Benefits of green tea are really impressive! This tea is the healthiest beverage in the world. It’s loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants that have powerful effects on our body.
Green tea’s the greatest benefit? According to Beth Reardon, MS, RD, LDN, a Boston nutritionist, it’s all about the content of catechins – potent antioxidants that fight and could prevent cell damage. Green tea isn’t processed much before it is poured into your cup, thus it is rich in catechins.
What the Research Shows
Green tea has been proven to lower cholesterol and improve blood flow. Many studies found green tea helped prevent various heart-related problems, from high blood pressure to heart attack. 2
What’s good for your heart is usually good for your brain; the brain also requires healthy blood vessels. In one Swiss research, MRIs revealed that individuals who consumed green tea had greater activities in the working-memory zone of their brains. This tea has also been proven to help block the formation of plaques which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease. 3
Green tea can help normalize blood sugar in individuals with diabetes. Since catechins lower blood pressure and cholesterol, they can help protect against the damages a high-fat diet could cause.
Is There Any Connection Between Green Tea and Weight Loss?
Sorry, but no food or drink melts the pounds off. While certain evidence submits that EGCG, the active ingredient in green tea, may help you drop a few pounds, many other studies show no effects at all.
However, green tea is a smart substitution for sugary drinks.
Experts from WebMD claim that if you sub 1 to 2 cups of green tea for 1 can of soda, over the next year you’d save around 50000 calories – which is more than 15 pounds. Just don’t swamp it with sugar or honey! 4
Effects on Cancer?
There are mixed opinions around experts about the benefits of green tea and its impact on cancer. However, green tea is known to assist healthy cells in all stages of the tumor. Even though there are certain clues that green tea could help kill cancer cells – that study is still in its early stages, therefore, you should not count on green tea to prevent cancer. Actually, the National Cancer Institute doesn’t recommend for or against the usage of tea to decrease the risk of any type of cancer. 5
It’s well known that sipping some tea can help you slow down and relax. Theanine, a natural chemical found in green tea could provide calming effects.
However, maybe the biggest benefit that you get right away, is simply taking a tea break. Here are some tips how to make your next cup of green tea:
Do not add green tea to boiling water. It is bad for catechins (the healthy chemicals) in the infusion. Better: 160 to 170-degree water.
Squeeze lemon. Vitamin C helps the catechins to absorb easily. On the other hand, dairy makes it harder to absorb them.
Nutrient levels in green tea can fluctuate. Pricier teas generally have more, and canned green-tea beverages usually have less.
Green Tea Nutrition Facts
Unsweetened brewed green tea has zero calories. The caffeine contained in 1 cup of tea may vary according to the amount of tea infused and length of infusing time.
Generally, green tea contains a quite small amount of caffeine (around 20 to 45 mg per 8 oz. cup), compared with black tea that contains around 50 mg and coffee with 95 mg per cup.
Despite its great catechin content, the natural chemicals known as polyphenols in this tea are what are thought to provide its anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties.
Forms of Green Tea
Green tea is available in single tea bags, instant-powder, loose-leaf, and bottled and sweetened with sugar or some other sweetener. You can also find green tea supplements in liquid extract or capsule form.
Bottled teas aren’t equal to brewed teas as some bottled teas may contain fewer polyphenols than 1 cup of infused tea, according to 2010 research presented at the American Chemical Society. 6
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Green Tea
There are little to no known contraindications or side effects of drinking green tea. People with severe caffeine sensitivities may experience anxiety, upset stomach, nausea, irritability, or insomnia.
Those taking anticoagulant drugs like Coumadin/warfarin should consume green tea with caution because of its vitamin K content.
If taken with stimulant drugs, this tea might possibly increase heart rate and blood pressure.
Green tea supplements, though contain high levels of active substances which can interact with other herbs and trigger side effects, medications, or supplements. Always check with your GP before starting any supplement or herb regimen.
Particularly, breastfeeding or pregnant women, those with high blood pressure or heart issues, liver or kidney problems, anxiety disorders, or stomach ulcers shouldn’t take green tea extracts or supplements. 7
How Much Green Tea Should You Drink?
In many green-tea drinking nations, the usual amount is 3 cups daily. Allow green tea to steep for 3-5 minutes in order to bring out its catechins. Drink it freshly prepared to get the catechins and the other flavonoids. Bottled ready-to-drink, instant, and decaffeinated teas have less of these compounds. Tea may impede the absorption of iron from veggies and fruits. Adding milk or lemon or drinking tea between meals will offset this issue.
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Green tea is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that have great effects on the body. This includes a lower risk of cancer, fat loss, improved brain function, and many other amazing benefits. The benefits of green tea are even more powerful due to its content of flavonoids (plant-derived antioxidants). Green tea benefits are not found in weight loss. More evidence is required.