Asian societies have used the powers of green tea for centuries. It has been used as a medicinal agent and as a dietary supplement. It is clear to see why it is recommended as a staple in almost every diet plan and is known primarily for it’s incredibly high amounts of antioxidants.
But it has loads of other health benefits as well, from weight loss to disease prevention, check out the 9 reasons to drink more green tea.
It can make you smarter.
Green tea contains key compounds like caffeine and amino acids which stimulate brain activity and increase dopamine production.
Caffeine is helpful for brain function because it can increase concentration and increase neuron activity. Thousands of studies have been done on caffeine and many have shown that it can improve different features of brain functioning like better moods, faster reaction time, improved memory, and attentiveness.
No need to worry about those negative effects of feeling jittery or anxious though. Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee so it provides you with a buzz, but without the intensity of coffee.
It also helps that green tea packs a double punch with amino acids like L-theanine which produces anti-anxiety or soothing effects along with the caffeine to wake you up, but keep you calm.
It has fat burning properties.
If you’re looking to shed a couple of extra pounds, then add green tea to your regimen. Green tea has demonstrated in multiple studies to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, making it easier to burn more calories.
This could be due to the content of caffeine itself — caffeine has been linked to mobilization of fatty acids (basically making fat more accessible to burn). But, there are studies specifically with green tea that have demonstrated an increase in fat oxidation by up to 17%.
It might help prevent cancer.
The high amount of antioxidants in green tea make it great for your health. Specifically, the antioxidants work to reduce free radicals in the body — which are highly reactive cells that multiply quickly and can cause cancers and diseases.
Research has linked it to a lower risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer as well as a decreased likelihood of developing other types of cancer.
It might lower your risk for neurodegenerative diseases.
Green tea contains compounds called catechins that act as a protector for neurons in the brain.
In diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, neuron protection and growth is vital as disease development involves neuro degeneration, or dying neurons. Therefore consumption of green tea can effectively prevent neurons from being killed and reduce the risk of developing either disease.
It kills bacteria.
Catechins also act to kill bacteria (e.g., streptococcus or “strep”) and prevent viruses (e.g., influenza).
These magical compound can also improve your overall dental health and lower your risk of tooth decay. Another positive? You might try downing a cup before your next date because it’s also been shown to reduce bad breath.
It can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
Research has shown that drinking green tea can reduce your level of blood sugar and improve your insulin sensitivity. Some studies even showed that participants who drank green tea were up to 42% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who didn’t drink green tea.
It can reduce your risk of heart disease.
There are multiple risk factors for heart disease and drinking green tea can decrease your risk for a good amount of them.
The high level of antioxidants in green tea (see # 3) keeps your total cholesterol in check and balanced by keeping low-density lipoproteins (LDL) from oxidizing — which can cause inflammation in your arteries, increasing your risk for heart disease or even stroke.
Some studies show that drinking green tea can lower risk of heart disease by as much as 31%.
It can help you lose weight.
Drinking green tea can increase your metabolic rate, in the short term. Multiple researchers have found that its consumption will decrease belly fat, body weight, and overall body fat percentage.
There needs to be more research in this area, as some of it regarding weight reduction is mixed, but it seems to be an effective solution for abdominal fat reduction.
It can improve your health and help you live longer.
Because of its disease- and cancer-fighting qualities, it’s a given that it would increase longevity. But, in case you’re still skeptical, let the research prove it.
One research study showed that Japanese adults who drank 5 or more cups of green tea a day were overall less likely to die (during an 11 year span). They showed lower death rates from:
- All causes — 23% less likely for women and 12% less likely for men
- Heart disease — 31 % less likely for women and 22 % less likely for men
- Stroke — 42% less likely for women and 35% less likely for men
When choosing your green tea or deciding on how to drink it, there are a couple of tips that might come in handy.
- Some low quality brands have high amounts of fluoride, so when choosing a green tea, pick high quality brands.
- Try to skip the added milk or cream when pouring your next cup. Adding milk can actually decrease your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants.
One point to make clear though, is that regardless of whether you choose a low quality brand or can’t skimp on the milk when you enjoy your morning cup — any amount of green tea is more beneficial than no green tea.