Green tea is lauded as one of the healthiest drinks in the world. This beverage is full of antioxidants and nutrients that offer great benefits to the body. While it has minimal nutritional value in terms of macronutrients, its bioactive components are what provide the beverage its main advantages.
What’s more, it’s a versatile ingredient that can also be found in food and natural skin care products that aim to enhance its effects with additional components. Still, green tea is best known and enjoyed as a refreshing drink served either hot or cold. Read on to know how green tea can be beneficial for you and why it’s still one of the most popular drinks in the world.
Potential Advantages of Drinking Green Tea:
#1 – Helps With Weight Loss:
Consider adding green tea to your diet if you’re trying to shed off a few pounds. It contains a type of flavonoid known as catechin, which helps speed up your metabolism. Green tea also has a small amount of caffeine and, when paired with catechin, can increase the amount of energy that the body uses — hence, helping it burn more fat.
However, you won’t see significant results if your weight loss regime consists of merely consuming green tea. Following a healthy diet and adopting a sustainable workout routine should still be the top two things you do when you start your weight loss journey.
#2 – Lowers Cholesterol and Supports Blood Sugar Control:
The catechin component in green tea is also a natural antioxidant that offers anti-inflammatory and anti-hypersensitive effects. These effects reduce cholesterol absorption in the body, therefore lowering cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease like stroke.
Green tea may also prevent type 2 diabetes as it reduces blood sugar levels and improves insulin sensitivity. It does so by increasing the uptake of glucose into muscle cells, which helps in enhancing the body’s blood sugar control.
#3 – Improves Brain Function and Mood:
Green tea may not have a significant amount of caffeine but it’s enough to wake you up and keep you focused. The said stimulant blocks off adenosine, a chemical messenger that causes you to feel sleepy, therefore helping you keep a sharp mind. What’s more, regular consumption of green tea can protect your brain from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s as well.
You can even improve your mood thanks to an amino acid called L-theanine in green tea. This compound offers anti-anxiety effects and increases dopamine production in the brain. The combination of caffeine and L-theanine will stimulate your brain to keep it awake and focused without feeling restless and shaky.
#4 – Strengthens Bones:
Stronger bones are probably one if not the most surprising benefits of green tea. It turns out that this type of tea contains a group of chemicals — fluoride, flavonoids, and phytoestrogens — which can stimulate bone formation and help slow its breakdown.
A Korean study published in 2021 found that regular consumption of green tea may protect against osteopenia and osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. According to the research, women who drink one to three cups of green tea daily are less likely to develop osteopenia and osteoporosis compared to those who consumed less than one cup daily or do not consume green tea at all.
#5 – It’s Good For The Skin:
Dermatologists and skincare experts often recommend incorporating antioxidant-rich and hydrating food into your diet to achieve healthy and glowing skin. Green tea is undoubtedly part of this list thanks to its skin-friendly micronutrients, particularly the polyphenolic compound epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
EGCG helps lower lipid levels in the skin and effectively reduces sebum excretions, which slows down or stops acne development. This compound can also boost skin hydration and moisture retention while preventing the formation of wrinkles.
The caffeine and tannins in green tea can also reduce skin puffiness as they work to shrink blood vessels. What’s more, drinking green tea can help decelerate early signs of aging like hyperpigmentation and fine lines as it inhibits UV damage and oxidative stress.
#6 – May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer:
Through the years, various studies found that antioxidants in green tea offer excellent protection against oxidative damage that could lead to chronic diseases like cancer. Specifically speaking, the ECGC in the drink was shown to help reduce metastasis (the development of secondary malignant growths) and leads to a lowered risk of cancers of the breasts, lungs, colon, skin, prostate, oral, and others.
However, the conclusion that green tea reduces the risk of cancer is not final. Current research shows promising results on animals but studies on humans still yield mixed results. There is a need for high-quality research to form a definitive conclusion and consider green tea as an effective food source against cancer.
Drinking green tea offers a plethora of health benefits both for the inside and outside of your body. Its high concentration of antioxidants and low-calorie count are just two of the reasons why the world continues to drink green tea even after thousands of years.
While green tea is generally good for the body, it may not mix well with certain medications and conditions. Make sure to consult your healthcare provider before incorporating it into your everyday diet to ensure that it’s safe for you, and if you’re unsure of how much you should consume daily.