Tea is the next widely consumed drink in the world after water. In fact, almost 80 percent of American households have this beverage handy.
And this figure isn’t a surprise anymore as tea can be enjoyed regardless of the season. Tea can be savored rain or shine as it can also be served hot or iced.
But there’s more to it than being a refreshment.
Tea consumption has been linked to a vast array of health benefits from improving brain performance, burning fats, and promoting dental health to preventing the risk of diabetes and certain types of cancer.
Drinking tea is also a flavorful way to keep yourself hydrated.
There are many tea variants, but green teas are thought to contain the highest amounts of polyphenols as they have not undergone an oxidation or fermentation process.
Due to their powerful nutritional content, green teas have also been linked to several health perks.
Find out how green tea can support weight loss, boost cognitive function, keep your heart healthy, and a whole lot more in this article!
What is Green Tea?
Basically, there are three tea variants: black, green, and oolong. While all of these teas are derived from the leaves of the same plant called Camellia sinensis, they differ in how the leaves were processed.
The longer the leaves are oxidized or fermented, the darker it becomes. Green teas are believed to contain the highest amounts of polyphenols since they are made from unfermented leaves.
Oolong is made from partially fermented leaves while black tea is heavily fermented.
Green tea is also sugar-free, doesn’t contain calories, and is packed with antioxidants that offer amazing wellness perks!
Because of its fantastic nutritional profile, more and more people are adding this healthy drink to their daily nutrition.
Green Tea: Interesting Facts
Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine made use of green tea.
There’s a wide variety of green tea, too! They differ based on several factors such as the time of the leaves’ harvest, and growing and processing techniques.
Some of the green tea varieties include Sencha, Fukamushi Sencha, Gyokuro, Matcha, and Tencha.
Green tea also helps with bad breath! Drinking a cup of green tea daily can fight the presence of odor-causing bacteria in your mouth.
What are the Health Benefits of Green Tea?
Green teas are prized for their wellness-promoting effects. Let us take a closer look at these green tea health benefits:
Green tea enhances cognitive function
One of the amazing green tea benefits is its ability to improve cognitive function. Green tea also contains enough doses of caffeine, a nervous system stimulant that increases alertness.
Caffeine has been shown to enhance cognitive performance such as information processing, vigilance, and response time.
Studies provided support for such a claim, also citing sustained concentration and better memory as among the benefits of green tea’s phytochemical content.
Green tea reduces the risk of cognitive decline
Green tea consumption not only improves mental performance but may also prevent the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
New studies found that the powerful flavonoids found in green tea prevent the accumulation of amyloid plaques in the brain, which can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
Other research supports green tea’s brain-boosting powers, suggesting that it may also be useful in treating patients who have dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Green tea helps to burn fats
Green tea was also found to enhance metabolism, and consequently, reduce your chances of becoming overweight or obese.
Much of its weight loss effects were attributed to its caffeine content and other key substances such as the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
Green tea prevents your risk of type 2 diabetes
Green tea can also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, a lifelong chronic condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
Several studies found that green tea consumption plays a role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar levels, and improving glycemic control.
The study was conducted on healthy subjects as well as people with obesity.
Green tea promotes heart health
Green tea consumption not only helps to keep blood sugar at a healthy level but protect the heart against diseases as well.
Green tea has also been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, heart attack, and Ischaemic heart disease.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Ischaemic heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in the world, with a combined total of 15.2 million deaths in 2016 alone.
Studies revealed that green tea helps to improve some of the risk factors of these diseases by helping to regulate total cholesterol, and lowering LDL or bad cholesterol as well as triglycerides.
A Japanese study particularly found that green tea consumption was beneficial in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Green tea enhances physical performance
Green tea was also found to improve physical performance and boost exercise endurance.
One research found that the caffeine contained in green tea significantly enhanced physical performance, especially during an intense exercise.
The antioxidant properties of green tea were also thought to prevent tissue damage during exhaustive physical activities.
Green tea reduces your risk of cancer
Cancer is a public health concern, and also a major cause of death around the world. Several studies also discovered that green tea can lower the risk of this chronic disease.
The cancer preventive effects of green tea were attributed to its powerful antioxidants, which fight free radical damage that causes cancer.
Green tea is also packed with polyphenols, which help kill cancerous cells and prevent them from growing.
A study particularly tagged ECGG as the most effective cancer preventive polyphenol in green tea.
Green tea promotes dental health
From killing odor-causing bacteria to preventing the development of tooth decay, green tea also proves to be a worthy addition to your dental health care.
Some studies suggest that green tea’s catechins get rid of bacteria in your mouth.
One of these harmful bacteria is Streptococcus mutans, a round bacterium typically found in the human oral cavity that may cause tooth decay.
Studies revealed that green tea’s catechins can suppress the growth of Streptococcus mutans. What’s more, green tea can prevent bad breath!
Green tea prevents infections and illnesses
Not only can green tea kill bacteria in your mouth but inhibit other disease-causing viruses from occurring as well.
Much like its dental health protective effects, green tea also guards the body against other bacteria, germs, and viruses that may cause various infections and illnesses.
Green tea’s bioactive compounds eliminate these harmful infective agents even before they make you sick.
Green tea promotes healthy digestion
Green tea promotes healthy digestion as well. Some studies suggest that green tea consumption reduces inflammation in the gut, lowering the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.
The catechins contained in green tea were found to be well-absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
This actively works to combat the development of gut inflammation that may cause Crohn’s disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and ulcerative colitis.
Green tea prevents signs of aging
Another valuable green tea benefit is its anti-aging effects. Thanks to its powerful antioxidants, green tea also helps to combat free radical damage that accelerates skin aging.
The anti-inflammatory properties contained in green tea also protects the skin from against detrimental stressors present in the environment.
What’s more, green tea also helps to reduce the redness and irritation that come with psoriasis, a common skin condition that causes scaly patches as well as redness that comes with rosacea.
Green tea helps to keep you hydrated
Contrary to popular belief, the caffeine content of green tea doesn’t cause dehydration. The volume of water in a cup of tea defeats the dehydrating effects of its caffeine content.
Several tests have even revealed that tea provides the same hydration effects as water.
How to Enjoy Green Tea in Your Diet
The easiest way to enjoy green tea and its health perks, is of course, by drinking it! Experts believe the best way to consume it is by making green tea using loose tea leaves.
However, you can still savor green tea in its powder, bag and supplement form. Just remember to refrain from adding sugar or milk as it can adversely affect green tea’s active ingredients and antioxidant content.
What are the Potential Risks of Drinking Green Tea?
Green tea also has tannins, which can reduce folic acid and iron absorption. Because of this, pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid green tea consumption.
People suffering from anemia are likewise recommended to avoid taking green tea around mealtime. Green tea may also interact with certain medications such as warfarin due to its vitamin K content.
People taking these anticoagulant drugs are advised to take caution when drinking green tea as vitamin K plays a major role in blood clotting.
Adding green tea to your daily nutrition may have several positive effects.
From burning fats, protecting your teeth against cavities and bad breath to promoting weight loss, and lowering your risk of cancer, and other diseases, we find no reason not to enjoy this calming drink in a healthy diet!
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