14 Incredible Health Benefits Of Green Tea
People have been drinking infusions of tea for thousands of years, beginning in China and India. Today, tea is consumed more widely than any other beverage in the world except water. Billions of people drink tea, and a large number of studies show tea to have many health benefits.
There are three main varieties of tea: green, black, and oolong. All three varieties are made from the leaves of the same species of plant called Camellia sinensis; the difference is in how the tea leaves are processed. Green tea is made from fermented leaves, while oolong tea is made from partially fermented leaves and black tea is fully fermented.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages you can consume. It’s sugar free, doesn’t have any calories, and is loaded with antioxidants that provide copious health benefits. Plus, it’s refreshing. What’s not to like?
Green tea contains a number of bioactive compounds including caffeine and other alkaloids, polyphenols, and Vitamin K, and after steeping many of the bio active compounds in the tea leaves effuse into the final drink. The main stimulants in green tea include caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline. On the other hand,L-theanine, an amino acid found in green tea, has a calming effect on the nervous system. So green tea can have a mildly stimulating but also relaxing effect at the same time.
Green tea also contains a high concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. In fact, many of the health properties of green tea are attributed to its polyphenol content. Green tea has a higher polyphenol content than black or oolong, as fermenting tea leaves lowers the polyphenol content.
Tea leaves contain a higher percentage of caffeine by weight than coffee beans. However, because a lot less tea leaves are used to make tea than coffee beans are used to make coffee, a cup of tea has significantly less caffeine than a cup of coffee.
Green tea has a long list of benefits. In fact, research shows it can help you:
Drinking 1. Improve Brain Function And Mental Performance
While the stimulants in tea can keep you awake, they can also make your brain function better. The main stimulant, caffeine, is present in tea at enough of a dose to provide a lift for most people without causing the increased anxiety and “jitters” associated with too much coffee.
In the brain, the main method of action of caffeine is to block adenosine receptors, allowing neurons to fire for longer, increasing brain activity. Studies have shown caffeine improves concentration and memory. Additionally, the amino aide L-theanine has a relaxing effect while simultaneously increasing alertness, which, in combination with caffeine, can increase brain function and help you be more productive.
2. Protect Your Brain And Prevent Cognitive Decline
Not only can drinking green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in the long term. In particular, data show it may help stave off Alzheimer's and Parkinson diseases. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease and a leading cause of dementia. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, resulting in the death of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Multiple studies show that the antioxidant catechins in green tea can have a protective effect on neurons, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's deseases.
3. Burn Fat
Clinical studies suggest that green tea may boost metabolism and burn fat. Green tea can also help lose weight and lower your risk of becoming overweight or obese. Much of this effect is likely due to caffeine, but other compounds in tea may also contribute to this effect. By helping you selectively burn the fat you have stored in your body for energy, green tea may help you feel fuller and maintain a more steady energy level, resulting in less hunger cravings and less calories consumed.
4. Lower Your Risk Of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions over the past few decades and now afflicts hundreds of millions of people worldwide. And yet, it is almost completely preventable and mostly reversible in its early stages by strictly cutting the intake of sugar (carbohydrates). Diabetics lose their sensitivity to insulin, which means insulin is less effective in signaling to cells to absorb sugar from the blood stream, resulting in both higher blood sugar and higher blood insulin levels. Because both sugar and insulin are damaging to the cardiovascular system, over time many adverse effects result. Green tea can lower and help stabilize your blood sugar levels (glucose levels); in fact, studies show that green tea can even improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
5. Maintain A Healthy Cardiovascular System
Cardiovascular diseases, which lump heart disease, stroke, and other diseases of the heart and blood vessels caused by atherosclerosis and hypertension (high blood pressure) into one category, are the most prevalent causes of death in the world. Green tea also seems to boost physical performance, increase exercise endurance, and decrease reaction time, and there are many, many such studies showing these effects from caffeine, although other ingredients in green tea may aid this effect. Caffeine, and green tea’s, ability to mobilize fatty acids in fat tissue to make them more easily available for use as energy also seems to aid physical performance. The antioxidants in green tea may also help prevent tissue damage during physical exertion as well.
7. Lower Your Risk Of Various Types Of Cancers And Diseases
Several population-based clinical studies have shown that both green and black teas may help protect against cancer. Early clinical studies suggest that the polyphenols in tea, especially green tea, may play an important role in the prevention of cancer. Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it’s logical that tea could reduce your risk of cancer. Furthermore, drinking green tea may help prevent liver disease.
8. Improve Your Dental Health
Some studies show that the catechins in green tea can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections. In general, green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of dental caries and bad breath.
9. Prevent Infection And Illness
Since some of the bio active compounds in green tea are anti-viral and anti-bacterial, in much the same way as green tea can kill bacteria in your mouth, it can also inhibit bacteria and viruses in the bloodstream and throughout the rest of your body. Similarly, green tea may inhibit viral and bacterial infection via your nasal passages. All this means that green tea may help prevent colds and the flu, and furthermore seems to be able to alleviate the symptoms of colds and the flu once you are sick.
Tea doesn’t dehydrate. Even though it is a commonly-held belief that anything with caffeine is dehydrating, this is false. Yes, caffeine is a diuretic, but water is also a diuretic. The volume of water of a cup of tea overcomes any dehydrating effect from the caffeine in the tea. In fact, it would take an excessive amount of caffeine in a drink to dehydrate. The amount of water in tea, and even coffee, makes these drinks hydrating. So why not have a cup of tea: a terrifically hydrating drink of water with healthy compounds mixed in to boot?
11. Improve Your Mood And Help You Relax
The amino acid L-theanine in green tea increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. L-theanine also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain, aiding relaxation decreasing stress, and helping reduce depression.
12. Ameliorate The Symptoms Of Arthritis
Some of the compounds in green tea are anti-inflammatory, and there is evidence to suggest their anti-inflammatory effects can improve the symptoms of arthritis.
13. Maintain Healthy, Youthful-Looking Skin
Green tea can prevent wrinkles and the signs of aging because the antioxidants in green tea are able to fight free-radical damage. Similarly, the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea can prevent damage to skin, can help relieve psoriasis by reducing the redness and irritation that comes with it; green tea has also been shown to reduce the redness that comes with rosacea.
14. Live Longer
Drinking green tea can lead to a higher quality life and a reduced risk of dying from any cause. Of course, since green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and various cancers over a given period of time, it makes sense that green tea could help you live longer.
Via Sun Safe Rx