Green tea has gained a lot of attention over the past few years due to many scientific studies highlighting its countless health benefits. Not only has drinking varieties of green tea been widespread among Asian countries, the tea leaf has also been used for its medicinal benefits for centuries. Green tea is known to have antioxidants (which essentially remove free radicals from the body), and thus has been proven to help reduce cancerous cell growth.
Benefits of Green Tea
For thousands of years, people have been reaping the benefits of green tea. Below you will find a comprehensive list of the best green tea benefits recognized today.
#1: Weight Loss
Studies have shown that catechins, a type of phenol and antioxidant found in many teas (including green tea), may cause weight loss because it leads to a decrease in body fat and lowers triglyceride levels. In general, antioxidants found in green tea will promote healthy cell growth, speed up your metabolism, and help you burn more calories at rest. Additionally, the caffeine in green tea will give you the extra energy boost to help you remain active.
#2: Cholesterol and Risk of Heart Disease
According to research, green tea lowers your LDL (“bad” cholesterol) and raises your HDL (“good” cholesterol), which in turn can lower your chances of heart disease. It has been suggested that the antioxidants in green tea help inhibit your intestinal absorption of dietary lipids. Combined with diet and exercise, green tea can help lower your cholesterol.
#3: Green Tea and Diabetes
After a meal, your body produces and secretes the enzyme amylase to digest starches. Research suggests that green tea reduces the amount of amylase released, in turn decreasing the rate at which the starch is metabolized into sugar. Since there’s less sugar released into your blood stream, smaller amounts of insulin are required to moderate glucose levels in your bloodstream, and that minimizes your chances of building insulin resistance. Along with exercise, green tea can potentially reduce a person’s likelihood of developing diabetes.
#4: Combating Alzheimer’s Disease
Scientists have shown that green tea inhibits beta-secretase, a cleaving enzyme associated with protein deposition in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. Acetylcholine is a fundamental chemical found in the brain and patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s have been found to exhibit lower levels of the chemical; meanwhile, green tea has been found to reduce activity of the enzyme responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. Thus, drinking green tea could help diminish one’s chances of having Alzheimer’s in the future.
#5: Green Tea As An Immunity Booster
The antioxidants found in green tea substantially contribute to the benefits from consuming the warm beverage. Polyphenol, a powerful antioxidant found in many plants, is very beneficial to your immune system. Research has shown that catechins (a polyphenol) have antiviral effects against the influenza virus. So when you feel like you’re catching a cold, try drinking some warm green tea.
#6: Fighting Asthma
According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), the number of people who suffer from asthma is steadily increasing. This condition can be expensive to treat and sometimes even result in death. Green tea contains a natural bronchodilator called theophylline, which is believed to reduce the symptoms of asthma by relaxing the muscles that support bronchial tubes. Since drinking green tea has been considered to ameliorate the health effects and discomforts of asthma, it can reduce the amount of medication necessary to treat those with breathing conditions. The financial benefits can be tremendous.
#7: Green Tea And Stress
Stress has been known to increase cortisol levels in the body, leading to obesity, depression, anxiety, and many other diseases. You should take advantage of the L-Theanine amino acid found in green tea, which has been linked to an increase in dopamine levels in the brain. This will help lower your stress and anxiety, ultimately leaving you happier and more relaxed.
#8: The Cancer Battle
There have been several studies on the effects of green tea on all types of cancer, including breast, colon and skin cancer. Through animal studies, some of the antioxidants present in green tea have been proven to hinder tumor cell growth and lead to the death of cancerous cells. Additionally, the antioxidants eliminate free radicals, which are very reactive and may cause damage to cell DNA. Research studies have demonstrated that women who drink 5 or more cups of green tea a day have a decreased risk of colon and breast cancer, and those who already have cancer may live longer.
#9: Say Goodbye To Tooth Decay
Green tea has also been proven to decrease your chances of losing your teeth as you grow older. However, it is important to note that drinking your tea with large amounts of sugar may negate any positive health benefits. Green tea destroys bacteria in the mouth, preventing throat infections, gum disease, and tooth decay. Along with brushing and flossing regularly, drinking green tea can help stave off uncomfortable tooth and gum disease, which can be very painful and expensive.
#10: Green Tea and Arthritis
The information available about antioxidants and the other amazing benefits of green tea is constantly growing and we would be remiss if we did not mention the positive effects of green tea on arthritis. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, research has shown that green tea helps arthritis sufferers by reducing inflammation in the body and slowing down the breakdown of cartilage, the most common type of arthritis – osteoarthritis. Arthritis is a degenerative and incredibly painful disease with no cure, but green tea can help reduce its effects.
Best Types of Green Tea From Your Local Market
- Earl Grey is probably one of the most popular among avid tea drinkers and Twinings of London has an Earl Grey Green Tea that is easy to come by.
- Jasmine green tea is a favorite around the world. It has a sweet and floral flavor that is quite popular.
- Matcha green tea is another favorite – it is a powdered tea that can be mixed into all types of drinks and is commonly used in smoothies.
- The Republic of Tea has a veritable plethora of teas available, including flavored green tea like one of Dr. Oz’s favorites, Kiwi Pear Green Tea. It has a naturally tangy and sweet flavor that is delicious when served hot or cold.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
If you are sensitive to caffeine, there are various types of decaffeinated green teas available at your local grocery store. Even caffeinated green tea has only about half the amount of caffeine when compared to a cup of coffee. While the caffeine in green tea has been shown to be beneficial in weight loss, it is ultimately the antioxidants and amino acids that are responsible for green tea’s many health benefits. Although there is no magic number of cups one must drink to fully benefit from green tea, some studies recommend a daily intake of 2 to 5 cups.