Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks to have all year long. It can be served hot, cold or infused with delicious fruity flavours. Green tea and black tea are made from the same plants and the only difference is in the way they are processed which changes its colour and flavour.
Green tea is the least processed among teas, which is why it contains the most polyphenol antioxidants. Research shows that the flavonoids, caffeine, and catechins in green tea are the key contents for its amazing properties.
Green tea has remarkable capabilities when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Numerous studies prove its benefits to the heart and liver. Green tea is also known to boost your metabolism, aiding in weight loss and lowering your appetite.
Here are some ways green tea can benefit you:
Green tea can be your best friend if you are looking forward to shed some pounds. Polyphenol antioxidants called catechins(EGCG) improve your metabolism and increase fat oxidation. As it can boost metabolic rate, it eventually helps you lose weight.
All you need to do is drink a moderate amount of 2.5 cups per day for weight loss.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea, that contains catechins and caffeine, has a profound effect in reducing body mass index (BMI), weight and waist circumference.
Caffeine in green tea also adds to its benefits. It helps improve physical performance, keeping you active during workouts for a longer time. The American Journal of Physiology confirms that green tea increases your exercise endurance by up to 24%.
The polyphenol antioxidants in green tea make it a remarkable drink for prevention against heart diseases. Numerous studies show that green tea increases antioxidant capacity of blood that helps in lowering blood pressure, LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels which are the main risk factors contributing to coronary artery disease, heart attack and stroke.
As green tea acts on minimizing the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases, it’s no wonder that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to Oxford Journal of Nutrition.
Green tea has phenomenal powers when it comes to brain function. Not only does it improve memory and cognitive abilities, it also prevents the onset of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
In a study conducted by swedish scientists, MRIs of people who drank green tea showed greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains.
The key ingredient responsible for better brain functions, like memory and better cognitive functions, is caffeine which is a stimulant. Green tea contains just the right amount of caffeine, lesser than coffee but enough to give beneficial effects without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine.
Various other studies reveal that caffeine leads to advancements in various functions of brain, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory.
Green tea comes with more than just caffeine. It also has an amino acid L-theanine that has a profound effect on the brain. L-theanine enhances the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, thereby accounting for its anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain. Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine work together to improve brain functions.
Green tea also prevents the formation of plaques that cause Alzheimer’s disease. It has preventive effects on Parkinson’s as well. Multiple studies reveal that the antioxidants like catechin compounds in green tea can have remarkable protective effects on neurons, which can eventually lower the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s onset.
Green tea is a part of many skin care products in the market for good reason as they comprise of numerous antioxidants and vitamins. Green tea bags are one of the most effective home remedies to help you get rid of unsightly dark circles. Caffeine constricts tiny blood vessels in the skin around the eyes and tannins can help in reducing swelling and discoloration.
Green tea can also break up excess oil and reduce inflammation in acne-prone skin and protect it from future damage. It can also loosen up blackheads up to the surface.
Studies from the British Journal of Nutrition show, green tea can can protect against sunlight damage, treat age spots and wrinkles making skin look younger and healthy. The antioxidants found in green tea make skin less prone to damage by the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
A pair of used green tea bags can do the trick. Let them cool in the refrigerator for half an hour. Gently place them on your eyes for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this twice or thrice a week for amazing results.
Green tea may not be a drink that will detox your body but it contains active ingredients that support your body’s natural ability to detox. The primary polyphenols, called flavonoids boost your body’s normal detox system.
Polyphenols either directly impact your liver, the body’s major detox organ, or their antioxidants remove free radicals before they damage healthy cells. Green tea directly acts on your liver by enhancing enzyme activity that is essential for detoxification. Its effect on liver enzymes has other benefits such as protecting the liver from acetaminophen(the common painkiller).
With so many amazing benefits at hand, it is no surprise to know that green tea drinkers live longer than those non-green tea drinkers. Green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer so it makes complete sense to conclude that it could help you live longer.
Green tea consumption has to go along with a healthy diet, adequate exercise, stress reduction and good sleep to have a prominent effect, but a high consumption of the polyphenols like those found in green tea are associated with a 30 percent reduction in mortality in people 65 and older, according to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Another study of 40,530 Japanese adults showed that those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were less likely to die during an 11 year period as green tea consumption was inversely associated with mortality due to all causes and due to cardiovascular disease.
So if you haven’t had green tea for a long time, ponder on its unbelievable benefits and include it in your everyday routine for a healthy life.