Think green tea is just a fad?
Really this light and refreshing drink has been enjoyed since before history was recorded.
Not only is this a delicious drink with many flavor options, it also has many health benefits.
What You’ll Learn
- The many nutrients that make green tea so popular.
- The basics of what these nutrients do for the body.
- 35 health benefits you receive from drinking green tea.
- Insight into the many options and how to buy the right one
This is a lot of information, but definitely something you will want to read. If you don’t have time now, pin it so you can refer back to this later.
Nutritional Value of Green Tea
There are several nutrients you will find in green tea. While there may not a ton when you consume a few glasses a day over time you will see a difference in your nutrition.
Here are the nutrients in green tea:
Vitamin A is essential for eye health. It helps protect the membrane around your eye. Some believe it can help with vision though this has not been proven.
This mineral has many benefits to the body.
This nutrient is essential for calcium absorption in the body which means it supports bone health.
There are a few B Vitamins in green tea, including B5 and B12. These vitamins have many functions in the body including immune support.
The purpose of antioxidants is to right free radicals in the body. This is associated with anti-aging effects as well s reducing cancer risk. There are several antioxidants in green tea that give it the health benefits we will discuss in the next section.
This vitamin is an antioxidant that protects against toxins such as air pollution, premenstrual syndrome, eye disorders such as cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
This is another vitamin that is great for immune support. It helps transport the nutrients throughout the body. It is even used as an antihistamine.
This is most notably used by the integumentary system, which is comprised of your hair, skin, and nails. Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, is also a necessary nutrient for metabolism.
This vitamin is used by the body for regulating the clotting factor in the blood.
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is a powerful antioxidant that started the green tea craze as this is the chemical makeup of the extract from this substance. It helps the body in numerous ways, such as helping with brain health, cardiovascular health, and even fighting cancer.
35 Health Benefits of Green Tea
By looking at the different nutrients and other aspects of green tea, there are several health benefits you should be aware of with this drink. Here are some of the biggest health benefits we could find.
1. Reduces Atherosclerosis Risk
The EGCG in green tea plays many roles and reducing the risk of atherosclerosis is just one of them. This compound causes an oxidation process that stops lipid peroxidation, one of the main issues with atherosclerosis and several other conditions.
2. Helps with Cholesterol Levels
While green tea will not help with your good cholesterol (HDL) levels, it can help lower your bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Studies have shown that drinking up to 10 cups of green tea a day can significantly lower LDL levels.
3. Prevents Certain Cancers
Cancer is a big concern for many people. The great thing about green tea is that it can reduce your risk for several types of cancer. These include esophageal, ovarian, bladder, breast, colorectal, lung, prostate, skin, and pancreatic cancer.
The studies done on this cannot give conclusive evidence to exactly why or how much green tea can help, though they have found that EGCG was the most effective chemopreventive they have found.
A chemopreventive is a substance that is taken to fight off cancer cells before they are detected and treatments such as chemo are started.
4. It is Stimulating
If you need a little boost in the mornings, green tea can help to stimulate you. This is because it does contain some caffeine. Keep in mind it is a smaller amount so if you are used to drinking coffee in the morning you will need to drink a few cups.
5. It is an Anti-caricinogen
Fighting cancer cells is what antioxidants do best. There are several nutrients in green tea that are antioxidants such as Vitamin C,E, and B. On top of all this, the EGCG in green tea is known to fight cancer cells before and as they start forming.
This can be a great option for people who are at a higher risk of cancer. It may not guarantee you will be cancer free your whole life, but it can fight it.
6. Promotes Cardiovascular Health
There are several ways green tea can help the heart. For one, the EGCG helps reduce the risk of atherosclerosis.
Also, the lower cholesterol levels help the cardiovascular system. If you want more information on how green tea can help you keep your cardiovascular system healthy, check out this video.
7. Protects Skin
Biotin is one of the main vitamins found in green tea, which is known to help your skin look better and stay healthier. Additionally, the antioxidants in green tea can help fight off the effects of aging as well as the UV radiation damage to the skin.
8. Boost Stamina and Endurance
Green tea extract has been studied in many ways and has been found to help people boost their stamina and endurance. Part of this is because the body has more hydration, so it does not fatigue as fast. Part of this is also due to the way it helps the cardiovascular system and oxidizes fat cells.
9. Helps with Respiratory Care
The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea are great for helping your lungs, especially if you have asthma or the weather is cold. Even just the warmth of the beverage can soothe your body and help your respiratory system. Also, EGCG has been shown to be effective in preventing and fighting lung cancer.
10. May Help HIV Patients
Keep in mind that this will not cure HIV and should not be used as a course of treatment.. Rather studies have shown that green tea extract can actually help slow the degradation of immune cells. This can help people to not only live longer, but live a more fulfilling life with HIV.
11. Keeps You Hydrated
Green tea is 99.5 percent water. This means as you drink it you are helping to hydrate your body. Just keep in mind that the maximum recommended intake is 10 cups per day.
12. Ward of Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is a serious issue because there is no way to reverse it. While most people think this is only an issue for the elderly, it is something all adults should be concerned about.
Taking care of your eyes, seeing an eye doctor regularly, and getting adequate Vitamin A, which is found in green tea, will help you keep this condition at bay.
13. Antihistamine Properties
Green tea is a good source of Vitamin C. One of the ways the body uses this nutrient is as an antihistamine. This beverage has been shown to get rid of hives simply by consuming green tea as well as bathing in a tub of green tea.
While this may provide you with some relief this is not something you should rely on if you have severe allergies, especially if you have an anaphylactic response to your allergy.
14. Helps with Irritable Bowel Disease
Irritable bowel is a condition many people suffer from and one of the main causes is inflammation. The anti-inflammatory properties of green tea allow it to help with this condition.
However, caffeine is a bowel irritant, so in order to get the most benefit for this be sure to use decaffeinated green tea.
15. Insulin Level Maintenance
Maintaining normal insulin levels is important for people with diabetes or insulin resistance as well as people without this condition.
High blood sugar levels are connected to diabetes risk, heart disease, obesity, and even early aging. The polyphenols and polysaccharides in green tea allow it to lower blood sugar levels.
Also, the EGCG helps change the way the glucose is absorbed and stops the liver from producing excess insulin. This all helps keep blood sugar levels lower.
16. Liver Disease Risk is Lessened
Liver disease is serious and can be life threatening. There are several different conditions that fall under this such as Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, and more.
Studies have shown that drinking moderate amounts of green tea can help with this. The anti-carcinogenic properties mean that it can even help with liver cancer.
However, drinking more than 10 cups a day can actually cause liver damage.
17. Promotes Weight Loss
If you are like many people who want to shed some weight, then you should know that green tea may be able to help in a few key ways. For one, the caffeine in green tea works to burn some fat and can help you get motivated to move more.
Also, several of the nutrients in this beverage help with metabolism. The EGCG in this is the real star for weight loss as this boosts metabolism to burn fat.
18. Prevents Tooth Decay and Bad Breath
As you can see in this picture there are a few ways green tea can help with your oral health. By lowering the acidity of saliva and the antibacterial properties it can help to keep your mouth clean and healthy, which means better breath.
19. Antibacterial Properties
The catchins in green tea have been found to have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties through research studies. In fact, they are so useful that studies believe they could help in fighting MRSA and other drug resistant bacteria.
20. Detoxifying Properties
Toxins build up in the body over time due to the foods we eat as well as the toxins in our environment. Green tea is a product that can help your body to flush out toxins more effectively. This picture shows a delicious recipe for a detox drink with green tea as the main ingredient.
21. Stimulating Effects
Green tea can help get you up and moving when you can’t find the energy. The interesting thing is that tea has less caffeine than coffee but has three other stimulants in it- l-theanine, theophylline, and theobromine which help it to give you the stimulating effects you need to get through the day.
22. Works Great as an Astringent
Dealing with acne and overly oily skin does not have to involve a ton of products.
Green tea has astringent and antibacterial properties that will help with your face.
You can get the benefits of this by drinking the tea, washing or bathing in it, or even creating an astringent product. This video provides a tutorial on how to make a green tea facial toner.
23. Fights Ear Infections
The antibacterial properties in green tea make it ideal for treating an ear infection without the use of antibiotics. To do this all you need to do is soak a cotton ball in green tea and put it in the affected ear.
24. Prevents Neurodegenerative Diseases
Neurodegeneration is a serious issue that comes along with age. This simply means the brain starts to break down and not work as well as it used to. Studies show green tea can have positive effects on this condition.
25. Wards off Herpes Virus
Green tea may not be able to stop you from getting the herpes simplex virus, but it can help treat the symptoms. It can also help stop an outbreak from happening simply by drinking green tea.
26. Helps the Mind
Between the extra hydration, cardiovascular properties, antioxidants, and more green tea can help your brain stay healthy. You will see the benefits of this no matter what your age.
27. Reduce Blood Pressure
Due to the cardiovascular benefits of green tea, it also helps to reduce blood pressure. To get the most benefit drink 3 to 4 cups a day as too much caffeine can raise blood pressure.
28. Boost Your Immunity
The polyphenols and flavonoids found in green tea can help boost your immunity. While you may never be completely immune to certain things, at least your body will not have as great a reaction.
29. Fights Alzheimer’s and Dementia
These two diseases happen when amyloid plaque builds up in the brain which damages and ultimately kills the brain cells. Studies have found that green tea can prevent this by destroying these amyloid plaques and may even be able to reverse it though more research is needed.
30. Combats Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s is an inherited condition where the brain is slowly destroyed and in the process affects the motor control of the person. New research shows the polyphenols in green tea can actually combat this condition by allowing the necessary chemicals to flow through the brain to heal it.
31. Works as an Antidepressant
The amino acid L-heanine in green tea can produce a calming and tranquil effect. This means it can be used as a natural remedy for depression.
32. Reduces Food Poisoning Risk
Another great benefit to green tea having antibacterial properties is that it can fight off food poisoning in the body.
33. Cures the Cold
If you want to reduce your risk of getting sick or want to get over the cold faster, Vitamin C is known to aid in this. Green tea is a great source of this nutrient meaning it can help you in your defense against the cold.
34. Great for Your Hair
The B vitamins, biotin and Vitam C in green tea make it ideal for making your hair look its best. In addition to drinking it, you can also rinse your hair in green tea or use the recipe in this video to make a green tea hair mask.
35. Treats Stress and Anxiety
Just as with depression, the L- Theanine in green tea can help treat stress and anxiety. The calming effects can be enough to help a person with mild to moderate anxiety or stress.
To get the most benefit, it is helpful to use this in conjunction with other methods such as meditation, physical exercise, and breathing exercises.
Green Tea Safety and Handling
Green tea is extremely safe to use and make. You can serve it warm or cold.
The only real issue is to ensure that you do not drink more than 10 cups a day. This can cause damage to your liver as well as other issues.
When consumed in moderation though it can provide all these great benefits.
In order to get the most benefit from your green tea, you need to keep it fresh. Store leaves or tea bags in an airtight container to keep it away from air and moisture.
How to Buy Green Tea
There are many different types of green tea out there you can buy.
One of the most popular is matcha which is really just tencha that is stone ground right before it is shipped. These each provide about the same levels of nutrients and antioxidants, especially if they are fresh.
You can also buy flavored green tea. This should not take away from the nutritional benefit, though you should be aware of adding sweeteners if you are using it for weight loss or glucose maintenance.
These are some of the ways that science has found green tea to beneficial to your health. It will be interesting to see the other ways they find in the future. We hope you liked this list. If you have anything you want to add or questions, let us know in the comments.