Tea lovers have long extolled the merits of drinking green tea, but this refreshing beverage does more than please the palate. Green tea is also a superfood loaded with antioxidants that come with benefits like boosted heart health, improved brain function, and more. Some researchers even say that it’s the healthiest drink in the world!
Originating in China, green tea has been imbibed since 2737 B.C. Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, or tea plant, which is also the source ingredient for black tea. However, unlike its darker counterpart, green tea is not oxidized and is processed very little before it’s ready to drink. This allows it to retain a high amount of catechins, antioxidants essential for fighting and preventing cell damage.
Read on to find out more about the health benefits of drinking green tea.
1. It’s great for the heart.
Drinking green tea improves blood flow, lowers cholesterol levels, and heightens the antioxidant capacity of the blood. This prevents the development of cardiovascular issues like high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and more.
2. It balances blood sugar levels.
Green tea helps reduce and control glucose levels in the bloodstream. Drinking green tea has been linked with a lower risk of developing diabetes.
3. It boosts brain function.
The benefits of good blood circulation go all the way up to the brain. Drinking green tea has been linked to higher activity levels in the area of the brain responsible for working memory. Plus, green tea contains a small amount of caffeine, which improves brain functions like mood, reaction time, and vigilance. Drinking green tea may also keep the brain from aging by preventing the formation of plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
4. It bolsters the immune system.
One powerful type of catechin found in green is the epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Studies show that ECG provides anti-viral and anti-inflammatory action. Green tea also contains L-theanine, which promotes white blood cell production. Together, they stimulate and strengthen the immune system. These protective properties are why green tea is often found as an ingredient in skincare products.
5. It has a soothing effect.
Another effect of L-theanine is a relaxed mood, which makes drinking green tea ideal to help those suffering from anxiety and stress. Intaking L-theanine may also lead to improved sleep.
6. It burns fat.
Some studies suggest that green tea promotes metabolism, leading to faster calorie burning and increased fat oxidation. Plus, the caffeine in green tea can enhance physical performance, also resulting in dropped pounds.
7. It supports bone density.
Green tea wards off damage to bone cells and reduces inflammation, acting as a natural safeguard against the risk of bone loss and fracture. The result: improved bone density, quality, and overall health.
8. It may prevent cancer.
The research is still coming in, but there’s evidence to indicate that green tea may work to destroy cancer cells. Green tea compounds have been linked with a reduced risk of certain types of cancer including breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer.