Nutrition Fox

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has emerged as one of the favorite weapons of choice for people in need of effective weight loss strategies. 1 The nutrients and antioxidants that green tea contains is what led to the conclusion that it is not only good in enhancing weight loss, but also has several other major health benefits. Some of the benefits include preventing and treating cancer 2, since it’s part of a healthy diet that you need, as well as heart ailments and cardiovascular diseases to mention a few.

What many people do not realize is that the source of green tea and normal tea is the same. 3 The scientific name of green tea is Camellia Sinensis. The only difference between green tea and normal tea lies in the method used in processing them. Fermentation of tea leaves is the process responsible for production of normal tea. On the other hand, drying and slight steaming of the tea leaves is the process responsible for production of green tea.

Types of Green Tea

In Japan, several types of green tea exist. You’re also likely to find these different types of green tea in other locations. The different types of green tea depend on the method used in processing it and season in which it was harvested. The common types include the following:

  • Gyokurocha
  • Sencha
  • Bancha
  • Matcha
  • Houjicha
  • Genmaicha
  • Decaffeinated Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

green tea leaves in cupThe health benefits derived from consumption of green tea are mainly due to its antioxidant properties 4 that it has and which it obtains from the following contents:

  1. Catechin Polyphenols 5
  2. Caffeine 6
  3. Theanine 7

Consumption of green tea by children should be under the supervision of adults. Consumption of green tea should be done orally (drinking). Alternatively, you can also use green tea by applying it on your skin. It’s advisable to limit the consumption of green tea to just five cups each day if you’re to enjoy the health benefits for which it’s renowned.

 

Therefore, what health benefits should you expect from consuming green tea regularly?

  1. Anti-Aging

The body produces free radicals, which are responsible for corroding it irreparably. The corrosion is what causes or quickens the aging process. Green tea contains antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals. 8

  1. Stimulating

Green tea is like other types of tea regarding its stimulating properties. The presence of caffeine and tannins in green tea is what causes the stimulating effect. In this regard, you should consume green tea to overcome fatigue, sleepiness, laziness and loss or lack of energy.

  1. Immunity Booster

Regular consumption of green tea helps protect you from falling victim to common viral as well as bacterial infections. 9

  1. Improve Brain Function

Didn’t think drinking tea can actually make you smarter? Think again. The caffeine found in green tea is a stimulant, which can block certain neurotransmitters in the brain and improve concentration. 10

  1. Anti-Carcinogenic

Free radicals are notorious for causing specific types of cancer. Regular consumption of green tea is effective in: 11

  • neutralizing free radicals
  • preventing carcinogen formation
  • reducing cancer risks
  1. Cholesterol Reducer

High cholesterol is one of the major causes of heart disease. However, if you consume green tea (with its alkalinity) regularly and in the right amounts, it has been proven to lower cholesterol levels. 12

  1. Cardiac/Arterial Health

Consumption of green tea introduces a number of components that can lower the possibility of you suffering with the following ailments: 13

  • Arterial sclerosis
  • Thrombosis
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cerebral Strokes
  1. Anti-Diabetic

Effective reduction of blood glucose levels depend on the consumption of green tea without sugar. Green tea has astringent and antioxidant properties that make it great at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of the pancreas. 14

  1. Weight Loss

Consumption of green tea regularly should be effective in aiding your weight loss goals. The effectiveness of green tea in this regard is because of the role it plays in enhancing metabolism. 15

  1. Boosting Stamina & Endurance

With green tea, you’ll be able to reach your goal of training at least 30 minutes each day for 5 days per week that is recommended for adults to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Muscular pains associated with overexerting the muscles also diminish through regular consumption of green tea. 16

  1. Detoxifier

Green tea helps to detoxify the body after heavy binge. If you experience powerful hangovers thus preventing you from any productive physical activity, get rid of this feeling by consuming green tea. 17

 

green tea leaves

Who should use Green Tea?

If any of the aforementioned benefits of green tea appeal to you, don’t be afraid to consume it regularly. However, it’s also good to consider the side effects of too much consumption of green tea to determine whether it’s good for you or not. 18 The following represents a few of the side effects that you should be aware of before consuming green tea:

  1. Constipation and upset stomach
  2. Increased sensitivity to caffeine
  3. Decreased iron intake
  4. Drug interactions

green tea in cup

Risks of Green Tea

If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, do not consume more than two cups of green tea daily for your safety and that of the unborn. Whether you take white tea, the regular black tea or green tea, the risks will be the same for all of them. 19 The risks emanating from consuming this type of tea are because of the tannin and caffeine content. Therefore, it’s advisable to speak to your doctor before embarking on green tea consumption.

A discussion with your doctor would enable a better understanding regarding the following risks:

  1. Caffeine
  2. Tannins
  3. Xanthine Alkaloids
  4. Triterpene Saponins

 

Conclusion

There is no doubt that green tea has many health benefits, thus you should consume it regularly. On the other hand, try to limit yourself to consuming it in the appropriate quantities. It’s advisable to speak with your doctor to determine whether the consumption of green tea will be mostly beneficial or harmful to your health. The fact that it is beneficial to other people does not mean that the benefits are universal for everyone.

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