You probably know someone who loves drinking green tea even though they insist that they don’t like the taste. So why, exactly, do they take it anyway? The simplest answer lies in its nutritional content: it’s the best anti-aging beverage. In fact, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition states that it’s the second most-consumed beverage in the world after water.
It’s also the healthiest drink in the world, possessing more nutritional and antioxidant content than, say, black tea or oolong tea.This is because green tea leaves aren’t fermented and therefore retain all nutrients. Among its many benefits are a lower risk of cancer, weight loss and weight management, heart health, better cognitive function, healthier digestion, and better skin.
Let’s take a closer look at what green tea has to offer, starting with its two popular benefits: skincare, and weight loss.
Because of its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory content, it can reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles and sun damage. Whether it’s applying green tea-infused products, making a scrub out of the tea leaves, or simply drinking it regularly, green tea has had positive effects on the skin.
Weight Loss and Weight Management
Another popular health claim related to drinking green tea is that it can help you lose weight. It increases your body’s metabolic rate so you can burn more fat, and help your body keep up this process regularly so you’ll never gain additional weight.
Green tea influences the rate by which your body turns food into calories and up the levels of fat oxidation. Several studies have also claimed that drinking green tea regularly can pose a significant reduction in belly fat in the abdominal area. It’s important to keep in mind that this is assuming you’re keeping up with a healthy and active lifestyle.
A research in Taiwan discovered that people who drank green tea regularly generally had smaller waists and a lower body fat composition than those who didn’t consume green tea.
The risk of getting Parkinson’s disease gets higher past the age of 50 and affects six million people worldwide every year. Although it hasn’t been tried on human trials, green tea’s antioxidant component, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is effective in treating flies who have been engineered to develop Parkinson’s.
The researchers at the National University of Singapore found that EGCG activated AMP kinase, an enzyme that regulates how energy is utilized in the neurons. AMP kinase prevents neurons from drying when under stress. A similar study conducted on mice showed comparable results, wherein the enzyme restored damaged brain cells.
A study at the University of Newcastle studies the effects of green tea and black tea on Alzheimer’s and found that their properties blocked the breakdown of acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter linked with preserving memory.
The main problem that people with diabetes have is metabolizing the sugar in their body. For those with Type 2 Diabetes, their bodies aren’t as sensitive to insulin, causing their blood sugar levels to skyrocket.
More than any other type of tea, green tea’s biochemical reaction helps make the cells more sensitive to insulin and metabolize the sugar.
Lower Risk for Heart Disease
A study with 40, 530 Japanese participants found that people who consumed more than five cups of green tea per day had a 26% lower risk of dying from a heart attack or stroke, and a 16% lower risk of dying from any other causes than those who went without drinking at least a cup of green tea daily.
Most scientists assume that green tea’s effects on the lining of the blood vessels help the heart stay relaxed even under stressful conditions. Since it keeps the blood vessels clear, it also prevents the formation of blood clots, which is one of the primary causes of heart attacks. It also balances the ratio of good and bad cholesterol in the body.
The Public Health Nutrition published a study that concluded people who drank at least four cups of green tea daily were half as like to feel depressed than those who didn’t. Remember that green tea is rich in different types of antioxidants, and depending on the type of green tea you consume and the methods through which you ingest it can affect how much of the nutrients you can get.
Not only is it rich in EGCG and polyphenols, but green tea is also abundant in L-Theanine, which assists chemicals like dopamine and serotonin fight the symptoms of hormonal imbalance, nutritional deficiencies, and more.
The catechin found in green tea serves as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial solution. Say goodbye to bad breath and hello to healthier gums.
On another side of the plane, a study in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry that it can be a substitute to HBSS. Case in point: when you lose a tooth or get them knocked out, you can preserve them in a saline solution called HBSS that keeps the tooth’s cells alive so you can have it reinserted later on.
Better Bone Health
The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study in 2009 that looked into the correlation between green tea consumption and bone health. The research, conducted on rats, found that those who were exposed to the catechins in green tea had better bone density. These catechins increased bone mineralization and exhausted cells that reabsorb bone instead of forming it.
Green tea contains tannins, which can affect how your body absorbs iron. It’s best to wait an hour after an iron-rich meal or taking iron supplements before you consume your green tea beverage.
Like all else, taking green tea alone isn’t going to address all your health problems. It’s always about doing a combination of lifestyle changes and maximizing each health benefit of everything we put into our bodies, and in return working to eliminate the harmful toxins that make their way inside.