’s have a look at the health benefits of green tea in the light of modern science.
1. Keeps the Brain Safe and Slows Cognitive Decline
Green tea protects your brain in the long run, especially against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Parkinson’s disease is second in the list of most common neurodegenerative diseases. Green tea may kill off the neurons known for producing dopamine in the brain. According to a study, green tea protects our brain cells against Parkinson’s. Likewise, another research revealed that green tea protects the neurons from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
2. Reduces Cancer Risk
One of the most widely accepted health benefits of green tea is its effectiveness against different forms of cancers. Green tea contains polyphenols, a substance that performs notably well in the prevention of cancer. Some laboratory and animal studies suggest that polyphenols from green tea can reduce the growth of cancerous tumors.
Green tea is rich in antioxidants compounds that slow down the damage done to the cells. Since cancer develops through oxidative damage, it’s expected that green tea can fight off cancer.
Researchers conducted an analysis of 29 studies that surveyed people who drank green tea. They were less likely (42%) to develop colorectal cancer.
Pro tip: Avoid adding milk to your tea. Some studies seem to suggest that the addition of milk can affect the antioxidant properties in teas.
3. Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease
Frequent drinkers of green tea have a lower likelihood of contracting a cardiovascular disease in later life. In 2013, a review linked the flavonoids present in green tea to this benefit.
It is important to note that data from the population studies in Japan and Taiwan can be biased. In those countries, green tea is part of the staple—they may have a genetic predisposition towards the health benefits of green tea. But, studies from the U.S. and other countries associated the consumption of green tea to improvement in heart health. Moreover, green tea cut downs the possibility of developing obesity and other chronic diseases.
4. Increases the Rate of Fat Burning
Do you take any fat burning supplement? Take a look at the label closely and you may find green tea among its ingredients. If you did locate green tea on your supplement, then keep in mind that the latest research comes with an interesting finding. This beverage can provide a boost to the metabolic rate and increase the rate of the fat burning process in the human body.
According to one study comprising 10 men, green tea consumption led to an increase of burned calories by 4%. On a similar note, in another study comprising of 12 men, green tea increased fat oxidation by 17%.
A correlation has also been found between caffeine and the improvement of physical energy. Two separate studies have reported this relationship. Caffeine mobilizes fatty acids present in the fat tissue to make it available for use as an energy source.
5. Promotes a Calming Effect
If you experience a great deal of stress due to personal or professional issues, then you can add green tea to your diet. Green tea consists of the amino acid L-theanine—a compound that is connected to mood enhancement and alertness. According to research, increasing the intake of L-theanine can improve concentration and reduce anxiety. Some people are caffeine-sensitive, so it is possible that you don’t get a soothing effect from the green tea. This advantage depends more on the drinker’s preferences.
6. Boosts Your Dental Health
Green tea is a source of catechins, a substance that can inhibit and kill viruses and lowers the risk of different infections.
When it comes to the mouth, Streptococcus mutans is one of the most common species of dental bacteria. It forms plague on the teeth, causes tooth decay, and contributes to cavities. Studies show that catechins in green tea are viable enough to suppress Streptococcus mutans.
7. Helps to Reduce the Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is one of the fastest-growing diseases of the 21st century. As of now, millions of people suffer from diabetes. You can reverse it in the early stages by cutting down the intake of carbohydrates. Once you become diabetic, you can lose your sensitivity to insulin. This means that your cells will struggle to extract sugar from the bloodstream. As a result, high blood insulin and sugar levels in your body will skyrocket. Diabetes has a negative impact on the cardiovascular system as well. So, it is important to try your best in countering it.
Green tea can stabilize and lower glucose levels. Studies have pointed out that green tea reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. A Japanese study found out those individuals who consumed green the most had an extremely low risk of contracting type II diabetes.
8. Soothes Arthritis
If you are mentally exhausted due to continuous pains and aches, then sipping green tea daily can put you in a more relaxed condition. Green tea carries a chemical compound: quercetin. It is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
An animal-based study revealed that certain substances that produce rheumatoid arthritis were given to mice along with four cups of green tea. The outcomes showed that tea-drinking mice were unlikely to contract arthritis when compared to the water-drinking mice. Moreover, human-centric studies are also positive in this regard. For example, as per the Iowa Women’s Health Study, women who took at least three cups of tea were 60% less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis. Some studies have linked the presence of polyphenols to the arthritis-based health benefits of green tea.
9. Clears Acne
Are you looking for a home remedy to alleviate your acne? You may give green tea a thought.
According to a study by the University of Miami, the antioxidant and antimicrobial compounds in green tea are powerful. Even a mild dose is effective enough to minimize acne.
For use, boil a cup of green tea, wait for it to become cold, and then apply it as a facewash. Place the tea bag on the skin directly so it can work as a compress for removing pimples.
10. Promotes a Healthy Brain
Are you passionate about your work? Do you feel as if your brain is slowing down with age, especially when you try to recall work-related tasks.
By consuming regular green tea, you can boost activity in your brain’s working memory area. It increases blood flow, which, in turn, lets healthier blood vessels to come in contact with your brain.
A study found out that when people consume green tea consistently, then catechin delays and prevent memory regression. Hence, with continued intake, your brain can age better.
11. Builds Better Immunity
We are going through testing times. The threat of coronavirus looms over our heads as medical researchers are striving to find a cure for the virus. Before a cure comes, it is a good idea to improve your immunity by taking advantage of the health benefits of green tea. Generally, people take vitamins to build immunity. Do take them, but you can have green tea as well. In fact, it is 25-100 times more effective than vitamins C and E. Green tea can help you with improved mental activity, healthy gums, liver function, digestion, and contribute to other immune system-building areas.
Green tea boasts an endless supply of the health-promoting compounds. Regular intake of green tea can help you with weight loss. In this way, it fights against the most dangerous diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
On average, three cups of green tea are enough to make the most out of the health benefits of green tea. But, do consult your doctor before determining the intake.