Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea has built up quite the reputation in the world of beverages, and it is the first thing that many people think of when considering drinks with antioxidant properties. Green tea has quickly gathered a global following, with even regular tea drinkers making the switch to green tea for all the potent health benefits. If someone is used to drinking normal tea then they may not appreciate the first taste of green they have, but, given how easy it is to get green tea, the great health benefits, and the way that the taste grows on you, it can win over even the staunchest of tea drinkers in time.
What is Green Tea?
Many people don’t know this, but green tea is made from the same plant as regular tea. This plant is known scientifically as the Camellia Sinensis. Green tea is just processed differently to regular tea. Regular (or black) tea is derived from fermented tea leaves. The fermentation process changes the flavor and color of the leaves, and boosts the tannin and caffeine content. Green tea is made by drying or steaming the leaves without fermenting them. This is why it retains its green color during the brewing process.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
There are a number of health benefits of green tea; mostly powered by the antioxidant properties of the drink. Green tea is rich in antioxidants thanks to the caffeine, catechin polyphenols, and theonine. Below are the main benefits of these antioxidants.
• Anti-Aging Benefits
The body is damaged by free radicals in a range of different ways. One of the most noticeable effects of these free radicals is aging. Antioxidants neutralise free radicals and undo the damage caused by them, and there are many antioxidants to be found in green tea. Some of the most potent antioxidants in green tea are the catechin polyphenols; in particular the epigallocatechin gallate. Drinking green tea on a regular basis keeps aging at bay.
• Stimulating Benefits
One of the main reasons that tea is consumed by so many people around the world is the stimulating effect of the drink. This is down to the caffeine and the tannins found in tea leaves. Even though caffeine and tannins present the risk of damage over the long term, they are very potent stimulants in the short term. This is why you feel refreshed and energised after your morning cup of tea. Tea is a great way to counter the effects of fatigue, sleepiness, laziness, and lethargy, as well as boost circulation. This is why tea has become so popular across many industries and with so many people including professionals, students, housewives, and anyone else looking for a pick-me-up.
• Boosted Immunity
Research has shown that drinking green tea prevents the onset of the most common bacterial and viral infections. Green tea drinkers are much less likely to get sick than those who don’t consume this healthy drink. Quite clearly, green tea boosts the immune system. Green tea contains catechins which prevent viruses and bacteria from being able to attach themselves to cell walls and infect them. Catechins also counter toxins in the body released by microbes. The antimicrobial effects of catechins also prevent bad breath, tooth decay, diarrhea, indigestion, colds, flu, coughs, and colitis. All of these conditions are caused by, or at least involve, some form of microbe or fungus.
• Astringency Benefits
The astringency benefits of green tea is another of the powerful health benefits. Astringent substances such as green tea stimulate muscle and tissue contraction to tone muscles and skin. If you don’t want to drink green tea regularly, then just get a mouthwash that contains green tea. This will be enough to keep gums firm and tight, preventing loose teeth and tooth loss. Washing your hair with green tea makes it grow healthy and strong.
• Anti-Cancer Benefits
Free radicals cause more than just premature aging. They also cause certain cancers. Green tea contains catechins that neutralise the free radicals, preventing the production of carcinogens like nitrosamines and reducing cancer risk in people who make a habit of drinking green tea. Green tea is now commonly used and prescribed as a home remedy for preventing cancer, especially in patients who present a high risk for colon, rectal, pancreatic, and intestinal cancer.
• Reducing Cholesterol
There is evidence that green tea is able to reduce cholesterol levels, likely due to the alkaline nature of the drink.
• Improving Arterial and Cardiac Health
Certain compounds found in green tea can prevent blood from thickening, which reduces blood pressure and the chance of developing conditions such as thrombosis, arterial sclerosis, along with cerebral and cardiac strokes.
• Anti-Diabetes Benefits
If you don’t sweeten your green tea, then the alkaline nature of green tea makes it effective at reducing blood glucose levels. The astringent and antioxidant qualities of green tea also keep your pancreas healthy and functioning properly. Improving pancreas function like this makes the secretion of insulin more efficient and better regulated. The result is that the body is better able to absorb sugar. Improving these functions in this manner reduces the risk of developing diabetes.
• Weight Loss
One of the lesser-known effects of green tea is that it works as a metabolism booster, which means it improves the rate at which the body burns through fat stores. Green tea has become the health beverage of choice in the western world due to the part it plays in weight loss, given that obesity is still a major issue in much of the world. Drinking one or two cups of green tea each morning will put you on the right path to losing weight.
• Stamina and Endurance Boosting Benefits
This is one health benefit of green tea that you can test and prove for yourself easily. The next time you have an intense workout, have a cup of green tea afterward. It won’t take long at all for you to be raring to go again. Green tea is also great at reducing muscle pain caused by exerting your muscles. While green tea isn’t as well-known among western athletes thanks to all the energy drinks on the market, many martial artists and other athletes in Japan and China rely heavily on green tea and make it their health drink of choice.
• Detoxifying Benefits
Green tea is one of the best remedies for a hangover and the fatigue that comes with staying up all night drinking at that great party you went to. If you wake up with a hangover, just have a large cup of green tea with a little lemon, and your hangover will soon be little more than a bad memory. Green tea and lemon juice is a very popular choice for getting rid of the after-effects of a had night drinking almost immediately.