5 Reasons You Should Start Drinking Green Tea Today
Green tea is a superfood that delivers a ton of health benefits. The evidence on the health benefits of this incredible beverage is overwhelming, and the best part is that the benefits are spread to different parts ranging from the brain to your heart and liver. This has seen more people embrace green tea. Some are even replacing their morning cup of coffee with the tea. Others alternate the two and still enjoy enormous benefits without any complications. Another fraction of users have created time to enjoy the tea at midday or during chilled early evenings. Whatever the case, the one thing everyone agrees on is that a cup of green tea is essential for your life.
Green tea delivers many benefits, but the one thing it is most famous for is its antioxidant properties. Multiple studies have shown this tea effectively fights free radicals in the body hence reducing oxidative stress. This helps in safeguarding cells and tissues against chronic conditions.
Here is a breakdown of all the proven green tea benefits you can expect:
Improves Cognitive Functions
Green tea boosts different brain functions, as reported by various trials. Like coffee, green tea also contains caffeine, which is exceptional for enhancing mental alertness, vitality, reaction time, and memory. However, unlike coffee, green tea has a lower concentration of caffeine. This is actually a good thing because too much caffeine also comes with its own side effects. Green tea delivers just the right amount of the stimulant to keep your brain working optimally but without producing adverse reactions like jitters, irritability, headaches, and sleep disturbance. Its impact is, therefore, more stable as compared to coffee.
Besides caffeine, green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine. This compound crosses the blood-brain barrier to support the activities of GABA. It produces anti-anxiety effects and other health benefits.
Green tea is also believed to be useful for protecting the brain against aging and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. This can be attributed to its antioxidant properties and the catechins present in the tea.
Promotes Fat Burning
Green tea is useful in reducing waist circumference and overall body fat percentage.
Anyone who's ever shopped for fat burners or weight loss supplements knows green tea is one of the most common ingredients in these products. That's simply because the tea has solid science backing its fat-burning abilities. Studies show it achieves this by increasing metabolism. A high metabolic rate results in faster fat breakdown. It also speeds up the burning of calories, so fewer of them get converted to fat.
The caffeine in green tea also supports the breakdown of adipose for fuel. This helps in reducing the overall body fat percentage.
Fights Cardiovascular Diseases
According to this study, green tea reduces bad LDL cholesterol by delaying LDL anti-peroxidation. In layman’s language, it inhibits oxidation of LDL, effectively preventing the conversion of cholesterol to plaques that block arteries and cause blood clots. By preventing this, green tea reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases like stroke and high blood pressure.
Prevents Type 2 Diabetes
An analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials suggested that green tea can enhance insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. This reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
By preventing type 2 diabetes, the tea also protects the users from diabetes-related complications like nerve damage and amputations.
While the tea may be effective in reducing insulin resistance, researchers still recommend following a healthy type 2 diabetes diet, especially if you are at a high risk of developing the condition.
Fights Certain Types of Cancer
Green tea has powerful antioxidant properties that can prevent oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, which escalates to conditions like cancer. Colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer are among the types of cancer that green tea can protect the users from.
To make it more effective for this purpose, researchers recommend not adding milk to your tea.
Additional clinical trials are necessary to understand the full effects and impact of green tea on cancer.
Boosts Oral Health
In vitro studies show catechins can prevent the growth of bacteria such as streptococcus mutans. This reduces the risk of tooth decay and cavities.
It can also reduce bad breath.
Green tea has anti-inflammatory effects, reducing inflammation and related conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.
Other conditions that green tea can help with are:
- Bone loss
- Skin damage
How to Drink Green Tea?
You can enjoy your cup of green tea in various ways. The first and obvious method is by brewing it just like regular tea. However, you should not use boiling water since high temperatures can damage the catechins that produce all the benefits highlighted above. Instead, let the water sit for a moment before pouring over the leaves.
You can also add some flavor to your tea with ginger.
Experiment with other matcha green tea recipes as well.
Does Green Tea Produce Any Side Effects?
Yes, green tea can produce several adverse reactions if used excessively (more than 5 cups/day). Remember, this beverage also contains caffeine, so it can lead to side effects like jitters, irritability, insomnia, and stomach upset when consumed in excess. It can also affect the absorption of folic acid and iron.
Green tea is definitely a great addition to your daily diet. But make sure to consume it in moderation.
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