What Are the Health Benefits of Green Tea?

Green tea is considered as one of the healthiest beverages in the world. It contains plenty of antioxidants and nutrients which have powerful effects on the body.

They include, but are not limited to improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other impressive benefits.

According to various studies, there are a number of benefits of drinking green tea, they are as follows.

1) Contains Compounds Which Contributes to Health

Green tea is said to consist of numerous plant compounds in the leaves. These leaves contains large amounts of important nutrients. The drink is rich in polyphenols, and large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits.

EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. It has been studied to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.

2) Improves Brain Functions

Green tea is said to help fight drowsiness, as well as boost brain activity. The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant. While not as strong as coffee, it has the same kick to keep drinkers awake.

The drink also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. It increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.

Many people report having more stable energy and being much more productive when they drink green tea, compared to coffee.

3) Physical Improvement

Green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials. According to a study, with 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4%.

Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat.

Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy.

4) Lowers Cancer Risk

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death.

It is known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants may have a protective effect.

Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes sense that it could reduce your risk of breast cancer, prostrate cancer or colorectal cancer.

It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because some studies suggest it reduces the antioxidant value.

5) Lowers Risk of Alzheimers

Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.

Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentially lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

6) Dental Health

The catechins in green tea also have other biological effects.

Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections.

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.

Studies show that the catechins can inhibit the growth of Streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries.

Multiple studies also show that green tea can reduce bad breath.

7) Lowers Diabetes Risk

Type 2 diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 400 million people worldwide.

This disease involves having elevated blood sugar levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank had a 42% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic.

8) Lowers Chances of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world.

Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases.

This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

It also dramatically increases the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which protects the LDL particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease.

Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

9) Lowers Chance of Obesity

Given that it can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.

Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area.

One of these studies was a 12-week randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and belly fat.

However, some studies don’t show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with the drink, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt.

10) Increases Life Expectancy

Green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer and more healthy.

In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period:

Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged found that those who partook in the drink were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period.

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