Green tea is one of the most beneficial beverages in the world that we should not do without. Green tea is sugar-free, and doesn’t have any calories. The health benefits of green tea are numerous. It is refreshing and a less processed type of tea.
Green tea contains the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols compared to other teas like black and oolong teas. As a result, Green tea was used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine to control bleeding and heal wounds. Green tea also aids digestion, improves heart and mental health, and regulates body temperature. One may ask what is the difference between green teas, black teas, oolong teas, and even our regular tea? After all, they all come from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush.
The difference comes from the processing method used. The leaves are steamed, pan-fried, and dried to make green tea. Meanwhile, the preparation of other teas is a result of withering, oxidation, and fermentation processes.
Benefits of Green Tea
Awareness of green tea has risen quite considerably over the years. One or perhaps the biggest reason for this is its many health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Aid Weight Loss
Green tea has been used for centuries as an energizing drink. Recently, it’s come to light that green tea polyphenol is actually responsible in part or whole for aiding weight loss and improving physical performance. By helping you selectively burn the fat you have stored in your body for energy, green tea helps to satisfy those hunger pangs and keep calories at bay.
Improves Mood and Enables Relaxation.
The amino acid L-theanine in green tea help to have a soothing, calming (anti-anxiety) effect on people who drink it. L-theanine also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain, aiding relaxation, decreasing stress, and helping reduce depression. Drinking Green Tea Can Help Reduce Anxiety, Stress, and Depression In Elderly.
Lower the Risk of Diabetes
Green tea apparently helps regulate glucose levels slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and result in fat storage. 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). Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.
Protects Against Heart Disease
Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world. Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases. This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Scientists think green tea works on the lining of blood vessels. This help keeps them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It significantly increases the antioxidant levels of your blood. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
Helps to Avoid the Risk of Cancer
Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it’s logical that tea could reduce your risk of cancer. It can reduce the risk of esophageal cancer. However, it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
Some data have shown green tea can aid digestion, improve bowel health, and reduce IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Green tea may act by reducing inflammation the gut-associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD.
Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
Prevents Brain Decline and 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. It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, but it may also protect your brain in old age. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.
Prevents Tooth Decay
Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections. Studies suggest that the chemical antioxidant “catechin” in tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries, and other dental conditions.
Reduces the Risk of Depression
Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers. Despite the caffeine content, many people feel mellow after drinking a cup of green tea. This may be due to the theanine counteracting the effects of the caffeine.
Boost Your Physical Performance
Green tea also seems to boost physical performance and increase exercise endurance. It decreases reaction time. There are many, many such studies showing these effects of 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. It seems to aid physical performance. In one study, caffeine was shown to significantly increase physical performance (exercise endurance and exertion). The antioxidants in green tea may also help prevent tissue damage during physical exertion as well.
Drinking green tea can lead to a higher quality of life and a reduced risk of dying from any cause. It makes sense that green tea could help you live longer as it reduces the chance of cancer and heart disease.
It is on record that death expectancy was reduced in both women and men who drank the greenest tea (5 or more cups per day). This is in sharp contrast to those who drank less than one cup per day.
Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea
A big question out there is “for something as beneficial as green tea, are there any side effects we should know about?” Most side effects of green tea are usually a result of taking excessive amounts. So we are always quick to advise moderation, start small and increase as you see fit. Some of these side effects may include:
Jitteriness as a result of too much caffeine intake.
Restlessness at night or lack of sleep can occur as a result of excessive caffeine.
Green tea is a diuretic, it increases the production of urine. Therefore making Dehydration possible in situations of excesses.
Used in conjunction with stimulants, it may cause an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
In cases of severe caffeine sensitivities, such persons could experience insomnia, anxiety, irritability, nausea, or an upset stomach after drinking green tea.
Green tea may also increase the risk of birth defects associated with folic acid deficiency. Caffeine passes into breast milk and can affect a breastfeeding infant.
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How Much Green Tea Should I Drink?
Green tea is a most outstanding beverage and with a report from the International Institute of Sustainable Development stating that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, you might want to start drinking more of it. So, this begs the question of how much green tea should we drink, because we just found out that excessive amounts could have potential side effects.
When it comes to drinking green tea, we believe you can drink as much as you can tolerate, however, we recommend not drinking more than 8 cups a day. Personally, I don’t see myself drinking more than a cup a day.
However, it all depends on your situation, look at it this way, in controlled studies, those who drank one to three cups each day had a lower risk of stroke and heart disease than subjects who drank less than one cup. And stomach cancer was less likely to develop in women who consumed over 5 cups daily.