After water, green tea is actually the most popular beverage in the world. It has been consumed for thousands of years. Green tea has been praised for its health benefits for centuries all over the world, however, has only recently begun to gain popularity in countries such as the US and the UK. Green tea health benefits are extensive, ranging from weight loss benefits to medical benefits. If you aren’t including this delicious drink in your daily life then you are seriously missing out.
Consumption of tea originated in China over 4000 years ago. This makes green tea the oldest plant-based tea known to us. According to legend, the first cup of green tea was made in 2727 BC during the reign of emperor Shennong. Green tea was then introduced to Japan in the 9th century. Surprisingly, green tea and black tea originate from the same plant species – Camellia sinensis. What dictates whether the tea is green or black is how the leaves are processed and the variety of the tea plant. In other words, green tea is a type of tea that hasn’t undergone the same oxidation and withering that is used to make black and oolong tea.
Green Tea Health Benefits
Below I will be listing all the health benefits associated with green tea. However, it is important to note that not all the following Green tea health benefits are definitive as more evidence and research is needed till the benefits are considered proven facts.
1. Green tea will help improve your memory
According to research, green tea has been shown to increase connections between the frontal and parietal brain regions while working memory is processing. The study has come to the conclusion that green tea improved the participant’s performance on memory-related tasks. The research team also concludes that it is possible that green tea can be used to help with treatment of cognitive impairments such as dementia. The study was fairly small, therefore it would be helpful if more research was done, however, it is interesting nonetheless. And certainly, gives us reason to make this ancient drink a daily habit.
2. Green tea for weight loss
A number of different studies have shown that green tea can help with weight loss. Let’s look at how it works. Put simply, since green tea is less processed than regular tea, it will have a higher concentration of polyphenols (or catechins) than any other tea. These are known active ingredients which are linked to weight loss and increased metabolism. It is possible that the tea will increase body temperature which will burn more calories, and may also prevent the accumulation of fat. Also, there is caffeine in green tea, caffeine helps with both fat loss and weight loss. According to research, caffeine helps burn an extra 9 calories per 199 milligrams of caffeine consumed.
This may sound minimal, however, keep in mind that weight loss is dictated by the overall calories you consume throughout the day. A cup of green tea will only contain 2 calories, so if you’re drinking green tea as a substitute to a less healthy beverage then it will definitely help you lose weight.
3. Green tea may lower the risk of heart disease
A number of studies have looked at the link between green tea and heart disease. So what does the evidence tell us? A study of over 40,000 adults found that those who drank more than 5 cups of green tea a day were 26% less likely to die from a stroke or heart attack than those who didn’t drink green tea at all. Another observational study which looked at green tea drinkers and black tea drinkers found that those who drank more green tea had a lower risk of coronary artery disease.
Even though the what we know is limited, the research so far looks to be in favor of the fact that green tea may lower the risk of heart disease. There seemed to be no disadvantage of drinking a few cups of green tea a day, so there’s no harm in trying it out if it may be beneficial.
4. Drinking green is good for oral health
Yes, this popular drink is also good for your mouth. Green tea contains compounds that have been suggested to fight bacterial infection and control inflammation. So, therefore, since green tea controls bacteria and lowers acidity of dental plaque and saliva, it can be a good tool for preventing cavities. Green tea is also very helpful for your gum health. Its inflammation control seems to help reduce gum disease. A German survey conducted a survey which found that those who drank green tea had healthier gums than those who didn’t. A Japanese study of about a thousand men also found similar positive results.
5. Drinking green tea helps get rid of bad breath
According to research, green tea will also help get rid of bad breath, as bad breath is caused by bacteria in your mouth, the same compounds found in green tea that fight bacteria will also reduce bad breath. As you can agree, this is another one of the amazing green tea health benefits.
6. Green tea is anti-cancer
Cancer cells form when the cells in the body break out of the regular cycle of growth and death, hence leading them to grow uncontrollably. This, of course, leads to dangerous, life-threatening tumors in various parts of the body. The antioxidants found in green tea can prevent this in a few ways. Antioxidants, including EGCG, which is found in green tea, seems to kill cancer cells by triggering the activity of pro-death proteins, this essentially causes the cancer cells to ‘commit suicide’. The antioxidants found in green tea also prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumors. It is important to keep in mind that only a small number of studies have been done, more research is needed.
7. Green Tea is good for your skin
Green tea has antioxidants and anti-aging benefits that may delay signs of aging, such as age spots, skin damage, wrinkles and sunspots. Human research and animal research has been done on this subject matter, and it has found positive results when green tea is applied topically.
8. Green Tea helps reduce depression
Green tea is a rich source of a number of beneficial antioxidants and amino acids. One of which is the amino acid Theanine. Theanine is found naturally in tea leaves, it offers the drinker anti-stress and relaxation, which is a great benefit to those who deal with depression. Another one of the amazing green tea health benefits.
9. Green Tea and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Studies carried out have shown promising results concerning restoring damaged brain cells and preventing brain cells from dying as a result of green tea. However, the research that was conducted used a far higher dose of active green tea chemicals than what would ever be found in the human body. With more research and understanding of how the mechanical process works, green tea could be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How much green tea per day?
To maximize the benefits of green tea in a safe manner, it has been recommended that you drink about 2 to 3 cups per day. This will give you about 230 to 320 mg of polyphenols per day. However, green tea does contain caffeine and too much caffeine isn’t good for you, so if possible opt for caffeine-free products. If you want to optimize green tea benefits further then your best option is taking green tea supplements. This will allow you to maximize benefits without having to drink all those cups of tea.
That concludes our list. As I am sure you will agree, there are too many benefits that come from green tea to ignore. If you want an overall healthier life then you should seriously consider making this amazing drink a regular part of your life.