Green tea has taken the world by storm in recent years, being touted as one of the healthiest beverages in the world. While this may sound like an exaggeration, green tea actually contains a lot of powerful compounds that can have lasting effects on human health. The beverage has been used for many years as medicine.
People who swear by green tea have at least one cup each day, and some people even incorporate green tea into other foods besides a piping hot brew. Studies have even gone in-depth on the healing properties of the beverage.
If you’ve been curious about green tea and its appeal, check out some of these top benefits.
- Increase antioxidants: Green tea contains powerful antioxidant compounds, which can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight against disease. Antioxidants also reduce the number of free radicals within your body, prolonging cell life and preventing damage. Antioxidants are also believed to help reduce your risk of cancer. Studies have shown that people who drink green tea regularly may have a reduced risk of certain cancers, such as breast and prostate.
- Lower disease risk: Studies have illuminated that green tea may also have a positive effect on your risk for diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Green tea has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels. It may also be able to regulate cholesterol and blood pressure, keeping you disease-free for longer.
- Get a caffeine boost: While coffee is known to have its own benefits, many people who need a caffeine fix prefer green tea, since it contains both energy-boosting capabilities and many other healthy compounds. The level of caffeine in green tea is also lower than in coffee, making it a great alternative for people who get jittery from a single cup of joe.
- Boost energy and brain power: Green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid, which can combine with caffeine for better brain function, as well as an improved moved and reduced anxiety. This can help you feel more energized and ready to tackle your to-do list each day. The catechin compounds (powerful natural antioxidants) in green tea have also been linked to protection in the brain from neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease as you age.
- Fight acne: Green tea can even be used to fight off acne, since it contains anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Drinking green tea or applying green-tea infused products topically may help reduce redness and swelling and clear up pimples.
- Reduce inflammation: Green tea contains polyphenols, which are known to reduce inflammation within the body. By ingesting these compounds, they can help fight against inflammation symptoms from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Burn fat: Studies have shown that green tea may help to improve metabolic rate, potentially helping your body burn fat faster and help you lose weight. Combined with caffeine, certain compounds in green tea may also help improve energy expenditure and physical performance. However, you must be mindful that not everyone experiences these effects in the same way and results may be minimal, particularly in the short-term.
Green tea applications
There are many ways to prepare green tea for daily intake. It can be brewed into a hot or cold tea, added to other beverages and even added into foods through its powdered form, matcha. There are also green tea supplements available if you don’t like tea or prefer to get nutrients in pill form.
If you’re brewing tea, avoid steeping the tea leaves in boiling water, since this can reduce the antioxidant levels. Make sure the water is hot, but not quite boiling, for an optimal brew.
While one cup of green tea may provide benefits, a few more cups per day may provide enhanced benefits against diseases. However, don’t decide to abandon water and drink green tea exclusively!
Green tea is caffeinated, although it contains less caffeine than coffee, so you should be mindful of your caffeine intake each day. Additionally, some compounds in green tea can have adverse effects on your health if taken in high dosages. Everything should be taken in moderation.
If you’re taking supplements, always consult your physician to ensure that they won’t interfere with any medications or health conditions you already have.
Live a happier, healthier life
Considering the benefits green tea has on reducing your risk for numerous diseases, improving your immune system and strengthening various parts of your body, drinking a few cups of green tea may help you live a longer life overall. And, aside from the health benefits, having a nice cup of tea each day can help you relax and unwind, and who doesn’t need a little more of that, as well?