The Health Benefits of Green Tea
“I like tea and yoga, but I don’t do yoga”.
Green tea is one of the healthiest beverages and most commonly consumed beverages. What are the components of this “wonder drink” and how can they support a healthy lifestyle?
Green tea has its origins in China. Like Oolong or black tea, it is made from the Camellia sinensis plant but is not ferment and oxidized as those teas.
An average cup of coffee contains around 25–30 mg of caffeine compared to coffee, which contains approximately 100 mg.
Green tea is packed with healthy components, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B2
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Catechins such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate)
These ingredients are linked to a wide range of health benefits. Here’re the top 5:
#1 Green tea can help you to prevent cardiovascular diseases
According to a Japanese study, increased daily consumption of green tea can help you to prevent cardiovascular diseases by lowering total cholesterol and triglycerides.
This might be linked to some of the heart-healthy components in green tea. For example, theanine, catechins, and GABA can help to lower blood pressure. Apart from that, catechins can help also help to decrease cholesterol.
#2 Green tea can help you to prevent diabetes
According to a study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the consumption of EGCG can help to reduce insulin levels and thus to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Obviously, drinking a cup of green tea cannot negate the effects of eating foods high in sugar, but the catechins have an anti-hyperglycemic effect, which can help to manage blood sugar along with a healthy diet and exercise.
#3 Green tea can help you to lose weight
According to research, catechins can increase the body’s fat oxidation.
The combination of catechins and caffeine seems to enhance this effect further: the participants of a study published in the Official Journal of the International Obesity Association increased their daily energy expenditure by 4.8% (which equates to 96 calories if you consume 2000 calories per day).
Apart from that, the caffeine contained in green tea can help to suppress appetite while increasing athletic performance.
#4 Green tea can help you to prevent cancer
According to the National Cancer Institue, green tea can help to prevent cancer. Green Tea is high in Catechins, such as EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate). EGCG can inhibit inflammation and prevent oxidative cell damage.
#5 Green tea can help you to de-stress
Two components found in green tea can help you to decrease stress:
- GABA (Gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an amino acid that aids brain function and decreases stress and anxiety levels.
- Theanine is linked to an increase in α-waves in the brain, which can help you relax without inducing drowsiness. The combination of theanine and caffeine can further improve cognition, alertness, and mood.
How to prepare green tea?
If you steep green tea with boiling water, it might taste too bitter. While the ideal temperature depends on the type of green tea and your taste, the general recommendation for Chinese green tea is 175 F (80 degrees Celcius) to 185 F (85 degrees Celcius) and for Japanese gree tea 160 F (71 degrees Celcius) to 170 F (76 degrees Celcius).
You can also reuse your green tea leaves for at least 2–3 steepings.
My top picks for green tea:
Do you love tea? Check out my post about herbal tea: