9 Surprising Health Benefits of Green Tea
Can we take a moment and talk about just how amazing green tea is?
Not only can it give you a healthy morning “kickstart”, but it can also provide a multitude of health benefits! In fact, green tea can be a fantastic alternative for coffee.
Did you know that for centuries, green tea has been used in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, in many varieties and for various purposes. The antioxidants found in green tea are antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and help to fight bad breath by killing the bacteria found in your mouth!
Here’s Why Green Tea Is So Good For You
- Not only does green tea taste great but it’s packed with antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation in the body and protect your cells from free radical damage. The polyphenols in green tea also protect your skin from UV rays, which aid in the anti-aging process.
- The compounds in green tea help prevent the breakdown of collagen which is the leading factor in losing skin elasticity. When you drink green tea, not only are you protecting your skin but also your brain and your heart.
- The small amount of caffeine in green tea gives you a stimulating energy without the jitters and shakes associated with coffee. The amino acid L-theanine is also present in green tea and the combination of caffeine and L-theanine has been shown to reduce anxiety, improve your memory, increase dopamine production, and enhance your cognitive performance.
- One should note is that the catechins found in green tea have been shown to have protective effects on the neurons in our brain that may help protect against Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, and dementia while also inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
- Green tea has been shown to increase blood flow and lower cholesterol levels which can help to prevent heart related issues such as high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. What’s good for the heart is usually good for the brain as well. This superfood has also been used to aid in weight loss due to the way it increases your metabolic rate and stimulates fat burning.
- The caffeine in green tea can improve your physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from fat tissue and making it available for your body to use as an energy source. “All things being equal, if you sub 1-2 cups of green tea for one can of soda, over the next year you’d save over 50,000 calories.” Small steps really do make the biggest difference when it comes to your health and well-being.
- Did you know that one of the surprising benefits of drinking green tea is that it aids in maintaining and growing your bone density? A moderate intake of green tea improves the quality and strength of the bones in your body. Researchers concluded that phenols influence bone mineral density by preventing oxidation-induced damage to bone cells as well as by reducing inflammation, which helps support bone building.
- Another way that green tea might be beneficial to you is that it may reduce your blood sugar levels, reduce your insulin sensitivity, and protect your pancreas. According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of diabetes.
- The antioxidants in green tea have also been shown to reduce the ability for tumors to grow and multiply, while also stopping damage from free radicals found in our everyday environments. In fact, Japanese research has shown that regular green tea drinkers could live longer.
Did you know that there are 7 main varieties of green tea?
From matcha to sencha, longjing to genmaicha, here are 7 types of green tea.
This tea variety is grown in the shade and by limiting the amount of light. The generation of catechins from amino acids is suppressed, resulting in a smooth, light tea with a surprising amount of depth.
Surprisingly, this tea is made from unprocessed brown rice! This rice is soaked, steamed, roasted, popped, and mixed with another type of green tea for a final product that is deliciously toasty, nutty, and full bodied.
Many sushi restaurants serve this green tea which is prepared by infusing whole green tea leaves in hot water. The flavor tends to be refreshing and almost vegetal, green, with seaweed or grassy notes depending on the type of sencha and how it is brewed.
This variety is grown in China and is known for having a delicate appearance, tasting fresh and almost fruity. When prepared, it is rolled into a tight spiral which resembles the shell of a snail.
Very similar to a genmaicha with toasty, caramelly notes. Unlike the genmaicha, which is made with roasted brown rice, this tea is prepared by toasting the tea leaves themselves.
Another Chinese tea which is tremendously popular. These teas have tender, whole and uniform leaves which yield a mild and sweet flair with underlying chestnut notes. It is produced mostly by hand and is renowned for its high quality.
A very popular tea that you regularly find in pastries, cookies, and ice creams. This variety is made from the same shade-grown leaves that are used to make gyokuro. After the leaves are picked, they are steamed and dried, the veins and stems are removed, then the leaves are stoneground into a powder.
Have you tried green tea?
What is your favorite type?
Post in the comments below…
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