How much do you really know about the contents of your green tea?
Green Tea, like all nonverbal teas, is made of the leaves from the Camellia Sinise’s. Green tea, unlike black or oolong teas (wulong), is made by steam-drying. Green tea’s high antioxidant and nutrient content is thought to be due to the delicate processing methods. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Chinese and Japanese medicine has used green tea for centuries.
The NCCIH says that while you may have heard about the health benefits of green tea in the past, there is still a need for more research. Megan Casper RDN of Megan Casper Nutrition in New York City, also notes a key caution: “Many green tea studies use green tea extraction, which is much stronger than the average home brew.”
1. The Best Teas For Your Health
Casper says that the health benefits of drinking green tea will also depend on the brand and the method you use to prepare it. Casper says that hot tea has more antioxidants than iced tea, which is usually made with [fewer] teabags and watered-down. However, cold-brewed tea, brewed for a few hours, contains similar antioxidant levels to hot tea.
Matcher Green Tea is a relatively new product that has been gaining popularity for its benefits. Matcha is a mixture of freshly boiled water and ground green tea leaves. Casper claims that this preparation increases the caffeine and antioxidant content of green tea.
Learn about the health benefits of drinking green tea, and how it can complement a healthy lifestyle and diet.
Green tea is packed with nutrition
You can be confident about the contents of your cup when you choose green tea. What’s in the cup?
- Caffeine is a type alkaloid that can stimulate the nervous system.
- Amino Acids such as L-theanine may increase mental focus
- Fluoride is a mineral which helps to strengthen enamel.
Green tea is rich in catechins, which are compounds that have a high concentration. The most notable catechin is epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG).
To help you choose a healthy green-tea, New York City-based Natalie Rizzo offers this tip: “If the package states 100 percent green, or go for pure leaves, then that’s the one.”
2. Green tea can be part of a healthy weight loss diet
NCCIH states that there aren’t enough studies to prove that consuming green tea will result in weight loss for people who are obese or overweight. Green tea extract may be helpful, according to research.
One such study suggests that caffeine in green tea can help suppress the appetite, and speed up calorie burn through a thermogenic process. You should know that the majority of research on green tea is based on the more concentrated extract, and not the teabag steeping in the cup. This was reported in a article in the Canadian Pharmacists Journal in May 2014.
Rizzo warns that adding green tea will not help you lose weight if you eat a high-calorie meal. Although green tea has fat-burning properties, it will not be enough to compensate for a poor diet.
Your best bet? It’s proven that a balanced, healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to lose weight. Green tea may be helpful, but it’s not a magic bullet.
3. The benefits of green tea extend to your belly
Caffeine can cause jitters, affect sleep and make you irritable. However, it can also keep you regular. Green tea is a good alternative to coffee if you are sensitive to caffeine. Green tea also contains caffeine, but it is less than coffee. According to Mayo Clinic 8 oz. of caffeinated coffee contains 95-165 mg. of caffeine. 8 oz. of brewed tea contains 25-29 mg.
4. Green Tea Can Help Relieve Rheumatoid Arthritis symptoms
In a study that was published in The Journal of Nutrition rats that were given green tea extract as drinking water and then induced to develop rheumatoid (RA), developed less severe symptoms compared to rats that drank water. Researchers note that more studies in humans are required, but they do believe green tea extract could be beneficial when combined with conventional RA treatments.
A review in Arthritis Research & Therapy published in 2011 suggests that mice with osteoarthritis may also benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment. However, it is too early to say whether similar effects will be seen in people.
5. Green Tea Can Help Restore Damaged Skin And Protect Skin Cancer
In a preliminary report published in February 2010 by Cancer Prevention Research mice that were exposed to polyphenols from green tea in their drinking water had better skin repair after UV damage. However, it is not clear whether the same effect will be seen in humans.
According to an article published by the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology in August 2015, green tea can also be used to treat skin conditions like eczema or genital warts.
6. Green tea could help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetics have hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) because of a condition known as insulin resistance. This is when the liver, muscle cells and other tissues cannot absorb glucose effectively to fuel the body. According to the American Diabetes Association, poorly managed diabetes increases the risk of complications, such as heart disease and neuropathy.
According to a September 2014 study in the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences, green tea can help reduce insulin resistance when it is part of a healthy diet for type 2 diabetes. Participants in the study who drank 150 milliliters each of green and sour teas three times a day for four consecutive weeks showed positive results.
7. Green Tea Drinking Can Improve Your Brain Health and Alertness
According to the NCCIH, mental alertness is one of the most common benefits of green tea. Green tea’s caffeine is responsible for this short-term benefit. Caffeine is a stimulant of the central nervous system and can be problematic when consumed in high quantities. Green tea contains a low amount of caffeine, which is enough to awaken you without the anxiety or jitters that are associated with coffee and other products high in caffeine.
8. Green Tea Can Protect Against Some Types of Cancer
According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer occurs when free radicals attack healthy body cells. Antioxidant-rich foods and drinks like green tea may help to prevent this process. EGCG in particular appears to offer protection.
In a review that was published in Molecules and Cellsin February 2018, research showed that green tea may delay and prevent certain types of cancer. Green tea is often associated with cancer prevention and treatment, but most of the studies on this topic have been conducted using mice or cell culture, rather than humans. They also used green tea extract and not the actual green tea.
9. Drinking green (and black) tea may have a protective effect on the heart
The NCCIH also notes that green tea can lower blood pressure. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, this in turn can lead to improved heart health. Black tea may also have similar effects.
Drink green tea moderately if you are currently taking beta-blockers or other blood pressure medications. According to the NCCIH, large amounts of green, especially when consumed as a supplement, can interact with certain medications.
10. Green Tea may help reduce anxiety, but more research is needed
Green tea can help to reduce anxiety disorders like generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder and social anxiety disorder. In an article published in Phytomedicine in October 2017, researchers cite research suggesting that caffeine and amino acid L-theanine can work together to reduce anxiety and affect other brain functions including memory and concentration.