Health Benefits of Green Tea – I consider green tea as a must-have in every diet. It is the healthiest beverage I know of.Green tea contains nutrients and antioxidants that are beneficial to your body.
Green tea contains bioactive compounds that improve health (1). It contains polyphenols like catechins and flavonoids and catechins. These are powerful antioxidants that improve the way your body functions. These compounds also protect molecules and cells from damage.
One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) ( 2). EGCG is very effective for treating various health diseases.
Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health.
TYPES OF GREEN TEA
Below are the different types of green tea:
- Moroccan mint green tea
- Jasmine green tea
- Dragonwell green tea
- Genmaicha green tea
- Kukicha green tea
- Houjicha green tea
- Gyokuro green tea
- Sencha green tea
- Bi luo chun green tea
- Matcha green tea
Green Tea Nutritional Profile
Green tea contains catechins and flavonols that offer many great benefits. The catechins in green tea include:
- Gallate derivatives
Other important compounds in green tea include:
- Linoleic acid
Methylxanthines e.g theobromine, theophylline and caffeine, carbohydrates like fructose, sucrose, glucose, pectins, and cellulose and numerous enzymes and amino acids. Trace amounts of carotenoids.Trace amounts of minerals like copper, chromium, iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium and zinc.
You now know the various compounds and nutrients present in green tea. Let us then discuss the different green tea benefits and side effects.
12 Amazing Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea is very beneficial to the body in several ways. Here are 12 of these incredible health benefits of green tea.
1. Improves Brain Function
The caffeine in green tea can improve the way your brain functions. Green tea makes you smarter.It also contains an amino acid called L-theanine. The combination of L-theanine and caffeine helps to improve brain function. Green tea also improves your memory and mood and keeps your mind focused and on alert.
2. Antioxidants in Green Tea Lower The Risk of Some Types of Cancer
Cancer is one of the major causes of deaths in the world. However, there are ways to reduce the risk of getting cancer. Several studies show that people who drink green tea have a lower risk of having cancer(2).
Green tea is a great source of antioxidants. These antioxidants are what help prevent some types of cancer like:
- Bladder Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Colorectal or Bowel Cancer
- Lung Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Skin Cancer
- Stomach Cancer
- Throat Cancer
When making your green tea, don’t add milk or sugar. This is because they can reduce the antioxidants in it.
You might have a question like
How much green tea should I drink?“
Well, drink between 2-4 cups of green tea daily to reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Green Tea Lowers Your Risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s In Old Age
Green tea does not just improve the way your brain functions for a short while. It also lowers the risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s that may affect your brain in your old age.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are the most popular neurodegenerative diseases that affect the human brain. Several studies show that the catechin found in green tea lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson'( 3).
Green tea protects brain cells and prevents them from dying. It also restores dead brain cells.
4. Green Tea Improves Your Dental Health
Studies show that the catechins in green tea can lower the growth of streptococcus mutans (4). This is the main harmful bacteria in the mouth.
5. Green Tea May Reduces Your Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type II diabetes occurs when your body does not produce enough insulin and blood sugar levels rises. Recent data show that over three hundred million people in the world suffer from Type II diabetes.
Green helps to regulate glucose levels in your body. It also reduces blood sugar level in your body.One Japanese study found out that people who drink green tea the most have a 42% lower risk of having type II diabetes( 5).
6. Health Benefits of Green Tea for Weight Loss and Obesity
One of the most popular health benefits of green tea is weight loss. Green tea boosts body metabolism thereby helping you lose excess weight.
Drinking green tea also reduces your calorie intake. This is great for burning that excess body fat and preventing obesity.
Green Tea Recipe For Weight Loss
- Green tea bag 1
- Hot water 1 cup
- Lemon 1/2 slice
- Add a 1/2 slice of Lemon to a cup of hot water with 1 green tea bag in it.
- Leave is for about 1 minute.
- Then drink hot and enjoy!
7.Green Tea Prevents Heart Diseases
Green tea contains polyphenolic compounds as well as catechins. These compounds protect and help your cardiovascular system to function properly.
According to scientists, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels and keeps them relaxed.
This enables them to withstand blood pressure changes better.It also prevents the formation of clots in your blood vessels which are the major cause of heart attacks.
Flavonoids found in green tea helps in dilation of blood vessels, helping in the regular flow of blood through it. They, therefore, prevent cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and stroke.
8. Reduces Bad Cholesterol
Drinking green tea regularly reduces the LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood. It also improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol in your body.
9. Fights Depression
Depression has negative effects on the general health of individuals. Theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves that help to fight depression. It reduces stress and has a relaxing effect on tea drinkers.
10. Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
Green tea has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are beneficial to your skin. It helps to get rid of wrinkles and other signs of aging on your skin.
When you apply green tea topically, it reduces sun damage and rejuvenates your skin.
11. Lowers Risk of Dementia
The caffeine found in green tea also helps to prevent dementia. Dementia is a state of extreme mental deterioration characterized by issues such as the change in personality, memory disorder, etc.
Research shows that green tea enhances the cognitive function of your brain. It can also help to treat cognitive impairments like dementia.
12. Stimulates Hair Growth
Green tea limits the growth of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT limits hair growth.
You can make a green tea rinse at the comfort of your home.
- Just steep 3-4 bags of green tea in half a liter of water.
- Use the mixture as the last rinse after you have shampooed and conditioned your hair.
SIDE EFFECTS OF GREEN TEA
Like other food items and beverages, green tea also has side effects. However, the health benefits of green tea outweigh its side effects. Some of these side effects include:
- Drinking above 5-6 cups of green tea per day can lead to convulsions, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, vomiting, nervousness, and headache. This is because of the caffeine found in green tea.
- Pregnant women should not drink green tea as it can cause miscarriage. Also, it is unsafe for breastfeeding mothers to drink more than 2 cups of green tea a day.
- Avoid green tea if you have a bleeding disorder. The caffeine in it can increase bleeding.
- If you have issues with your liver, avoid green tea. This is because some reports claim that green tea extracts cause liver damage.
HOW TO DRINK GREEN TEA ( RECIPE FOR GREEN TEA)
Now that you know the side effects and health benefits of green tea, you should learn how to prepare it.
- Put green tea leaves in a tea strainer.
- Place the strainer on an empty glass.
- Pour hot water over the tea leaves.
- Soak tea leaves for about 2-3 minutes.
- Leave to cool down.
You can now enjoy your cup of healthy green tea.
BEST GREEN TEA BRANDS
There are numerous green tea brands in the market. So you might experience difficulty in selecting the one best for you. Hence, I have put together a list of 10 of the most effective and popular green tea brands in no particular order:
- Organic India Tulsi Green Tea
- Lipton Honey Lemon Green Tea
- Tetley Pure Green Tea
- LaPlant Lemon Grass Green Tea
- Tazo Green Tea
- Twinnings Jasmine Green Tea
- Bigelow Green Tea
- Yogi Green Tea
- Tytphoo Green Tea
- Golden Tips Green Tea
You can get all these brands of green tea on Amazon or in your local market.
Note that the health benefits of green tea are numerous. The catechins found in it are effective for treating everything from stress to flu to skin diseases to cancer. This list only discusses a few of the benefits of drinking green tea.
Drink green tea regularly to improve your overall health.