In today’s world, we’re constantly flooded with information regarding the latest trends. Whether it be fashion, entertainment, or, in this case, health, there’s always a new hot topic and a bunch of celebrities pushing it.
Today we’re going to take a look at one of the hottest, excuse the pun, in green tea benefits.
Constantly touted for its numerous potential health benefits, we’re going to break it down and determine what’s true, what’s not, and exactly what you can hope to achieve by getting on the green tea bandwagon.
Which Green Tea Should You Buy
So, I know there’s a good chance you’re thinking to yourself, “I want to try and utilize some of those green tea benefits myself, but which one should I buy?”
Well, let me help you out, as if there’s one thing us English know a thing or two about, it’s tea.
Therefore it probably won’t come as a surprise that it’s an English brand, Twinings of London, that I’m going to recommend.
Twinings have been making tea for over 300 years so, as you’d expect, they know what they’re doing.
Their teas are produced using all-natural methods and ingredients, to ensure both the taste and health benefits remain intact.
Their green tea comes in a variety of flavors so there should be one to suit all palates, plus it’s still reasonably priced, despite their reputation, so is a great value purchase.
Considering all that, combined with how green tea benefits so many aspects of the human body, there really isn’t any reason to hold off giving it a try.
However, despite all that, I can understand that if you’ve never tried a product before, the first time you buy it you may want to spend as little money as possible, in case you don’t like it or find it effective.
That’s why I’m going to give you a second option.
Lipton is another English brand you may well have heard of, who are especially famous for their iced and flavored teas.
When it comes to green tea, their product is also incredibly well-reviewed and comes with the added bonus of being one of the cheapest varieties available.
That makes it a perfect option for you to try out without worrying about wasting money but knowing you’ll still be getting a quality product.
Improved Brain Health And Function
Let’s start off with one of the most important green tea benefits and that’s the effect it has on the human brain. It’s been proven by numerous studies that not only can green tea benefit the day-to-day functioning of your brain but it can also help to prevent issues, such as dementia and alzheimers, occurring down the road.
We’ll focus first on the improvement of day to day functioning that green tea benefits. It contains, among others, two active compounds called caffeine and theanine.
While most of you will have heard of caffeine, as it’s famous for its energy-boosting qualities, you may not be aware of the full range of benefits that it can provide.
It also has the ability to block something called adenosine, which inhibits neuron activity in the brain. Without the presence of adenosine, the neurons in the brain are able to fire at an increased rate, leading to greater production of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and norepinephrine. This, in turn, leads to benefits such as:
- Better memory
- Faster reaction times
- Improved mood
- Greater concentration
The presence of caffeine in green tea is much smaller than the amount found in other drinks, such as coffee, so you’ll experience all of the benefits, without the “wired” feeling people often get from such drinks.
The other compound I mentioned, theanine, also boosts dopamine production, as well as increasing alpha brainwaves and inhibitory neurotransmitter activity. This leads to a reduction in the effects of anxiety on the brain.
Caffeine and theanine have also been shown to be synergistic, meaning that they boost the effect of one another when used in combination.
When it comes to the long term, protective green tea benefits, they lie in catechin it contains, called EGCG.
Catechins are antioxidants that, first and foremost, help to limit damage to the cells in the body, particularly the brain. They protect the neurons, cells, and molecules from atoms known as free radicals, which have been shown to have a damaging effect on the long term function of the brain.
Improves Heart Function And Blood Flow While Lowering Cholesterol
If you were asked to name the two most important organs in your body, your heart and brain would likely be at the top of everyone’s lists. It’s therefore incredibly important that green tea benefits both of those organs.
Green tea has been proven to improve blood flow and effectively balance your cholesterol levels. It also improves the antioxidant capability of the blood, making it better equipped to deal with issues it may face.
These facts mean green tea is able to help lower the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and strokes, which are some of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
Another green tea benefit that relates to the circulatory system, is the ability to combat type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition where the insulin levels in your blood are too low or off balance. Type 1 is where your body itself is destroying the cells that produce insulin, whereas type 2 is where you don’t produce enough insulin or your body doesn’t react to what you are producing.
While type 1 is genetic and requires medical intervention, type 2 is often affected by lifestyle. This means that not only can you potentially cause it yourself, but you also have the ability to combat it too.
One option for combatting it is green tea, as it has been shown to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
The catechins can also help to negate the effects of a poor diet on diabetes somewhat, due to the improved function of the circulatory system mentioned above.
May Help To Fight And Prevent Cancer
This is probably the most controversial option on the list as, while it’s obviously one of the greatest green tea benefits, it’s also one of the most debated. While some scientists believe it does help in the fight against cancer, others are still unconvinced, due to the limited evidence available.
From what we do know, the antioxidants contained in green tea can help to boost growth in healthy cells, while simultaneously helping to destroy the cancerous ones.
Antioxidants are proven to help protect against oxidative damage and it’s this type of damage that’s responsible for many chronic illnesses, including cancer. The fact that green tea is known to be full of powerful antioxidants gives legs to the reasoning behind how it would be of benefit to someone with cancer.
That being said, while the green tea benefits against cancer are potentially huge and definitely worth trying out for yourself, I would highly recommend continuing with the treatment plan prescribed by your physician and using green tea as an additional resource, as opposed to an alternative option.
Increased Weight Loss
Possibly the green tea benefit that you’ll hear the most about is its effect on fat burning and weight loss. Many diets and weight loss supplements will contain this as its active ingredient, while you’ll also find people looking to shed weight drinking large quantities of the tea itself.
The primary reason for its fat-burning reputation is the EGCG catechin we mentioned earlier. This has been shown to both boost metabolism while also making the bodies fat burning ability more efficient.
In addition to the EGCG, the caffeine content in the tea will further assist your weight loss, as caffeine has been shown improve the rate at which your body utilizes fat for energy, as well as helping to energize people during workouts, allowing them to train harder and burn more calories overall.
This combination means you may find you’ll benefit more from drinking green tea on its own than you would be trying to get its benefits from supplements instead.
Green Tea While Pregnant?
There are a number of green tea benefits we have already discussed, as well as a few we haven’t, that is beneficial to women during pregnancy, such as:
- Lowered blood pressure
- Stabilized blood sugar levels
- Boosted immune system
- Improved mood
- Help fight dental issues
- Good for the skin
Polyphenols, the type of antioxidants found in green tea, provide many of these benefits, which are of great use to women when it comes to protecting themselves against some of the common issues they will deal with during pregnancy.
However, both EGCG and caffeine are known to have negative effects on pregnancy when used in large quantities.
This means in order to reap the reward without taking any of the risks you have to be careful how much you drink during pregnancy. Drinking 2-3 cups per day should be a sufficient amount for you to experience the green tea benefits available for pregnant women without putting yourself in harms way.
Fights Bad Breath
I know I keep going on about the catechins in green tea but they really are amazing. Another positive effect they provide when talking about green tea benefits is to fight one of the main causes of bad breath.
Catechins have been shown to halt the growth of bacteria, which is one of the leading causes of dental problems such as cavities, plaque build-up, and tooth decay.
All of these are known to cause bad breath so having a regular cup of green tea may just allow you to halt the problem before it begins.
The final green tea benefit is one you will probably associate with most teas, relaxation.
Sipping a cup of tea is one of the oldest methods people have used to chill out, unwind, and get some time to themselves.
When it comes to green tea, you still get all of those things but there’s also an added bonus.
The amino acid theanine that I mentioned earlier has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain. Its presence in a drink already associated with relaxation will therefore only further enhance the effects that taking a break for a cup will provide.
Now there’s really nothing standing in your way from reaping the rewards of green tea.
Go on, get yourself a cuppa, and put your feet up, you deserve it and your body will thank you if you do.