Although tea is popular all over the world, there are many variations. One of the most popular, historically and today, is green tea. Whether due to its taste or a wide range of health benefits, you can find green tea in several forms and usually in your local supermarket. While you may know it’s a healthy choice, do you really know all of its potential health benefits? This article presents some of the best proven health benefits of drinking green tea.
What is green tea?
Most of the tea consumed worldwide comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. Variations of white tea, green tea, black tea and oolong tea are based on the degree of fermentation and processing.
Green tea is an unfermented or second least processed form and most of the world’s green tea comes from China. Only white tea undergoes less processing, but is not grown long enough to develop some of the strong compounds of green tea.
Health effects of green tea
Green tea naturally contains catechins, which is a specific type of flavonoid (from polyphenols) or plant nutrients that contain strong antioxidants. Catechins make up most of the solid part of a green tea leaf and are the driving force behind many of the health benefits associated with green tea.
Green tea contains four main catechins, the most important of which are EGCG.
Green tea has strong antioxidant activity
EGCG in green tea has been shown to play a major role in reducing cell damage and the growth of potentially harmful cells that can occur during oxidation or other types of cell damage.
While this area is still being researched, you can think of antioxidants, such as preventative medicine, to help protect your body from damage related to disease or aging.
Green tea can improve blood flow
Researchers believe that green tea can improve blood flow and consequently prevent many heart-related diseases. The overall benefit to heart health and prevention is the main reason for consuming green tea.
Green tea can help reduce body fat
Another heart health study found that green tea extract helped participants reduce their body fat by about 10%. Reducing body fat by 10%, especially in overweight or obese people, can have a significant impact on reducing the risk of chronic diseases.
Green tea can help with weight loss
Losing body fat is the key to losing weight, especially if you want to maintain muscle. Green tea has a naturally pleasant taste and is low in calories, if you can drink it without the addition of sweeteners, it is a low-calorie natural energy gain that also supports lower calorie intake.
Green tea could help reduce inflammation
While cardiovascular disease is often associated with inflammation, there are many other conditions, such as joint pain and skin diseases, that are affected by inflammation. The strong antioxidant effect combined with anti-inflammatory properties gives green tea a lot of promise for those who struggle with these types of health conditions.
Green tea has antimicrobial properties
Green tea has been shown to help fight bacteria and potentially prevent infection. This is related to the cessation of bacteria at the cellular level, as well as viruses and fungi. Preventing infection is a key way to stay healthy. This may also be why green tea helps prevent bad breath.
Green tea can prevent heart disease
Long-term studies of large groups in Japan have shown a lower risk of cardiovascular disease in people who drank more green tea each day than those who did not.
While the amount of tea consumed in several studies on heart disease has varied, the overall trend is better cardiovascular health in people who regularly drink green tea.
Types of green tea
Green tea has many forms! Here are some ideas on how to get regular green tea in your diet:
Green tea in a bottle
You can buy green tea almost anywhere. Try to avoid those that contain added sugars (even natural sugar such as honey) that can counteract some health benefits.
Loose leaf tea
If you like the process of brewing tea at home and have the right supplies, buying loose green tea is one way to drink it.
Cup of tea
Cheap and easy to use on the go, you can brew your own green tea from a bag of hot water, or overnight with cold water for iced green tea.
A popular form of green tea, matcha can be found in many cafes and you can buy matcha powder, which you can prepare to drink at home.
With green tea, you can get the same dose of caffeine that you are looking for from coffee or other caffeinated beverages, but you will gain even more peace of mind knowing that you are consuming an antioxidant drink that increases your energy and health.