Amazing Health Benefits of Green Tea
by Dipanita Bhowmick
Green tea is touted to be the healthiest beverage found on Mother Earth grown mainly in the Eastern part of the world. It is as much refreshing a drink as well. Green tea is packed with a huge amount of nutrients and antioxidants. Polyphenols, flavonoids, and catechins are some of the healing compounds and antioxidants found in this beverage. All these have quite powerful effects on the human body. Years of studies and research have shown varied green tea benefits. It is believed to contain more beneficial properties than many food items deemed healthy. People consume green tea to prevent and treat several critical ailments as well.
There are several green tea benefits which are compelling enough reasons to include it in your daily regime. Some of the benefits are discussed in details below:
The research conducted by the National Cancer Institute states that it is the polyphenols, especially catechins, which impart the green tea with its anti-cancer properties. Among these, the EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate is the most promising. Green tea combats free radicals and prevents DNA damage of the cells caused due to the reactive oxygen species.
The polyphenols also amend the immune system function. Green tea can help to fight cancers of the colon, lungs, liver, breasts, skin, and pancreas as per another study. This refreshing beverage prevents multiplication and spread of the cancer cells. It also aids in quicker recovery.
The best thing about EGCG is that it attacks and kills the cancer cells but does not cause any harm to the healthy cells. This could be breakthrough in the treatment of cancer since it is the elimination of healthy cells along with the diseased ones that cause more pain to cancer patients. Moreover, damages caused to the healthy cells also result in delayed recovery. Cancer patients are suggested to drink four cups of drinks in a day to enjoy its benefits.
Green tea has been touted by the Harvard Medical School to be vested with the properties to protect the heart and prevent it from related diseases. It could also lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the body without affecting good cholesterol. Green tea is believed to boost the antioxidant capacity of blood. This phenomenon guards the heart against reactive oxygen species and thwarts heart attacks as well. Green tea could lower the risk of various cardiovascular diseases for up to 31%. The catechins present in green tea are known to prevent atherosclerosis, which ultimately leads to cardiovascular diseases.
Keeps Blood Pressure in Check
Blood pressure levels have improved in people who have been consuming green tea for a long time. Drinking three to four cups of green tea on a regular basis will help in regulating and lowering blood pressure. Blood pressure brought to normal range due to consumption of green tea has reduced the risk of coronary heart disease by 5% and risk of stroke by 8% as well.
Type 2 Diabetes Prevention
Green tea has the ability to sensitize cells. Thus, they can metabolize sugar in a better way, thereby improving the symptoms of diabetes. Since green tea increases the metabolic system function, it is good for diabetes. People who drink green tea are at a lower risk of developing diabetes because the polyphenols present in it regulate the levels of glucose in the body. A Korean study shows that the risk of diabetes can be decreased by 33% if people start drinking six or more cups.
Aids in Weight Loss
The presence of EGCG boosts metabolism, which helps with weight management. Green tea mobilizes fat from fat cells as well. There are certain active compounds present in green tea that fuel fat burning hormones. Green tea aids in fat oxidation if a person does moderate intensity exercise. It can help in burning calories throughout the day even when asleep because it boosts the metabolic rate.
There are certain molecules in the body that lead to arthritis pain and inflammation. The EGCG present in green tea limits the production of these molecules. Green tea drinkers have experienced better bone and cartilage health as well. EGCG has aided in reducing inflammatory conditions in people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and that too without disturbing other cellular functions.
Increased Life Expectancy
When a study analyzed authentic Japanese diet, it concluded that consumption of green tea can increase longevity. An American study opines that though green tea can promote longevity, people need to use calcium supplements since the caffeine content in green tea can contribute to calcium loss. Another Stanford study reported that people who drank green tea regularly exhibited less disability as they age. Green tea drinkers are less likely to suffer from a functional disability that ultimately shortens life expectancy.
The catechins present in green tea help to boost the immune function. Green tea offers protection against radicals and oxidants, which in return enhance immunity. The regulatory T cells are further increased by EGCG, which enhances immune function and prevents autoimmune diseases.
Enhanced Brain Functions
The amount of caffeine present in green tea is just perfect for improving brain functions. Caffeine obstructs adenosine activity, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter present in the brain. Thus, it boosts the firing of neurons and improves brain functions. Moreover, the presence of L-theanine in green tea, which is an amino acid, improves brain health as well by crossing the blood-brain barrier. This beverage is used in the prevention and treatment of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease as well. People who drink green tea are at lower risk of dementia and mental decline due to old age. It boosts memory function.
Tea is the second most consumed beverage after water. There are different varieties of green teas available on the market. Each has its own set of beneficial properties. It is important to choose the variety of green tea as per individual requirements. Another important factor to consider while buying green tea is to purchase the organic variant of this beverage. Otherwise, green tea would not work to its full potential. Before choosing to include green tea in your daily regime, it is important to take a doctor’s advice on the amount of green tea to be taken regularly depending on the ailment to avoid any side-effect that overconsumption may cause.