22 Jul The Goodness of Green Tea
If you’re looking for one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, you can’t walk past a cup of green tea. Long used in ancient Eastern medicinal traditions for many ailments, the health benefits of green tea are plentiful.
Green tea is rich in polyphenols – natural compounds with benefits to the human body including reducing inflammation and assisting in fighter cancer cells. Green tea contains a compound called epigallocatechin-3-gallate, otherwise known as EGCG. This powerful compound aids in protecting cells from damage, reducing the formation of free radicals – giving it anti-aging properties as well as a range of other health benefits. A small amount of minerals in green tea are also beneficial, including manganese, zinc and chromium, as well as vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin B. Once you know how to make a cup of green tea, you’ve got easy access to a whole range of health benefits.
So just what are some of these green tea health benefits?
1. Weight loss.
Green tea is hailed to be one of the best drinks aiding in weight loss. Although one cup of green tea holds significantly less caffeine than one cup of coffee ((24–40 mg as opposed to100–200 mg), it still has enough caffeine to have an effect on the body as a stimulant that aids in exercise performance and burning fat. The antioxidants and EGCG can also help with weight loss, by breaking down fat cells and increasing the production of norepinephrine.
2. Brain function.
According to a recent study published in the National Library of Medicine, the combination of caffeine and l-theanine in green tea have beneficial effects on cognition and human brain function. The study presented evidence that green tea has a positive effect on reducing anxiety, improving memory and attention, and active brain function seen in an MRI. Studies are also being carried out on the positive effects green tea has on slowing the decline of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease.
3. Improving mood.
The small amounts of caffeine in green tea, as well as the antioxidants, can have a positive effect on mood. For some people, green tea increases energy levels and productivity – although if you are sensitive to caffeine, remember not to drink green tea too late in the day, or it may affect your sleep patterns.
4. Fighting cancer.
The antioxidants in green tea have been linked to cancer-fighting properties, with many studies supporting this. In 2018, a medical study published research that those who consumed green tea on a regular basis had a lowered risk of developing breast cancer.
It’s important to note, however: this is true of any plant-based diet, due to the benefits associated in polyphenolic compounds (evident in green tea, and most plants and vegetables), an antioxidant that improves cellular function and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Always ask your doctor for medical advice.
5. Lowering blood sugar.
Green tea can have benefits for people with diabetes, according to Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, a cardiologist and director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Insulin comes along to decrease sugar, but with type 2 diabetes, the body isn’t so sensitive to insulin, so blood sugar levels go up. Through a complex biochemical reaction, tea — especially green tea — helps sensitise cells so they are better able to metabolise sugar. Green tea is good for people with diabetes because it helps the metabolic system function better.” However, be wary of products containing green tea that are also high in sugar, such as juices, frozen yoghurts and some ‘health’ drinks. Be sure to read the labels.
So it might just be worth considering adding a cup of green tea to your morning routine. With all the green tea flavours available on the market, and the quick preparation, it’s an easy and delicious addition that provides many health benefits. For a boost to your health, combine a daily cup of green tea with regular salt therapy sessions, and your body should feel the rewards.