Green tea (known in the scientific world as Camelia synensis) originated from China. This type of tea is generally known for being a refreshing beverage, but it’s so much more than that. Aside from being a thirst-quencher, it’s also being widely used around the world for medicinal purposes — from simple stress relief to chronic disease prevention. And its effects are backed by several studies, which is why green tea has earned the distinction of being the healthiest drink in the entire world.
Among its many health benefits, here are the top 10.
Green tea helps fight cancer
It’s because it’s packed with ‘polyphenols’ — a powerful antioxidant that is known for its anti-carcinogenic (it helps slow down proteins that contribute to tumor growth) and anti-inflammatory properties. Based on several independent studies, those who drink green tea have lesser risk of developing certain types of cancer like breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer and prostate cancer.
Green tea reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes
Type-2 diabetes is one of the leading causes of deaths in the U.S. and affects millions of people around the world. People who have this condition have high blood sugar levels and are unable to produce insulin. Drinking green tea helps decrease blood sugar levels, which in turn reduces the amount of insulin needed by the body. Accordingly, green tea drinkers become less susceptible to becoming diabetics.
Green tea promotes better heart health
Along with cancer and diabetes, heart disease is also one of world’s most notorious killer diseases. Typically, it is the accumulation of bad fats in the blood that cause arteries to clog up and lead to a heart attack. Green tea has specific content that helps keep bad cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream, as well as help widen arteries and inhibit an enzyme known as ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) — too much of which can cause high blood pressure. These features combined contribute to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
Green tea helps maintain brain health
Based on different studies, certain compounds in green tea help keep those parts of the brain associated with memory remain connected. More than just protecting one’s capability for remembering and doing memory-related tasks, when old age sets in, green tea can also help reduce the risk of developing neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
Green tea strengthens your immune system
If you’re tired of drinking antibiotic and other kinds of drugs because you easily get sick, it’s time to shift to a natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral remedy. We’re referring to green tea, of course. Aside from cancer-fighting antioxidants, it also contains bacteria growth hindering antioxidants, as well as bacteria, fungi and virus-fighting antioxidants. In a nutshell, this helps improve your general health and reduces your risk of infection.
Green tea helps maintain bone health
Green tea contains a flavonoid called EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate) which helps block the production of enzymes and proteins that can cause damage to the bone cartilage. EGCG also helps inhibit the activity of molecules that cause inflammation of the joints. For these reasons, drinking lots of green tea can help lower your chances of developing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
Green tea helps you burn fat and lose weight
Because of today’s lifestyle and food choices, burning fat and losing weight are two of the most common personal goals of many individuals who aspire to live healthier lifes. Green tea is the perfect beverage to complement those goals because it helps increase metabolism the natural way as the caffeine and polyphenols it contains naturally promotes the process of oxidation and fat burning. Which means you get to burn fat faster so you can lose weight faster.
Green tea helps your mouth stay healthy and keep your breath fresh
Because we love to eat and it’s virtually impossible to always be able to brush our teeth every time we’re done eating, there’s always a tendency for microorganisms present in our mouth to multiply and cause bad breath. The polyphenols in green tea help control the growth of those odor-causing microorganisms. Aside from that, green tea also has other content that helps keep your gums and teeth stay healthier by preventing plaque formation and buildup.
Green tea helps your skin and hair stay healthy
The antioxidants in green tea help protect against sun damage so your skin can retain its healthy and youthful glow (in other words, it can help prevent and fight against wrinkles). It also has components that inhibit Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) — an enzyme that interferes with hair growth and causes hair fall. More than that, its polyphenols and vitamins (specifically vitamins C and E) stimulate hair growth, at the same time keeping it soft and shiny.
Green tea helps you relax
Among the antioxidants green tea has is an amino acid called L-theanine which is known to help relieve anxiety and stress. It can even help fight against depression.
Because green tea helps boost your immune system, protects you from a number of fatal diseases, and generally helps improve your general state of health, it makes sense that drinking green tea may help you live a little bit longer. And because of its stress relieving and anti-depressant properties, green tea can help you live a happier life too.
As healthy and beneficial green tea is, keep in mind that it still has to be consumed in moderation. Experts recommend not going beyond 3 cups per day to reap its benefits. Anything in excess and it might start doing you more harm than good.