Green tea makes the news a lot, and often we’re told that we should drink more of it. The benefits claimed range from weight loss to cancer prevention, with seemingly more added on a regular basis. Here we’ve assembled some of the scientifically proven benefits that should entice you to start drinking green tea, and if you already do, to start drinking more of it.
Serves as a Stimulating Drink – Green tea can perk you up due to the caffeine it contains. This is caffeine from a natural source, not the kind you find in soft drinks, and in smaller amounts than in a cup of coffee. So you don’t have to worry about getting the jitters, unless you drink a ton of it. But it can provide a nice pick-me-up in addition to its other health benefits. It can serve as a healthier replacement to coffee and other “energy” drinks.
Hydrates The Body – A team of scientists in Australia recently concluded that your eight glasses of water a day don’t actually have to be straight water. The water used to brew green tea would suffice, and since it doesn’t contain a lot of caffeine it won’t act to dehydrate the body as was once believed. This might make it easier to get your recommended fluids each day, and they also suggest that the water contained in foods like lettuce also count towards your fluid intake.
Helps with Toothache Pain – Because of the antibacterial properties of green tea you can sometimes get toothache pain relief by swishing some in your mouth. Be sure that you brew a strong batch, letting the tea steep for a long time to get as much nutrients out of it as possible. This is not a cure, but a way to provide temporary relief to the area. You’ll still want to head to the dentist so that you can get the problem properly treated.
Fights Inflammation – The EGCG in green tea not only helps with weight loss, it also helps to fight inflammation in the body, and therefore diseases and conditions that are brought on by it. The number of problems caused by inflammation is pretty long, and can range from chronic conditions like arthritis to cancer. That’s why it’s a good idea to combine green tea with a diet that is high in anti-inflammatory foods. There are even certain diets available that are geared towards fighting inflammation.
Reduces Stress – The theanine in green tea has been shown to produce a calming effect. The only thing is that in order for you to feel less stressed from drinking green tea, you’ll have to drink several cups of it, up to six of them. By this point you’ll be up to the same amount of caffeine that’s in a cup of coffee, so if you don’t drink caffeine then you should probably stick to decaffeinated green tea to avoid getting too wired to feel the relaxing benefits.
Boosts Immunity – Give your immune system a boost by drinking green tea! It’s the catechins, the same things that help prevent cancer also help keep you from getting sick. They do this by creating an antibacterial state within the body, leaving you less prone to bacterial and viral infections. This is big during cold and flu season, when everyone around you seems to be getting sick you can share you secret of enjoying a hot cup of green tea.
Provides Pain Relief – The EGCG in green tea can help relieve certain types of pain. One proven way to help with arthritis pain is to drink a hot cup of green tea. You can do this twice daily for the best effects. While it may not help to treat acute pain, and doesn’t take the place of a consultation with your doctor to determine your best course of treatment, it can provide you with some pain relief.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disease – Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States for both men and women. This is reason enough to start adding a daily cup of green tea to your routine. It’s been shown to be able to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, increase the levels of good cholesterol, and generally improve the way your arteries function. The importance of a healthy heart can’t be understated, so taking steps to ensure that you’re drinking drinks and eating foods to help your heart is essential.
Inhibits Formation of Blood Clots – Keeping the blood flowing smoothly provides a great benefit to the body. Not only does it reduce the chance of stroke and heart attack, but it should also make you feel more energetic and active. Blood clots are actually normal, and helpful when they are re used to help the body heal, but it is the abnormal blood clots that are the problem. These are responsible for many of the problems that affect those over 50, and so it you fall into that category you should add green tea to your daily diet.
Reduces Risk Of High Blood Pressure – Blood pressure levels are one of the biggest indicators of how healthy you are. Good levels are usually associated with health and vitality, while bad levels are often a cause for alarm, or a wakeup call that you need to be more cautious about your lifestyle. Hypertension is often a precursor to serious conditions, and green tea has been shown to make noticeable improvements. They’ve also shown that the more you drink the better the results.
Reduces Unhealthy Blood Sugar – Your blood sugar levels play a big part in your overall health, and should not be overlooked. They can mean the difference between weight loss and weight gain, and are often a precursor to conditions like diabetes. Green tea has been shown to keep them in check by lowering them due to the presence of polyphenols and polysaccharides. The catechins it contains also helps round things out, making this a great drink for maintaining healthy glucose levels.
Helps with Weight Loss – If you’re looking for a way to lose weight without changing anything else in your lifestyle, you might want to give green tea a try. Compared to a control group, those that took a green tea supplement were shown to have lost weight in several key areas measured, such as total pounds lost, waistline, and Body Mass Index. This means that without signing up for extra exercise or going on a radical diet, you could notice positive changes in your weight and overall health.
Rids the Body of Excess Fluid – Getting rid of excess water weight is one way to lose weight, and provide a slimming effect. The diuretic effects of green tea have been used for centuries to help the body get rid of any extra fluid it’s not using. You might be surprised just how much better you look and feel when you aren’t carrying around extra fluid. When maintained as part of a daily process you should prevent excess fluid buildup as well.
Boosts Exercise Endurance – Those catechins are at it again! Here they’re helping the body to burn up fat as fuel, so your muscles can take more punishment at the gym. Being able to exercise more means you’re burning more calories, leading to a caloric deficit, and an increase in lean muscle mass. This results in natural weight loss over time, eventually settling into the ideal weight for you. Compared to taking unknown supplements with ingredients that can’t be pronounced, a natural tem like green tea is preferable.
Protects Skin From Sun Damage – This is in reference to green tea being used topically, and in conjunction with sunscreen. The antioxidants it contains can work from the outside in, not just the inside out, and it’s being discovered that while it doesn’t necessarily block the sun’s rays, it does mitigate the damage that is done to the skin from the sun. The free radicals that help UV rays cause damage are neutralized, and the green tea helps with inflammation as well.
Tones Skin, Hair, And Muscles – This is another way to topically use green tea. You don’t even have to drink it to get some of its benefits. When applied to the hair it can help it grow stronger. When you drink it it should help your muscles function at more optimal levels, since it helps them contract. If you want healthier gums it is said that you can simply rinse green tea in your mouth and you’ll see an improvement of gum health.
Reduces Psoriasis – If you’re dealing with the redness and irritation that comes with Psoriasis, you may find some relief by using green tea topically. Research has shown that green tea can help to slow down the production of excess skin cells that seems to be the underlying cause of conditions like psoriasis. It can even help to alter the genes in your body, so this is one powerful all-natural remedy.
Reduces Redness In Rosacea – The redness that rosacea brings is the part that most people are trying to get rid of. The good news for green tea users is that in a controlled study it was shown to provide far superior redness reduction than a placebo. This was from using topical cream infused with green tea. This is most likely due to the calming effect green tea has, as well as the antioxidants going to work on the problem.
Prevents Wrinkles – Those trusty antioxidants are at it again. It seems like there’s no limit to the number of benefits they provide, and since green tea is so dense with them it’s the best bang for your buck as far as anti-aging goes. Several factors of aging hinge on free radical damage, and getting wrinkles is one of them. By keeping your body full of antioxidants it reduces the likelihood of getting wrinkles so you can stay looking younger for longer.
Disease Prevention and Treatment
May Treat Multiple Sclerosis – Recent studies are showing promise in the use of green tea extract to treat MS. The credit goes to the polyphenol antioxidants present in the tea, and they way they help the body’s nerve cells stand up the degrading effects of Multiple Sclerosis. More research must be done in order for this to be applied and successfully used in humans, but the outlook is hopeful, and MS is a disease that has shown to be resilient to different forms of treatment.
Helps In Parkinson’s Disease – The scavenging effects of the antioxidants against the free radicals in the body make green tea a potential prevention and treatment method against Parkinson’s Disease. Free radical damage is at the heart of so many different diseases, it’s essential to fight them daily. Just another reason why you’d want to make sure to have your daily cup of green tea. It simply acts as a prevention method for so many different debilitating conditions.
Prevents Memory Loss – If you’re worried about losing your memory as you get older, it’s important to take steps to try to prevent it from happening. The EGCG in green tea helps brain cells to prosper. So far the tests have been limited to clinical research and trials on mice, but the signs are promising, and since the more we find out about green tea the more it lives up to the claims made about it, it just makes sense to drink it often.
Fights Cancer-Causing Cells – The catechins in green tea are special antioxidants that seek out and destroy free radicals that can do harm to the body’s DNA, setting the stage for cancerous growths. It sounds a bit like a Space Age battle, but it’s actually going on inside your body on a daily basis. That’s why it’s important to get a good number of antioxidants each day, to cut down on the free radical damage and improve your chances of staying cancer-free.
Hopefully we’ve shown that it’s in your best interest to drink at least a cup of green tea each day. The nice thing is that you can adapt it for the seasons. If a steamy hot cup doesn’t seem appealing on a hot summer’s day, pour it over ice and enjoy. While the best benefit is had from drinking it hot, there is also plenty of reason to consume it daily, so whether it’s hot or cold you’re still doing good things for your body, and general well-being.
Green Tea FAQ
Does Green Tea Have Caffeine?
Green tea has smaller amounts of caffeine than other common caffeinated beverages, and decaffeinated green tea has even less. You’d have to drink several cups of green tea to get the same sort of caffeine load as a cup of coffee. Depending on how long you let it steep, and how many times you brew from the same tea bag, the amount of caffeine it contains will vary.
Will Green Tea Help a Cold?
The antioxidants in green tea can help you recover from a cold more quickly than by not drinking it. The antioxidants it contains help support your immune system, and when you have a cold you’ll need all the help you can get. Drinking green tea daily will help you avoid colds you’d otherwise get, so it makes a great addition to your daily routine.
Is Green Tea Acidic?
Green tea shows up as an alkaline food, or at least alkaline forming, on most acidic/alkaline lists. The antioxidants it contains most likely help the body reach an alkaline state, and while many teas are considered acidic, green tea is not heavily processed, which is why it retains so many healthy features, and is less likely to be acid forming once consumed.
Does Green Tea Stain Your Teeth?
Yes, it does, but not as harshly as some other teas. It’s still a good idea to brush your teeth after having a cup of green tea. The many health benefits of green tea outweigh the drawback of it mildly staining your teeth. Just take steps to keep your pearly whites pearly and you’ll be fine.
Will Green Tea Give Me Energy?
The energetic effects of green tea are likely due to the amounts of caffeine it contains, but can also be attributed to the antioxidants it has in it. Low levels of antioxidants in your system can lead to fatigue as the free radicals in your body have a field day. It’s best to keep them topped up.
Is Green Tea Safe During Pregnancy?
Many moms-to-be forego all forms of caffeine and therefore would tend to pass up on the green tea as well. But you might be thinking that all of the good benefits it has are too great to pass up for 9 months. While drinking green tea in moderation seems like a safe bet, there are also no proven benefits for baby, so it may be better to simply wait until they’re born. Drinking it while you’re breastfeeding may be a safer bet.
Does Green Tea Help with Acne?
While there are many proponents out there saying that green tea can help with acne due to its detoxifying properties, most of this information comes from those trying to sell green tea acne products. It’s still unclear whether or not this has a beneficial effect on acne, and claims that it works as well as benzoyl peroxide are largely unproven.
Is Green Tea a Laxative?
While there may be some anecdotal evidence that green tea can stimulate the bowels, it is not known for its laxative properties, as some other teas are. It is known for its diuretic properties, so it may send you to the bathroom more often, but more for number one and not so much for number two.
Does Green Tea Make You Sleepy?
Green tea can have a calming effect if taken in large enough doses, but that is countered by the caffeine it contains. If you’re worried about having green tea at work and nodding off on the the job, it shouldn’t make you drowsy if taken in smaller quantities.
Is Green Tea a Diuretic?
Yes, green tea is a diuretic, and acts to flush the body of excess fluid.