Green Tea is the tea made from the Camellia sinensis leaves, which undergo a process of withering and oxidation. There are numerous varieties of green tea, and they differ based on the growing conditions, the process of production, and the time of harvest.
Green tea is the oldest herbal tea known on earth, dating back more than 4000 years since its discovery in China. It is the least processed tea on the market, offering a host of long-term health benefits if consumed regularly. Green tea was originally used in Chinese and Indian medicine to heal and soothe just about any ailment and has since gained global popularity.
Here are some Health Benefits of Green Tea :
1. Cuts Cancer Risk
According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols (especially catechins) are responsible for the tea’s anticancer properties. The most promising of these is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). This, along with other polyphenols, fights free radicals and protects the cells from DNA damage that is caused by the reactive oxygen species. Green tea polyphenols can also modulate immune system function.
2. Improves Heart Health
One report by the Harvard Medical School states how green tea can protect the heart and prevent disease. It says that green tea can lower bad cholesterol levels that otherwise directly contribute to heart disease. Most of the studies have been conducted using green tea capsules – however, the benefits can be scaled to the tea as well.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure
The long-term intake of green tea was associated with improved blood pressure levels. Studies suggest drinking 3 to 4 cups of the tea per day to help regulate blood pressure. One study also stated that as a result of lowered blood pressure (due to green tea consumption), participants saw a reduction in coronary heart disease risk by 5 percent and stroke risk by 8 percent.
4. Lowers The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Green tea can sensitize cells so that they are able to metabolize sugar better, improving diabetes symptoms. It also works great for diabetics because it enhances the metabolic system function. And green tea polyphenols regulate glucose levels in the body, cutting diabetes risk.
5. Promotes Weight Loss
The EGCG in green tea seems to be the shining element for potentially aiding weight loss. The antioxidant boosts metabolism, eventually aiding weight loss. The tea can also help mobilize fat from fat cells. The active compounds in green tea boost the effects of certain fat burning hormones.
6. Helps Relieve Arthritis
The antioxidant effects of EGCG play a major role here. It limits the production of certain molecules in your body that otherwise lead to inflammation and arthritis pain. Green tea has also shown promise in improving the health of the bones and cartilage.
7. Promotes Longevity
One study that analyzed the typical Japanese diet concluded that green tea might enhance life expectancy. This could be attributed to the various ways green tea positively impacts health, all of which compound and help one live longer.
8. Boosts Immunity
The catechins in green tea play a major role in boosting your immune function. The tea protects against oxidants and radicals, thereby enhancing immunity.
9. Improves Brain Health
Green tea does contain caffeine, but not as much as coffee. Hence, it offers you the benefits of caffeine without producing the jittery effects of too much of it. Caffeine blocks the activity of adenosine, an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. As a result, it improves the firing of neurons and enhances brain health.
10. Promotes Digestive Health
The antioxidants in green tea can promote digestive health. The catechins in green tea slow down the activity of digestive enzymes. This means the intestines don’t absorb all of the calories consumed, and this means a potential added advantage – enhanced weight loss.
11. Prevents Tooth Decay
Studies have stated that people who drank green tea had better oral health than those who didn’t. Another Indian study says how green tea can be a boon for periodontal health. The tea reduces inflammation and limits the growth of certain bacteria that can lead to periodontal diseases, tooth decay being one of them. It was also found that the more frequently test subjects took green tea, the better their oral health was.
12. Aids In Depression Treatment
As per a study, people who drank about 4 cups of green tea in a day were far less likely to feel depressed. This property of green tea can be attributed to the amino acid L-theanine, which stimulates the release of chemicals like serotonin and dopamine to fight depression symptoms.
13. Treats Down Syndrome
The EGCG in green tea, as per studies, can potentially improve quality of life for people who have Down Syndrome. It protects the body from cell damage that can contribute to certain syndromes that occur in individuals with Down Syndrome. This chemical may also improve cognitive function in affected individuals.
14. Helps Cure Hangovers
Since it is high in antioxidants, green tea is believed to detoxify an abused liver and relieve hangover symptoms. However, green tea was also found to cause liver toxicity in certain studies. Hence, consult your doctor before using green tea for this (or any) purpose.
15. Improves Energy And Endurance
The catechins in green tea have been found to increase endurance capacity and energy levels.