13 Lucky Reasons To Drink Green Tea (Bonus: How to Prep the Perfect Cup!)
If you're going to drink a hot drink, dump the coffee and fill your cup with some piping hot, organic green tea!
Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body, including improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many others.
I don't know about you, but I've always had a tough time getting down water. I know I should be drinking at least 8 glasses a day, yadda yadda yadda. It's not for a lack of trying. I keep bottles in my car, my office, my gym bag and just about everywhere, but for some reason, I always forget to drink.
The good news is that since I have discovered green tea, I have no trouble getting hydrated. In fact, this ex-coffee drinker is down to only couple of cups a week vs. my 2-3 cuppa-joe-a-day habit, because I really enjoy drinking green tea! Not only do I enjoy sipping on it throughout the day, but it has tremendous health benefits and keeps me from getting hungry or thinking about food (which I always seem to do these days).
So what makes green tea so much better for you than other types of tea? It is less processed!
All tea (with the exception of herbal tea) are brewed from the dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush. The difference is that green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves (the level of oxidation determines the type of tea) and is one of the less processed types of tea (white tea is the least processed), and therefore, contains substantially more antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. It has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for centuries to control bleeding and heal wounds, aid digestion, improve heart and mental health, and regulate body temperature. Recent studies have shown that green tea can have positive effects on everything from weight loss to liver disorders to type 2 diabetes.
I drink it throughout the day and highly recommend it to you whether to control the munchies, to clean out your system, stay hydrated or for the plethora of amazing health benefits it offers, including:
Green tea increases metabolism. The polyphenol found in green tea works to intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.
Green tea can help regulate glucose levels, slowing the rise of blood sugar after eating. This can prevent high insulin spikes and resulting fat storage.
It is said to delay the deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies carried out on mice showed that green tea protected brain cells from dying and restored damaged brain cells.
Green tea reduces bad cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
The antioxidant, “catechin” in green tea can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions
Regular consumption of green tea is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of esophageal cancer, but it is also widely thought to kill cancer cells in general without damaging the healthy tissue around them.
Scientists think, green tea works on the lining of blood vessels, helping keep them stay relaxed and better able to withstand changes in blood pressure. It may also protect against the formation of clots, which are the primary cause of heart attacks.
Green tea can apparently also help with wrinkles and the signs of aging, This is because of their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. Both animal and human studies have demonstrated that green tea applied topically can reduce sun damage.
Green tea contains high levels of oligomeric proanthocyanidins (OPCs), which are some of the most powerful antioxidants. Therefore, drinking green tea is thought to help slow down the premature aging process.
Lab studies show that the flavonoids in green tea may help increases in bone mineral density.
Theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea leaves. It is this substance that is thought to provide a relaxing and tranquilizing effect and be a great benefit to tea drinkers.
Tea catechins are strong antibacterial and antiviral agents which make them effective for treating everything from influenza to cancer. In some studies green tea has been shown to inhibit the spread of many diseases.
In addition to the list above, additional recent findings on the benefits of green tea include:
- Boosting our working memory
- Reducing stroke risk
- Fighting prostate cancer
- Disrupting cancer cell metabolism
Don't like the taste? Well, green tea can definitely be an acquired taste, so if you don't like it right away, don't give up. Try the green tea with toasted brown rice. It has a nicer flavor that is more palatable to most Americans. That being said, don't drink green tea for the taste, drink it because it is so darn good for you, and because will likely help keep your weight in check!
To your health!
MAKING THE PERFECT CUP
Most black and herbal teas are prepared with boiling water. However, doing the same with green tea would scald the delicate phytonutrients. As such, green tea should be prepared with a water temperature that about 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit (71-82 degrees Centigrade). If you don't feel like sticking a thermometer in your tea cup, don't put it in the hot water until after you have removed it from the heat source for a minute after boiling. Steeping time is also key to brew the most flavorful and beneficial cup. Herbal teas should steep for 5-20 minutes depending on the herb, and black teas for 2-6 minutes to taste. However these times are too long for delicate green tea, affecting its flavor and potency. Therefore you should only steep green tea for 2-3 minutes.
A daily intake of 3-5 cups daily (1,200 mL) of green tea will provide at least 250 mg/day of catechins. Green tea extract should not be taken on an empty stomach due to the potential for hepatotoxicity from excessive levels of epigallocatechin gallate.
- Anogenital warts : topical application of sinecatechins 3 times a day for a maximum of 6 weeks.
- Cardiovascular effect : 400 to 716 mg/day of catechins have been used in trials in divided dosages.
- Diabetes: Dosages of epigallocatechin gallate range from 84 to 386 mg/day in trials evaluating glucose homeostasis.
- Obesity : Dosage ranges used in trials include 270 to 800 mg/day of epigallocatechin gallate, or 125 to 625 mg/day of catechins.
Green tea contains caffeine, slightly less than black tea, and can therefore cause insomnia, nervousness, and the other well-known symptoms of excess caffeine intake.
Green tea extracts, however, may not be safe. There are a growing number of case reports in which use of a concentrated green tea extract was associated with liver inflammation. In most cases, liver problems disappeared after the extract was discontinued. While it is not absolutely certain that the green tea extract caused the liver problems, these reports raise concerns about the use of green tea extracts, especially by those with liver disease or prone to it.
Green tea should not be given to infants and young children. There are theoretical concerns that high dosages of EGCG might be unsafe for pregnant women.
Dried green tea leaf contains substantial levels of vitamin K on a per-weight basis. As such, it has been stated that people using blood thinners should avoid green tea, because vitamin K antagonizes the effect of those drugs. However, green tea drunk as a beverage provides such small amounts of the vitamin that the risk is minimal for normal consumption.
As always, please speak to your physician about the advisability of consumption.