Did you know that green tea is considered a superfood? A lot of hype surrounds this antioxidant-rich ingredient, and rightly so. This post will examine the benefits of green tea and why you should drink it every day.
Many people start their day with a steaming cup of coffee. But did you know that a cup of green tea comes with a ton of benefits?
Making the switch to green tea, or at least changing up the routine to include green tea in your daily regimen of liquids, is a smart idea. There’s a whole lotta good in that cup of tea, including its fat-burning properties and ability to improve brain function.
We’ll talk more about that in just a bit – first, I’m going to answer a few questions about this superfood. Then, we’ll look at the super amazing benefits of green tea!
WHAT IS GREEN TEA?
To best understand green tea, we have to look at tea in general. Most people drink black tea or variations of it. Others like to sip on oolong tea, and some people prefer the white variety of tea. What are the differences, and what makes green tea so healthy?
Tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. The plant comes in two varieties. One grows in China and is used for green and white teas. The second type of bush is found in India and is used for both oolong and black tea.
Of the four types of tea, green tea has the most flavonoids, which are plant-based antioxidant chemicals. Green tea is the least oxidized when processed, and that is why it is touted as the most beneficial. Polyphenols are another type of antioxidant that gives green tea a good name and for all the right reasons. Polyphenols stack right up with other anti-inflammatory foods.
Not to be forgotten, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) is the most abundant catechin in green tea.
HOW MUCH GREEN TEA SHOULD YOU DRINK A DAY?
Studies have not been conclusive on how much green tea to drink a day to reap the maximum benefit. It really depends on the person and their own personal health. Different amounts of green tea every day will benefit you in various ways.
For example, 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.
But, we have to look at it this way – how much you consume depends on how much you can tolerate. Not everyone wants to drink 5 cups in 24 hours. Adding green tea to your diet is beneficial, but as long as you are drinking a cup or more a day, that’s great!
HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IS IN GREEN TEA?
The amount of caffeine in a cup of green tea will depend on how it was grown and processed and how you brew it. But according to the Mayo Clinic, an 8 oz cup of green tea has about 28 mg of caffeine. This is about half of what you’d find in a cup of black tea.
CAN I DRINK GREEN TEA ON AN EMPTY STOMACH?
Despite the benefits of green tea, it’s best to not drink it on an empty stomach. Doing so can cause you to experience nausea. It’s the tannins in the tea that cause the problems. Tannins can increase stomach acids, leading you to feel sick and even have a stomach ache. It’s best to drink green tea in between meals. Don’t drink green tea with your meal, as it could interfere with iron intake.
ARE THERE SIDE EFFECTS TO DRINKING GREEN TEA?
People who drink a lot of green tea may experience side effects. If this happens, it’s a good idea to cut back. Remember, increase how much you drink in a day gradually. Don’t go all out the first day. Moderation is always ideal.
- Like with any caffeine, too much can make you jittery
- Excessive caffeine can affect sleep
- Dehydration can occur if you drink in excess because tea is a diuretic
- Too much green tea can cause headaches
- Some people may experience stomach upset
- Iron deficient people should drink green tea one hour after meals or in between meals because it may affect iron absorption
HOW TO DRINK GREEN TEA
Did you know that green tea is the second most consumed beverage after water? Who knew? Enjoy green tea warm or cold, but when you brew it, don’t pour boiling water over the leaves immediately after it has boiled. Doing so will affect the potent catechins that do all the work. Let the boiling water rest about 10 minutes and then pour. Steep 1 to 5 minutes, depending on your taste.
WHAT ABOUT MATCHA TEA?
Matcha tea comes from the Camellia Sinesis bush, too. But when farmers grow it, they cover the plants a few weeks before harvest to prevent sunlight from affecting them. The chlorophyll production is boosted, which means there are more catechins (antioxidants) in the tea. The color of the leaves is darker as well.
BENEFITS OF GREEN TEA
1. GREEN TEA HAS FAT BURNING PROPERTIES
Speeding up your metabolism is a sure-fire way to feel better in general. When your bodily systems are working at top-notch capacity, it’s a bonus to overall health. And the fact that green tea increases fat burning means that your blood is flowing better, your heart is pumping at a rate it should, and your digestive system is humming right along. The ECEG we talked about earlier is thought to boost the metabolism too.
2. GREEN TEA MAY FIGHT CERTAIN CANCERS
This is big. After all, we all know someone who has been affected by cancer and may have even faced it ourselves. So, to know that green tea may fight cancer is a pretty big incentive to add it to your day. The types of cancer that may be prevented are pretty numerous, too, including mouth, kidney, pancreas, stomach, and mammary glands, among others. So, a delicious cup of green tea helps with cancer prevention and that’s another reason to enjoy it.
3. GREEN TEA MAY HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS
A lot of people who have issues with their weight find that it is often an accumulation of pounds around the middle. Green tea may help you lose weight and, in turn, get rid of fat. In a study of overweight subjects, the findings were that weight and waist circumference decreased in those who drank green tea.
4. GREEN TEA CAN FIGHT CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE
We all think about heart health. Cardiovascular diseases are high up there when it comes to the cause of death. Green tea can affect LDL cholesterol levels that play a factor in conditions like stroke and heart attack. Drink green tea to lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood.
5. GREEN TEA MAY PREVENT TYPE 2 DIABETES
Type 2 diabetes is on the increase. It could be due to today’s diets and the fact that we often exercise less than we should. Insulin sensitivity is reduced thanks to green tea consumption, and blood sugar levels, a culprit of diabetes, are lowered, too.
6. GREEN TEA BENEFITS ORAL HEALTH
Your oral health is important, too. In fact, some illnesses and diseases can result from a less than taken-care-of set of teeth and gums. The catechins in green tea fight against oral bacteria.
7. GREEN TEA PROTECTS THE BRAIN
The catechins in green tea really are the star of the show. Along with fighting the formation of free radicals, green tea catechins provide many benefits and have also been proven to protect the neurons of the brain. Cognitive impairment is reduced and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases is lowered. Green tea consumption can protect the brain against conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and forms of dementia.
8. GREEN TEA HELPS BRAIN FUNCTION
The caffeine in green tea acts as a stimulant. Not only do we feel more energetic after drinking coffee or tea, but green tea is known to improve the function of the brain, including reaction time, mood, and productivity. The amino acid L-theanine in green tea can help to reduce symptoms we feel when anxious or stressed.
9. GREEN TEA FIGHTS INFLAMMATION
The flavonoids in green tea have been proven to fight inflammation in the body. The component epigallocatechin-3-gallate in green tea has anti-inflammatory effects and protects cell DNA. There are also antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties in green tea which also work against inflammation.
10. GREEN TEA PROTECTS AGAINST BONE LOSS
Studies show that drinking green tea may stimulate mineralization which generates bone formation. Bone loss may be improved, and there may be added protection against osteoporosis because of the strengthening of the bones.
MORE HEALTHY FOODS WITH NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS
Now we know about the health benefits of green tea and there are many, right? Eating healthy is just the best way to feel good about yourself. To know that you are putting your wellbeing first and getting the most nutrition out of what you eat is tops in my book.
- 21 Top Foods High in Fiber
- Matcha Chia Pudding
- The Benefits of Eggs
- 5-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan
- Matcha Green Tea Frozen Yogurt
- The Amazing Benefits of Broccoli
- High Protein Snacks For Weight Loss
- Healthy Emergency Food Prep
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