This article is going to be about the health benefits of green tea. I’ve seen some overblown claims being thrown around in the media and online – so, we’re going to pass through and figure out what all the fuss is about!
Tea is one of those rare beverages which is pretty much universally accepted by science as a healthy one. However, as with everything in life, you can have too much of a good thing. So, don’t overdo it with the green tea! Here are 7 of the major benefits green tea can have on your life:
1. Green Tea is Loaded with Healthy Nutrients
The number one thing that makes green tea so good for you is that it’s loaded with healthy nutrients. All of these bioactive polyphenols are fantastic for your health. You may have heard of some like, flavonoids or catechins, and these are just simple anti-oxidants. They prevent free radical damage to your body, and free radical damage to your body overtime can cause cancer.
So, let me break that down a bit.
Everyone has faucets at home (taps) and some have rust on them. The rust is a direct result of that free radical damage I previously spoke about. Now, antioxidants prevent that rust from forming, so think of antioxidants as a rust prevention within our own bodies.
It’s been mentioned before in the media that those who drink more green tea have lower rates of cancer and it’s been theorised that is has something to do with the huge amount of antioxidants found within green tea. We can’t get too excited about this fact however, because this is only a correlation and not a causation. Yes, it’s good to drink green tea, but it’s not going to cure and prevent all types of cancer.
2. Green Tea is Great for Your Mouth
If you’ve got bad breath, green tea might be a good idea for you! The nutrients within green tea mentioned above (catechins), do a great job at inhabiting and killing certain types of bacteria. In fact, studies show that bacteria known to cause bad breath was killed by drinking green tea. Also, when you have less of the specific bacteria, you have less plaque. So, green tea also decreases the risk of developing a cavity and that means less frequent visits to the dentist!
3. It Does a Great Job of Energising You
Green tea has about 30-50mg of caffeine, which is roughly half a cup of coffee. You’re still focused and stimulated but you don’t have the jittery feeling you get with a big cup of coffee. Another nutrient that works together with caffeine to boost your brain function is called l-theanine. Its benefit is that it gives your brains relaxation without the added sedation or drowsiness that comes with other relaxing agents.
4. It’s Good for Your Heart
While we see in animal and lab models that it increases your good cholesterol and lowers the bad, what we found in lab, animal and human trials is that green tea lowers your blood pressure!
5. Green Tea Helps Burn Fat
Take this one with a pinch of salt before jumping to conclusions. This is more of an individual case-by-case basis concept, because not all studies agree on this. However, there is a promise in increased metabolism and fat oxidation – essentially fat burning. Some of the lab models have shown a decrease in new blood vessel formation within your fat stores. Meaning that it literally takes away the vital nutrition for your fat and makes it die!
6. Green Tea Protects Your Brain
Animal and lab models both show that catechins decrease the risk of you developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Science isn’t clear on why this occurs, but it’s theorised that it has something to do with the decrease and development of plaque within the brain. If that doesn’t encourage you to drink more green tea, I don’t know what will.
7. Green Tea Increases Your Lifespan
Green tea may increase your lifespan – it’s true!
Extensive research and thousands of studies have been done on this. Some studies even have 40,000 participants who showed that those who drink 3-5 cups of green tea a day have an increased life span, a decreased all-cause mortality (which means dying from anything), and a decrease in heart disease and strokes.
However, before we get too excited we need to remember: correlation vs causation – just because those who drink green tea live longer, doesn’t mean green tea is the sole thing that’s responsible for that effect. So, yes, enjoy your green tea but don’t think it will make you live forever!
Top tip: Don’t add green tea directly to boiling water! Why? Because it destroys the healthy catechins we’ve been speaking about. Additionally, don’t get decaffeinated green tea because the decaffeination process hurts more of the natural nutrients found in green tea.
Add lemon into your tea! It aids in the absorption of some of these nutrients.