Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. It is the most consumed beverage in the world after water. However, 78 percent of the tea consumed is black and around 20% is green.
Green tea is made from dried leaves of plant known as Camellia sinensis. Practice of drinking green tea was first started in China in 2737 BC during the reign of Emperor Shennong. Though widely used in most regions of Asia, green tea is gaining much popularity in the U.S. in the recent decade.
Research suggests that green tea has a multitude of physical and mental health benefits. But Dr. Andrew Weil highlights some of the benefits of green tea. He says that it is loaded with antioxidants that have powerful effects on body.
There are many reasons why you must drink green tea. Some common reasons are discussed below:
1. Provides Antioxidants
It contains antioxidants with polyphenols like Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These have the potential to quench free radicals and metabolic byproducts which can be damaging to the cells. As per a study published in European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, radical scavenging potential of polyphenols found in green tea is six times than that found in black tea. Antioxidants in green tea combat free radicals which can kill cells and cause premature aging, cancer among other diseases.
2. Keeps Your Skin Healthy
Research has shown that drinking green tea and applying tea bags on your skin can help protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. It could be attributed to the presence of epigallocatechin gallate. This compound helps prevent skin cancer. With its extract, researchers treated skin tumors and at the end of the process, around 40% tumors vanished and additional 30% shrunk. In a recent study, it was found that women who consumed six cups of green tea in a day had their skin less reddened when they got exposed to a solar simulator as compared to those who did not.
3. Improves Heart Health
Green tea helps maintain the health of the cardiovascular system. A study was published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition. According to this study, it was found that people who drink five or more cups of green tea in a day have less chances of developing hypertension, diabetes and stroke.
4. Keeps Your Arteries Clean
Green tea prevents the deposition of fat in the arteries. In a study, it was found that green tea reduces the level of cholesterol, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. According to another study, green tea reported significant reduction in the level of LDL cholesterol. It is believed by researchers that catechins in green tea prevents absorption of bad cholesterol by the organs and boosts the absorption of good cholesterol or HDL.
5. Improves Focus
Green tea increases energy and enhances mental focus. It contains a small amount of caffeine that can elevate mood and cognitive functions. We must tell you here that green tea contains less caffeine than coffee and has an amino acid known as L-theanine, which gives a feeling of calmness and awareness.
6. Reduces Anxiety
Calming and relaxing effect of green tea is due to a compound known as L-theanine which helps in reducing anxiety.It works by increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain and also reduces blood pressure. According to a study, green tea produces relaxing effects without drowsiness.
7. Helps in Weight Loss
Green tea helps in burning extra fat in the body by a process known as thermogenesis and oxidation of fat. Regular use of green tea will help you lose weight effectively. According to a study, combination of caffeine and polyphenols from green tea resulted in an increase in expenditure of energy.
8. Improves Bone Health
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which prevent bone loss and improve the health of the bones. According to a study issued in Nutrition Research, there are bioactive ingredients in green tea which improve the mineral density of bone and thus reduce the risk of fracture.
9. Prevents Cancer
Green tea lowers the risk of cancer. According to a study, green tea lowers the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, prostate and bladder cancer. The anti-cancer effect of green tea comes from polyphenols, chemicals that have antioxidant properties.
10. Helps in the Treatment of Diabetes
Green tea improves insulin sensitivity and may prevent diabetes and control rise in blood sugar levels which may lead to cravings of certain types of foods, irritability, and tiredness. Also, consumption of green tea is associated with decreased risk for type 2 diabetes.