The next time you drink a cup of tea, take a moment to think about the tea. Ask yourself, is this the best tea for me? Shouldn’t you be rather drinking green tea which is infinitely better?
We know now there is a strong connection between drinking green tea and health. The Chinese have known this fact for more than 2500 years and they are a nation of green tea drinkers. So it is not a surprise the life expectancy of the average Chinese is much more than the world average. Let’s see 10 reasons why you should be drinking more green tea.
A rich source of antioxidants
Green tea is rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent the formation of free radicals, a natural by-product of oxidation in the body. Free radicals are responsible for a large number of health problems ranging from aging to cancer. The issue is, antioxidants have to be replenished through diet. Incidentally, green tea is loaded with antioxidants. So drinking green tea is an excellent way to get antioxidants into your body to fight free radicals.
Helps reduce fat
Green tea is an excellent source of catechins, a type of flavonoids. Catechins have shown a lot of promise in treating a variety of health conditions. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition said that catechins complement exercised assisted weight loss. Drinking green tea also helps you reduce triglycerides which are the main constituent of body fat.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Studies have shown that drinking green tea can reduce the danger of cardiovascular disease. Regular green tea drinkers have a 31% less chance of developing cardiovascular disease than those who don’t drink green tea. One of the major factors responsible for cardiovascular disease is high cholesterol. Green tea reduces your cholesterol levels which if not tackled in time, can deposit inside your arteries as plaque, causing blockages and ultimately cardiovascular disease.
The antioxidants in green tea prevent the proliferation of free radicals in your body, strengthening your immune system. A healthy immune system is better placed to fight diseases caused by invading viruses, parasites and bacteria. In one study, the catechins in green tea were also found to destroy influenza viruses. Green tea is rich in alkylamines which are also seen in bacteria, fungi and viruses. It is said that drinking green tea helps the body remember alkylamines which assists the immune system to fight off pathogens.
In a study conducted at Case Western Reserve University, it was found that the catechins in green tea block the action of interleukin, a type of cell responsible for inflammation and cartilage damage. A second study published in 2008 in the Journal of Nutrition found that when rats with autoimmune arthritis were given green tea, they showed higher levels of cytokine IL-10 (an immunity boosting compound) and reduced severity of arthritis, compared to a group that wasn’t given green tea. It shows that green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking green tea regularly could lead to better management of rheumatoid arthritis and other types of auto-immune diseases.
Increases bone density
A study conducted at the Texas Tech University’s Laura W. Bush Institute found that drinking up to 6 cups of green tea everyday and practicing Tai Chi improved bone health in as little as 3 months. So drinking green tea will reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Another study found that green tea drinkers over the age of 50 years had a 30% less chance of suffering from hip fractures than those who did not. One particular catechin in green tea, EGC or epigallocatechin cab promote bone growth by as much as 79%. EGC increases mineralization in cells while weakening the action of osteoclasts, cells that reabsorb bone tissue during healing.
Delays brain diseases
Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that leads to memory loss and behavioral changes. Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s disease is progressive and incurable. But drinking green tea may reduce your risk of suffering from the disease, while delaying the progression of the disease in those who already have it. A German study also found that green tea reduces neural damage and inflammation from multiple sclerosis. In fact, recent studies have shown the EGC in green tea may actually improve the functioning of your brain. So drink more green tea if you want to improve your memory.
Good for the skin
Drinking green tea improves the growth of healthy skin, healing wounds faster and bringing relief to skin conditions like psoriasis. Green tea contains a large amount of nutrients like antioxidants, enzymes, amino acids, B Vitamins, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Some people go to the extent of even applying green tea to their face for this purpose. Green tea is also a remedy for healing scars and blemishes and for reducing inflammation caused by acne.
Reduces the risk from diabetes
Diabetes is a major health problem around the globe with an estimated 300 million people suffering from it. So if you want to avoid diabetes or reduce its severity if you already have it, start drinking green tea. A study published in Diabetes & Metabolism Journal in 2013 found that regular green tea drinkers had reduced sugar levels in their blood. It also improves insulin sensitivity. Another study found that green tea drinkers had a 42% reduced chance of suffering from diabetes.
Eases your mind
Green tea is rich in an amino acid called L-theanine which has a relaxing effect on the brain. L-theanine causes the brain to start producing alpha waves, bringing a phase of ‘calm attentiveness’. In this stage, you retain your concentration and focus even as your mood improves and you enter a stage of relaxation. But L-theanine is rare in our diet. The only food items where this amino acid is found in good amounts are green tea and black tea, more reason why you should be drinking green tea.
Green tea has a number of benefits over normal tea. Rich in antioxidants and other nutrients, it is just what you need to keep you in good health. So drink more green tea regularly and see the benefits stack up.