benefits of green tea
Health & Fitness

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea

Green tea is regarded as one of the world’s healthiest beverages. Besides water, there would be no healthier and lower calorie way to add fluids to the body. You’ve certainly heard many stories regarding Green Tea and Weight Loss, but there are a slew of other advantages that most people overlook or are completely unaware of.

Unlike black tea, green tea is not fermented and therefore develops a different taste and contains different ingredients and active substances. Green tea contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols.  Antioxidants are substances that get rid of free radicals which are damaging compounds in the body that alter cells, mess with our DNA (genetic material), and even cause cell death.

Free radicals occur naturally in the body, but environmental toxins (including ultraviolet rays from the sun, radiation, cigarette smoke, and air pollution) also give rise to these damaging particles.  Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause keeping us strong, healthy and ward off aging. Keeping the body in shape is a big issue for many, but it should also be healthy and vital. This is where antioxidants come into play: green tea is a source of high-quality antioxidants and can thus protect the body from cancer, among other things.

Green Tea May Protect Against Atherosclerosis

This is a condition where the artery walls thicken from the accumulation of fats such as cholesterol.  Clinical studies indicate that the antioxidant properties of green tea may help prevent Atherosclerosis, particularly Coronary Artery Disease. Researchers estimate that the chance of heart attack decreases by 11% by drinking 3 cups of tea per day.

Green Tea Reduce LDL Cholesterol

Research shows that green tea lowers total cholesterol and raises HDL (GOOD) cholesterol. Green tea is known to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke and high blood pressure.

One study found that people who drink green tea, are more likely to have lower total cholesterol than those who do not drink it. Results from one study suggests that Polyphenols in green tea may block the intestinal absorption of cholesterol and promote it’s excretion from the body.  In another study, researchers found that green tea significantly reduced blood levels of harmful LDL cholesterol.

This can also be explained by the fact that green tea has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism (lipid metabolism) and sugar metabolism (glucose metabolism) (glucose metabolism). Furthermore, evidence suggests that green tea may reduce the mortality rate following a heart attack.

Read also: Best Super Leafy Green Vegetables To Improve Your Health

Green Tea Is Good For Our Brain

The caffeine in green tea makes us feel alert and lucid, because caffeine blocks receptors in the brain for a neurotransmitter called adenosine – with a marked effect. We feel fit and our tiredness is temporarily suppressed. At the same time, the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine increase in concentration, resulting in a mood-lifting effect.

Green tea has a comparable impact to coffee, but without the jittery, euphoric feeling that often follows a cup of the dark hot liquid. This is partially due to the fact that green tea has less caffeine than coffee, and partly due to the amino acid L-theanine found in green tea. L-theanine acts directly on the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which provides an anti-anxiety effect. It also increases the production of dopamine and helps the brain to enter a state of concentration.

Read also: 10 Simple Tricks For More Productivity in Home and Office

Green Tea Against Cancer

Several studies have shown that both green and black teas helps boost the immune system, helping  protect against cancer.  The latest findings suggest that EGCg, a compound found in green tea, helps repair damaged DNA which may also help in the prevention of cancer.  Emerging clinical studies suggest that the Polyphenols in green tea, may play an important role, because researchers believe they help kill cancerous cells and stop their progression.  One example would be a country such as Japan, where people regularly consume green tea, and cancer rates tend to be very low.

Green Tea For Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Green tea may help reduce inflammation associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, the two types of IBD. Because green tea proves to be helpful for preventing colon cancer, this would be an added benefit for those with IBD because they are at risk for colon cancer.

Green Tea and Diabetes

Green tea has been used traditionally to control blood sugar in the body.  Animal studies suggest that green tea may helpprevent the development of type 1 diabetes and slow the progression once it has developed.  People with type 1 diabetes produce little or no insulin, a hormone that converts glucose (sugar), starches, and other foods into energy needed for daily life, and Green tea helps regulate glucose in the body.

A few small clinical studies have found that daily supplements of green tea extract powder lowered the hemoglobin A1c level in individuals with borderline diabetes.

Green Tea For Liver Disease

Studies have shown that men who drink more than 10 cups of green tea per day are less likely to develop disorders of the liver.  Green tea also seems to protect the liver from the damaging effects of toxic substances like alcohol.   Animal studies have shown that green tea helps protect against the development of liver tumors in mice.

Results from several animal and human studies suggest that one of the polyphenols present in green tea, “catechin”, may help treat viral hepatitis (inflammation of the liver from a virus).  However, in these studies, catechin was used in very high concentrations.

Green Tea and Weight Loss

Clinical studies suggest that green tea extract may boost metabolism and help burn fat.  One study confirmed that the combination of green tea and caffeine improved weight loss and weight management.  Some researchers speculate that polyphenols, specifically the catechins, are responsible for the herb’s fat-burning effect.

Should Everyone Drink Green Tea?

As we have seen the various benefits of green tea, does that mean everyone should drink green tea exclusively? No, please don’t. Just because something is healthy doesn’t mean you have to pour it into yourself at all times of the day, all the time, everywhere. Just because green tea has healthy effects on the body, it can’t make up for an unhealthy lifestyle.With all the health tips and supplements around us, we all too often forget that the right amount is the all-important thing.

People with iron deficiency should be careful, because green tea inhibits the absorption of iron. Conversely, green tea loses its effect as an antioxidant when consumed together with iron-rich foods (for example, meat, green vegetables such as broccoli and leafy salads, beet, legumes).

Anyone who needs to take cardiovascular drugs or other medications is best to ask their doctor how much green tea is safe. By the way, this also applies to other caffeinated beverages such as coffee, black tea, caffeinated sodas and energy drinks. In addition, patients taking medication should clarify how much time should elapse between taking medication and drinking caffeinated beverages. The stimulating effect can possibly enhance or otherwise influence the effect of the medication.

Conclusion

So by all accounts, the value of utilizing Green Tea in your daily routine far out way any reason for not drinking it. If you would be a person who just doesn’t like the taste, you can always add a packet of stevia as a sweetener or pure raw honey to make it more palatable to your taste buds. There are many good reasons to drink green tea: it contains a lot of liquid, no calories and no alcohol. But if you drink it only to live longer: Don’t expect too much!

AboutKara

I’m a writer, new mom and foodie. I love sharing what I know while making others feel beautiful. On this blog, I share my healthy lifestyle, simple meals, fitness tips and experiences.

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