In 2015 Americans alone drank about 504 million gallons of green tea. Although we’ve been drinking this herbal tea for thousands of years, we’re constantly learning more about this ancient elixir. So if you’re not sipping green tea at least once a day, here are 20 reasons for you to consider swapping it out your coffee, energy drink, or juice.
Historians believe that green tea leaves were originally chewed and eaten in China as far back as 3,000 years ago. Humans were boiling it to drink as far back as the 8th century which is tea began to resemble the drink we’re accustomed to today. It wasn’t until the 19th century that colonists brought it over and made popular in North America.
The antioxidant content of green tea has been widely reported, and the impressive benefits have been used to market the different varieties around the world. However, nutrient content actually varies from brand to brand. Choose a high-quality producer to be sure to optimize your health benefits and get the right bang for your buck.
Although minerals aren’t the most prominent nutrient in green tea, you’ll still be benefitting from increased potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. The leaves need to be ground up for our bodies to be able to assimilate these micro nutrients. You might want to consider drinking the tea leaves and all!
Although black and green tea both come from the same plant, green tea undergoes less processing, leaving more of the natural nutritional content intact. It is also processed before it can be fermented and oxidized, preserving the nutritious integrity in comparison to black tea. Essentially, green tea has a higher antioxidant content, is less acidic, and has less caffeine.
Some studies have shown that it’s an effective (but modest) weight loss aid. This is due to the caffeine content and antioxidants supporting a healthy metabolism and increasing energy. Green tea is a great replacement for sugary soda, energy drinks, and lattes, which further supports healthy weight management.
Both black and green tea have proven to be effective in boosting insulin activity which is especially important for individuals suffering from diabetes. The polysaccharides in green teas are proven to aid in weight loss by providing energy and acting as a dietary fiber.
Green tea has been found to improve blood flow and allow the arteries to relax, likely due to the presence of flavonoids. It’s also been found to have a regulatory effect on fat metabolism. This lowers your risk of developing heart disease.
Rates of cancer seem to be lower in countries that consume high amounts of green tea. Studies have also found a correlation between this consumption and preventing certain types of cancer including breast, bladder, ovarian, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, skin, stomach, and esophagus.
There have been numerous studies linking the presence of polyphenols in green tea to lowered cholesterol. However, there has also been a number of studies failing to find a link. Ultimately it’s unlikely that organic green tea will have any negative effects when consumed in moderate amounts.
The antioxidants in green teas prevent cell damage by neutralizing free radicals before they start a chain reaction that promotes cancer cell growth and disease development. Some have as much as 436 mg of antioxidants per serving, further protecting our blood vessels and muscles from free radical damage.
The presence of amino acid theanine in green tea can to protect our brain cells and improve cognitive function. Theanine has shown to be effective in fighting mental decline among those suffering from mental illnesses including Parkinson’s disease and dementia. Another benefit of theanine is the potential to reduce the risk of stroke.
Chinese cultures have been recommending green tea for stress for thousands of years. Yet only in recent decades have modern societies been able to determine that stress reduction is influenced by theanine. This amino acid has shown to have a relaxing and calming effect the brain by inhibiting excitatory cells, which has shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
Catechin polyphenols in green tea have been proven to slow down the inflammation response and breakdown of cartilage in our bodies . This is particularly important for those suffering from inflammatory diseases like arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Given that you’re not drinking your tea with sugar, daily consumption has shown to reduce your chances of gum disease, cavities, and tooth loss. One study even demonstrated that the polyphenols in green tea are able to slow the growth of oral cancer. You can also sip green tea to fight bad breath due to its anti-bacterial properties, the University of BC found it even outperformed mints and chewing gum!
Green tea contains polyphenols, compounds that contain antioxidants that are almost entirely broken down by our gut bacteria. Researchers have found a strong indication that these polyphenols increase the good bacteria in our guts while inhibiting the growth of negative bacteria.
Green tea could be the secret to a longer, healthier life and it looks like there research to prove it! A 6-year study from Japan found that people who consumed green tea lived longer. This makes sense considering it is known to reduce rates of cancer, disease, and illness.
Japanese scientists have determined that people who frequently drank green tea were much less susceptible to the common flu and colds. Other studies have found that it boosts your immune system enabling your body to fight off infection earlier.
The good news is that green tea has shown to reduce psychological stress by 20% and improve mental health. The drawback is that these results were produced from participants who drank 5 cups a day. It’s not as difficult as you might think to replace your daily water with green tea or take a green tea supplement.
You can easily make a green tea toothpaste by steeping tea in water for 30 minutes, then mixing the liquid with baking soda. Additionally, soaking green tea in a cotton ball and applying it to your face has shown to fight signs of aging, reduce skin damage, and reduce the symptoms of a variety of skin disorders.
When it comes to buying green tea, find a high-quality brand. As a low-quality brand is going to contain excessive amounts of fluoride and possibly lower nutritional content. Many people consume 1-10 cups of green tea a day! While ten cups is not realistic for many of us, powdered and capsule supplements are also available. It does contain a moderate amount of caffeine. Therefore, 1-2 cups a day will be adequate for those sensitive to the effects of caffeine.
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