Green tea has emerged as one of the most desired drinks in the world today, all because of its soothing nature and impressive health benefits.
With having a much higher amount of antioxidants as compared to other teas, green tea is greatly admired for its ability to uplift both the body and the mind.
Green tea is brewed from the dried leaves of Camellia Sinensis, a plant native to India and China but widely used throughout Asia. The plant has been known for its amazing medicinal properties for thousands of years.
In case you are wondering, both green and black teas are made from the same plant. Both of them contain a high amount of Catechins, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage in our body. But green tea has more health benefits associated with it. So what makes green tea so great?
Green Tea vs Black Tea
The difference lies in the way their leaves are processed. While black tea is made by going through the process of fermentation, green tea is made from the unfermented leaves using the pan-frying process. Thus, making it much lighter in color than black tea.
Due to minimal amount of processing, green tea retains maximum amount of polyphenols and antioxidants, to which most of its health benefits are associated.
Polyphenols can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body and can protect cells from damage. One of the most powerful polyphenols in green tea is Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which is thought to reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, and help prevent heart and brain disease.
On the other hand, green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can help reduce stress and has a calming effect on our nervous system. Therefore, the tea has a mildly stimulating as well as a relaxing effect at the same time.
In this article, we’ll explore the key health benefits of green tea, and how it can do great to your body and mind.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
1. Improves heart health:
Green tea can help you withstand changes in blood pressure and help you stay relaxed. The flavonoids in green tea were found effective in preventing plaque formation in blood vessels, according to research. Studies have shown that people who drink 3-4 cups of green tea daily are less likely to have heart attacks than those who drink less than one cup a day.
In simple words, green tea increases the antioxidant levels in your blood, which in turn reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and improves your heart health.
2. Boosts brain functions:
Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, which stimulates your nervous system and promotes the release of mood-enhancing hormones (dopamine and serotonin). This in turn reduces stress and boosts mental alertness.
L-theanine, an amino acid that is not present in coffee, is thought to balance the effects of caffeine. Hence, green tea can be a great alternative to coffee for its ability to uplift the mood without causing restlessness.
3. Promotes weight loss:
Several studies have shown that polyphenols found in green tea can help increase your metabolism and lower your risks of obesity. It may also help increase your fat oxidation levels and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
Although green tea has shown to aid in weight loss (minimally) in obese adults. But eating a healthy diet and participating in daily exercise is far more significant when it comes to losing those extra pounds.
4. Reduces risk of diabetes:
The polyphenols in green tea enhance metabolic functions, which is great for diabetics. It sensitizes the cells which enable them to metabolize sugar and helps regulate glucose levels by slowing down the rise of blood sugar level after food consumption.
Green tea restrains amylase (an enzyme) activity, which in turn reduces the amount of sugar absorbed into the bloodstreams. This is beneficial for people having type-2 diabetes.
5. Lowers cancer risk:
Due to the high level of polyphenols, green tea can help prevent the growth of cancerous cells. According to the National Cancer Institute, green tea has shown promising results in decreasing tumor growth; both in lab and animal studies.
Some studies have shown positive effects of green tea in the prostate, breast, lungs, liver, skin, and esophageal cancers. It also prevents tumor development at different organ sites.
Researchers say that cancer rates are comparatively lower in the countries where the consumption of green tea is high. But they aren’t fully sure if it is because of green tea or any other factors.
6. Lowers bad cholesterol:
Green tea works to improve the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol. A study in 2011 found that consumption of green tea was linked to a reduction in total cholesterol and “LDL” or Bad cholesterol, as well as lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
7. Promotes skin health:
Green tea can help rejuvenate your skin and protect it from harmful UV rays which causes skin cancers, dark spots, and wrinkles. This is because polyphenols in green tea also shown to have strong therapeutic effects on the skin.
Due to high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, the tea helps keep your skin clear and reduces the signs of aging.
8. Improves dental health:
Green tea consumption is also associated with improved dental health. Studies found that catechins (antioxidants) in green tea can kill bacteria and viruses that cause a sore throat and other dental infections. Hence, reducing the risk of oral cancer.
Green tea also prevents tooth decay and gum disease by restraining the development of bacterial plaque. It is also known to reduce bad breath.
9. Strengthens immune system:
Green tea compounds are anti-viral and anti-bacterial in nature. They have the ability to suppress autoimmune diseases and can play a major role in boosting your immune system.
A lab study suggested that catechins can kill influenza viruses and protect against oxidants and free radicals; thereby strengthening immunity.
Green tea is great for your body and mind. It is full of antioxidants, sugar-free, and doesn’t contain any calories. This makes it an excellent alternative to other sugary beverages that promote health. But what’s more great is making it a part of your daily life.
Consuming 2 – 3 cups of green tea daily as a part of your nutrient-rich diet can do wonders for your overall health and alleviate disease risk.
Hello reader, I’m Abhishek Shankhwar, a passionate health enthusiast and a digital marketer by profession. As a health and wellness writer, I feel obligated to inform, inspire, and reach out to so many people. In the meantime, you’ll always find me reading books, writing inspiring content, and cooking delicious food. Connect with me on LinkedIn.