Tea comes in just behind water as the most consumed beverage on earth. All tea is derived from the dried tea leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. While it is available in several different types, teas fall into four specific categories: black, green, oolong, and white. Most of the health benefits come from tea’s strong antioxidants or flavonoids. There are more than 6,000 varieties of flavonoids, and one of the most common forms are catechins. Much of the work around tea is concentrated on green tea because as opposed to black tea, green tea produces 3.5 times more catechins.
Green tea is produced from mature tea leaves and is less refined than other teas. Since the leaves have not been fermented, but rather are dried and steamed, green tea may retain its high level of catechins. It is also available in a more condensed form called an extract. A green tea extract means that the active ingredients present in the green tea, such as the catechins, have been separated from the dried green tea leaves to create a more concentrated form. Extracts are available in oil, powder, pill, or tablet forms. Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for thousands of years. Therefore, it is not surprising that many researchers have turned their interest to green tea. Many studies are supporting its health benefits for heart safety, blood sugar regulation, memory enhancement, and many other conditions. Here are some of the health benefits of consuming green tea.
1. Promotes Heart Safety
Studies suggest that green tea may lower your bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) and total cholesterol. Lowering these types of cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease. One major Japanese study found that people drinking three or more cups of green tea every day had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, compared to those who drank less than one cup.
2. Supports Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
One large analysis reviewed several studies and concluded that the catechins in green tea might help to lower fasting blood sugar levels when taken for three months or longer. Another study also supported that green tea may help improve fasting sugar levels, as well as lower levels of hemoglobin A1C. Hemoglobin A1C is a long-term indicator of blood sugar levels. Some studies do not show any improvement in blood sugar control in people with diabetes. At this point, there is no clear response, and more work is required.
3. Supports Healthy Brain
We are always looking for a way to help keep our brains sharp as we age. Some research indicates that the antioxidants found in green tea may have beneficial effects on our neurological system. Specifically, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) may protect brain cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can lead to diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and others. One small study found that individuals who drank a green tea beverage daily had better brain function and improved task performance than those who did not.
4. May Promote a Healthy Weight
Be wary of green tea weight-loss claims. Many ads say that green tea can accelerate weight loss, but research findings are mixed. Green tea contains catechins, as well as caffeine. Some research indicates that it is the combination of these two working together that can increase energy metabolism contributing to weight loss. One study found that green tea had a “small positive effect” on weight loss. A more recent review also found that green tea may provide a small, “non-significant” weight loss, but no benefit for weight loss maintenance. While its caffeine and catechins give a minor metabolism boost, green tea is not the perfect solution for weight loss. However, drinking a few cups of green tea or other non-calorie tea a day can be helpful in many ways. For example, drinking calorie-free tea can help you decrease your hunger and stay away from other high-calorie foods.
5. Improves the skin
Is drinking green tea healthy for your skin? Of course! There are a lot of benefits that green tea holds for the skin. It has antioxidants that are known as polyphenols that are also present in coffee and fruits. Such antioxidants can reduce the aging of the skin and cure many skin diseases. It keeps your skin stay fresh and rejuvenated. Also, the catechin in green tea will make the skin more resistant to the harshness of UV rays. As UV exposure causes inflammation, green tea supplements decreases the symptoms of sunburn.
6. Provides hydration to the body
It is yet another significant advantage of green tea. Contrary to the common belief that drinking tea leads to dehydration, green tea has hydration benefits similar to that of water. It helps to retain the moisture of the body all through the day. Green tea entrenches you with profound energy and agility throughout the day.
7. Can Help Lower Risk of Certain Cancers
Strong antioxidant properties of the catechins, especially EGCG, maybe the reason why green tea can potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers. The explanation of why it works remains unclear.
Conclusion- Due to its strong antioxidants, green tea can have a wide variety of health benefits and can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle. If you want to boost your general health or decrease your risk of disease, drinking green tea is a simple and tasty way to add beneficial antioxidants to your diet.