What is green tea good for?
According to dozens of studies, regularly drinking this tea may reduce your risk of developing heart disease or Alzheimer’s, help you maintain better bone mineral density, ward off eye diseases that affect vision in older age, prevent strokes, and even extend your life.
Green tea contains caffeine. There is conflicting evidence that caffeine might either increase or decrease blood sugar. Diabetes medications are used to lower blood sugar.
Green tea seems to help keep blood sugar stable in people with diabetes. Because catechins lower cholesterol and blood pressure, they can help protect against the damage a high-fat diet can cause, Ochner says.
Green tea is made from the Camellia sinensis plant. The dried leaves and leaf buds of Camellia sinensis are used to produce various types of teas. Green tea is prepared by steaming and pan-frying these leaves and then drying them.
The reason that green tea has more health benefits attached to it than black tea is due to the processing. Black tea is processed in a way that allows for fermentation whereas green tea’s processing avoids the fermentation process.
Different Varieties Of Green Tea
The difference between green and black tea results from the manufacturing process. Black tea undergoes fermentation which transforms its color and flavor, whereas green tea remains unprocessed and retains its color.
The L Theanine aids the caffeine in binding to receptors in the brain, amplifying the effectiveness and duration of caffeine. The L Theanine also drastically slows down the crash and nervous jitters that are often associated with caffeine consumption.
In fact, class action lawsuits have been filed against companies who sold their teas as weight loss supplements. At least two lawsuits involved companies whose advertising made false claims about the effectiveness of their tea in aiding weight loss.
Overall, green tea’s primary effect is to increase calorie expenditure, making you burn more fat — but it doesn’t appear to have any noticeable effect on how much food you end up eating throughout the day.
Tea has unique characteristics of full-bodied, rich flavor (Umami) and sweetness. Simultaneously, it also has a relaxing effect. A type of amino acid called theanine is largely responsible for these characteristics.
Is Green Tea Safe To Take?
While there are several side effects to watch out for, green tea is considered safe by the FDA when used in moderation. Most of these negative side effects are due to the caffeine content and only occur when the beverage is consumed in large amounts.
Green tea has many health benefits. “It contains many nutrients, including antioxidants and anti-cancer and brain-healthy compounds,”
Several large, population-based studies show that people who regularly drink black or green tea may be less likely to have heart attacks and strokes. However, people who drink tea tend to be different from people who don’t drink tea.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
It is important to note that any benefits of green tea for weight loss are likely to be very small. The impact of green tea is not as beneficial as other healthy weight loss methods, such as exercise, that have far greater metabolic benefits.
Here are 5 great reasons why I’ve incorporated this delicious drink in my diet and why you should too.
- Green tea and cancer prevention–According to the National Cancer Institute, the polyphenols in tea have been shown to decrease tumor growth in laboratory and animal studies and may protect against damage caused by ultraviolet UVB radiation.
- Cardiovascular Heart Disease–Research shows that green tea may help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by decreasing LDL cholesterol and improving blood flow in blood vessels. These benefits are largely attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of green tea.
- Boosts Immunity–Research shows that people who regularly drink green tea do not fall victim to common bacterial and viral infections as easily as those who do not add it to their diet. It boosts the immune system.
- Green Tea Play A Role In Mood–The levels of an important class of neurotransmitters called monoamines, which includes serotonin and dopamine, are controlled by an enzyme called monoamine oxidase (known as MAO) that breaks down any excess monoamines.
- Green Tea Lower Blood Pressure–A 2014 survey of data from previously published studies looked at the evidence of whether drinking green tea could help lower blood pressure. There was evidence of a modest reduction in people with high blood pressure who consumed green tea.
Depending on the variety and type of green tea you’re planning to brew, each type may have different brewing temperature and steeping time instructions. Ask your tea vendor for brewing tips if the tea package does not have specific instructions.
One small study conducted at Oklahoma State University, for instance, found that people who drank green tea or took green tea extract on top of their diets lost about 1.3 pounds more over 8 weeks than people who drank water.
The benefits of green tea for skin expand to your hair, too! Green tea leaf fibers are proven to stimulate hair growth, thanks to catechins and polyphenols stimulating cell turnover in hair follicles.