Tea is a popular beverage consumed worldwide. Science has also accepted it as a healthy beverage. Tea is healthy as per science but anything that good can’t be good when one overdoes it. The same case applies to green tea.
Green tea has gained popularity as a healthy drink. There are lots of claims so let’s explore the facts. Stick to end to know the benefits, the reason and also tips to make the best use of every serving.
Appreciating Green Tea’s Nutritional Value
Green tea is a good source of flavonoids known as catechin and epicatechin. Research suggests these flavonoids help to put an end to inflammation.
It also contains L-theanine and a modest amount of caffeine, roughly half the amount of caffeine in the same amount of coffee.
Green tea is a health-boosting tea and the benefits are as follows.
1. Lowers the Cancer Risk
Before moving further lets clear some hype about green tea and cancer. Green tea has been found to lower the risk of many types of cancer, not treat them.
Flavonoids present in green tea help to put an end to inflammation. A persistent inflammatory condition increases the risk of chronic disease including cancer. These polyphenols and other antioxidants are essential for neutralizing and removing free radicals found in the bloodstream that can damage cells and cause cancer.
With high flavonoids and antioxidants, a cup of green tea can be part of your diet. These nutrients target the root cause thus prove to provide a protective effect against cancer.
2. Keep Mouth Healthy
Plaque buildup, cavities, tooth decay are common dental concerns.
Drinking green tea can kill and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth.
3. Improve focus
If you were looking for a better alternative to improve focus rather than coffee, here you have green tea.
Comparing both beverages, green tea proves better than coffee. Unlike coffee, green tea contains two compounds that help to focus — caffeine and l-theanine.
No doubt, caffeine helps to improve focus. The added benefit is due to l-theanine that’s has shown to increase “alpha-wave activity” which increase calmness and focus. The combination of caffeine and l-theanine works together to provide stable energy and improve productivity.
4. Improve Heart Health
Heart disease is the biggest cause of death in the world.
A piece of good news – – green tea can cut the risk of heart disease.
Several large population-based studies show that people who drank black tea or green tea have a lower risk of heart disease.
The reason behind the benefits are:
- Clear clogged arteries: Flavonoid helps to put an end to inflammation thus reduce the risk of clogged arteries, a pathway towards heart disease.
- Balance blood pressure: Promising studies have shown its positive effect on blood pressure
- Balance healthy cholesterol level: People who consume green tea seems to have healthy cholesterol level.
5. Weight Loss
Here comes the most important topic, weight loss.
After seeing multiple claims, one might guess green tea as a weight-loss elixir.
Before believing any claim look at few facts about green tea and weight loss. Drinking green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, thus it may help to lose weight.
Studies have shown that green tea leads to a decrease in body fat, especially in the abdominal area.
The benefits can be credited to its metabolism boosting as well as anti-inflammatory property. Chronic inflammation has many negative impacts on the body. It prevents the body from building muscle, which limits body ability to see weight loss and muscle gain from exercise.
Those two reasons may explain its promising results. However, an optimum weight loss is only possible with a healthy lifestyle.
6. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
Green tea not only improves brain function in the short term along with it may also protect your brain at old age.
Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are degenerative diseases.
Researchers found that the green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) stops the formation of beta-amyloid plaques — a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
EGCG can help regenerate neurons thus protects against Parkinson’s disease.
7. Increase Lifespan
Every one of us will eventually die, it’s inevitable. Still the quality of life matter.
Studies have found that the green tea drinkers are at lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and cancer, at an early age. Where’s if you have a lower incidence of such health condition, you will live longer as well as a quality life.
Japanese individuals are proof of the point but the credit also goes to their lifestyle. Longevity and quality of life is the result of a healthy lifestyle.
Concerns With Green Tea
Green tea is a great beverage and you should use them like one. As mentioned earlier it can increase metabolism that explains its weight loss benefit. Few studies may have found that it boosts weight loss but you don’t need to depend on them to lose weight.
Many people find green tea helpful as it lowers calorie intake from beverages like a soft drink or fruit juice. Simply replacing sugar laden beverage with no calorie green tea do the magic.
Green tea is heavily marketed as a weight loss product but the marketing strategies can be thought of concern.
People trying to lose weight are curious to try scientifically proven weight loss products. After many failed attempts one would desperately try green tea to achieve the result.
Few studies may conclude green tea as the best alternative for a better result but don’t need to depend on them. Keep the fact ahead, any studies done a product doesn’t narrate complete scenario. A better health and weight loss progress are not credible to any single entity, it’s a system working behind the scene.
Suppose a study say people drinking green tea own healthy weight and better health, it may not be only through green tea. The benefit those people are enjoying may be due to many other factors like their lifestyle, habits, environment, eating rituals, etc. Ignoring these factors and focusing only on a single strategy won’t provide the desired outcome (results). You can make green tea as a part of your lifestyle but consider it as a single healthy habit, not a complete lifestyle.
There are concerns with green tea consumption
Drinking green is likely safe for most healthy adults when consumed in moderate amount. 8 cups are found safe yet one should prefer to limit 3-4 cups.
Catechin in green tea is a reason one should limit its consumption. It’s a potent antioxidant but comes with a negative effect, it can reduce your ability to absorb iron from foods. Consuming high catechin may lead to iron deficiency anemia. Tannin is also a compound hinders iron absorption.
The people with increased risk of iron deficiency are:
- Young children
- Pregnant or menstruating women.
- Individuals who have internal bleeding or are undergoing dialysis
Studies indicate it may hinder the effectiveness of certain heart and blood pressure medications.
It may also decrease the effectiveness of certain medications used to treat anxiety and depression. The concern is with over-consumption and supplementation.
There are a few tips to get the most from your green tea ritual.
- Don’t add green tea to boiling water — Boiling destroys the useful catechin
- Drink freshly brewed tea — The health benefits will degrade as the tea cools. Also, aim to soak green tea for a minimum period of three to five minutes
- No decaf — Caffeine in green tea isn’t bad and half the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. Decaffeination process hurts more of the nutrients in green tea, making it least beneficial
- Add lemon — Add lemon as vitamin C aids nutrient absorption
- Avoid milk or sugar — Try it without milk or sugar for a while and soon you will build taste palate.
- Try premium stuff — always opt for a good product
- Say no to supplement — The real thing is always healthier than a supplement. Toxic effects are common with supplements as they contain a higher concentration of catechin than green tea, itself. Also, it has low antioxidants value.
- Keep a gap to drink tea after eating — Green tea contains caffeine, catechin, and tannin those reduce your body’s ability to absorb iron from a meal. It’s best to keep an hour gap between meal.
That’s all you need to get started with a healthy green tea routine. Enjoy it but don’t over depend on it. Even though it’s a healthiest beverage it still have some limitation.