Green tea has been an integral part of many different cultures around the world for thousands of years. The simple reason that helps explain the popularity of green tea is that it is quite beneficial to our health and tastes pretty darn good as well.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the benefits of green tea and try to understand how it helps us improve our health.
Although research on the benefits of green tea is still ongoing, preliminary results clearly indicate that green tea can, in fact, promote a healthy weight, support cognitive functioning and reduce the risk of developing cancerous growths.
Benefits of Green Tea
Both, green tea and black tea are made from the same tea plant. However, green tea is made from unfermented tea leaves, which is why it has a far higher concentration of antioxidants compared to black tea.
Foods that are high in antioxidants are generally good for our health for a number of reasons. The immediate effects are the neutralization of harmful free radicals in our bodies and its ability to reduce inflammation in the body.
It is also beneficial to our heart, brain, and other vital organs. Research also indicates that antioxidants act as a form of natural anti-aging agents for our bodies and also protect us against a number maladies mostly associated with free radical damage such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, etc.
Improves Cognitive Functioning
Green tea contains a particular compound, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has a profound effect on our cognitive functioning and our aging process. EGCG not only protects us from damage related to UV rays but also limits skin aging related to free radicals.
The same compound, aside from preventing premature skin aging, also helps in brain functioning. It promotes cellular rejuvenation and prevents premature death of brain cells.
It also encourages better neural functioning, which is why it delay cognitive deterioration associated with general aging and other more serious conditions such as Parkinsons and Alzheimers.
Brings Various Cardiovascular Benefits
Green tea also promotes better cardiovascular health. It is rich in flavonoids, which is a type of antioxidant that helps promote better blood circulation and also helps regulate cholesterol levels.
This also indirectly lowers the risk of a number of cardiovascular complications such as atherosclerosis.
Aids in Weight Loss and Fat Burning
Green tea also has natural fat burning properties. It is high in a nutrient called, polyphenol, which is known to increase resting metabolic rate slightly. Polyphenol in combination with caffeine and EGCG can significantly increase our metabolic rate along with our body’s ability to oxidize fat.
Helps Fight Cancer
Green tea is well known for its anticarcinogenic properties. Green tea can help stabilize many reactive molecules in the body and disrupt the growth of cancerous cells.
Although there is an increasingly positive association of green tea with cancer prevention, it still requires much more scientific research.
Regulates Cholesterol Levels
Green tea has been scientifically proven to lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the body. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, three cups of green tea a day could potentially reduce the risk of a heart attack by ten percent.
However, it is important to note that researchers have not yet proved that the specific nutrients in green tea help lower cholesterol.
Has Anti-inflammatory Effects
According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, EGCG in green tea can significantly reduce inflammation, especially for individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Aside from any serious maladies, its anti-inflammatory benefits are far ranging and generally helps to keep us active and vibrant.
Contains Bioactive Compounds
Green tea contains a number of bioactive compounds such as flavonoids and catechins. These compounds are powerful and effective antioxidants that offer a number of wide-ranging health benefits.
Helps Fight Bacteria
Catechins, a bioactive compound found in green tea also acts as a natural antibacterial. It can kill various different kinds of bacteria and helps our immune system fight off against nasty bacterial infections.
However, its effectiveness doesn’t end with bacteria as it is also effective against some types of viruses such as influenza, a common viral infection.
Moreover, it also acts as a natural breath freshener and mouthwash. The primary harmful bacteria in our mouth are called streptococcus mustan.
These bacteria can lead to plaque formation and are also the leading cause of tooth decay and cavities. Green tea is particularly effective against bacteria and helps in our dental hygiene and health.
As most of you might already be aware, green tea has a surprisingly large number of health benefits. However, you might still be surprised at the specific benefits of green tea which we discussed in the article. If this doesn’t convince you to incorporate green tea into your life, we don’t know what could.