Benefits of Green Tea – Over the past few years, green tea has become extremely popular all over the world due to its medicinal and herbal properties. It is the oldest known plant-based drink and was originated in China. Green tea contains a plethora of antioxidants and polyphenols which are known to prevent and cure a huge range of diseases.
Related: Healthy Drinks To Try.
There are many benefits of green tea which include:
- Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
- Green Tea for Weight Loss
- Green Tea for Hair
- Green Tea Benefits Oral Health
- Green Tea for Cardiovascular Diseases
- Green Tea for Hangover
- Green Tea for Type-2 Diabetes
- Green Tea to Boost Immunity
- Green Tea for Brain
- Green Tea for Alzheimer & Parkinson’s Diseases
- Green Tea And Bone Health
- Is Green Tea Antibacterial?
- Green Tea And Cancer
- Green Tea And Down Syndrome
- How to Use Green Tea
The green tea is made of Camellia sinensis leaves from which black tea and oolong tea are also formed. However, black and oolong tea are obtained after oxidation and withering due to which they are not as abundant in useful compounds like green tea.
You will be astonished to know about the sheer range of benefits associated with a regular green tea consumption. Let’s have a look at some of the proven benefits of green tea:
1. Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
The abundance of antioxidant agents in green tea makes it an ideal and fantastic solution for your skin issues. Discover these various benefits of green tea in treating wide variety of skin issues as follows:
i) No More Dark Circles or Puffy Eyes
Green tea contains Vitamin K which is a proven nutrient to treat dark circles under eyes giving you a fresh look. The inflammatory properties of green tea combined with the antioxidant action also help in reducing the swelling and puffiness of eyes by shrinking blood vessels under the delicate skin near eyes.
ii) Reduces Aging Effects on Skin
This is perhaps one of the biggest effects of green tea. As you age, your skin begins to wrinkle and lose its shine. This is primarily due to the increase in activity of free radicals. The compounds in green tea like polyphenols and EGCG combine with those free radicals and reduce their deteriorating effects on the skin.
These also reactivate dying skin cells as a result of sunlight exposure, pollution, and lifestyle habits. Researchers have also found evidence that green tea could inhibit enzymes called matrix metalloproteinases (MMP). Excess activity of these enzymes causes skin degradation associated with aging.
iii) Acne and pimples
Teenagers and even some adults are very conscious about acne and pimples on their skin. By using green tea, they can get rid of them and have a glowing spot free skin in a matter of few months. Green tea fights the primary cause of acne, i.e., hormonal imbalance through catechins present in it. It also acts as an antibacterial agent and fights acne-causing bacteria on the skin. Moreover, the cooling and inflammatory nature of green tea reduces the reddish skin and do not leave scars after healing acne.
iv) Protection against UV and sunburn
Green tea offers amazing healing effect on sun damaged skin. It contains a powerful combination of polyphenols, theobromine, and tannic acid which help in this job. Green tea in itself does not offer direct protection against UV but through its effect on free radicals, it reduces the skin sensitivity to UV radiation.
2. Green Tea Benefits for Weight Loss
If you are struggling with losing weight despite exercising regularly, then green tea can prove a boon to you. Although there are mixed research on this subject, some show green tea has a positive effect on weight loss while other dismissing the same, it is universally accepted that green tea will help in your weight loss if you properly combine it with regular exercise and proper diet.
i) Fat loss
Green tea contains antioxidants and catechins. These aid in enhancing your metabolism and increase oxidation of fat in fat cells. The primary catechin called EGCG inhibits an enzyme that breaks hormone norepinephrine. This hormone is responsible for fat oxidation. In this way, EGCG prevents the breakdown of norepinephrine and help in fat loss.
ii) Improve Metabolism During Exercise as well as at rest
If you drink green tea on an empty stomach in the morning before going on a morning run or walk, it will increase fat burn during the exercise.
Drinking green tea alone may not lead to weight loss or fat loss. However, many types of research have proved that it increases the rest metabolic rate by a significant amount. This means you will be burning more calories at rest than usual.
iii) Prevents Frequent Hunger Pangs
Green tea also helps in reducing our appetite so that we eat fewer and consume less calories. This will automatically lead to effective weight loss.
iv) Improves digestive system
Drinking green tea also improves your digestion process so that you stay away from other gut problems. These problems are themselves a huge reason behind many other problems including bloating as well as weight increase.
Precaution: Avoid sweetened or flavored green tea as it can prove detrimental to your weight loss efforts. This is extra sugar will outweigh the benefits of green tea. Instead, opt for natural green tea extracts which are more beneficial to your health.
Benefits of Green Tea for Hair
Green tea contains plenty of antioxidants and compounds which are extremely beneficial for hairs. There is no denying the fact that healthy locks enhance the overall personality of a person and lead to high self-esteem and confidence. Let’s look how green tea can help in treating some of the most common hair problems:
i. Stimulates scalp and promote hair growth
Green tea contains vitamin B, polyphenols, panthenol, vitamin E, and vitamin C. These substances help in stimulating hair follicles on the scalp and make your hair stronger. In fact, many shampoos and hair conditioners contain panthenol for this particular reason.
The presence of caffeine in green tea encourages hair growth and stimulates the scalp. Moreover, vitamin C helps in protecting the scalp against sun damage and fighting dandruff.
ii. Can prevent male pattern baldness
Hair loss, especially in men due to male pattern baldness, is said to be caused by a compound called DHT (Dihydrotestosterone). DHT is formed due to excess testosterone. Catechins in green tea contain “5-alpha-reductase” which reacts with excess testosterone and prevents the formation of DHT. In this way, green tea could also help in preventing the most common and so far incurable form of hair loss.
iii. Anti-inflammatory properties to stop hair loss
In a study carried on mice, scientists observed that green tea water promoted hair growth on rodents over a period as compared to those who had regular water. Polyphenols present in green tea possess anti-inflammatory properties which can not only stop hair loss but also promote hair growth. Another compound in green tea called epigallocatechin gallate, EGCG helps in inhibiting another molecule called Tumor Necrosis Factor responsible for hair loss.
Quick Tip : After washing your hair, massage your scalp with freshly brewed green tea and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water and repeat this for 2-3 times per week for about 2 months. You will be amazed at results!!
Benefits of Green Tea for Oral Health
Green tea not only helps in improving our internal system, fighting diseases, losing weight but can also assist in treating oral problems. Let’s have a look at the numerous benefits of green tea on our oral health:
i. Prevents Gum diseases
Researchers have found green tea to be very effective in treating periodontal disease- a common gum disease. Green tea promotes healthy gums by removing plaque and reducing inflammation of gums which often leads to gum bleeding and reclining.
ii. Helps in Cavity prevention
Unsweetened green tea can decrease the acidic nature of various substances inside the mouth. The acidity inside the mouth is responsible for damaging our enamel and causing cavities. Green tea can reduce that along with plaque removal and prevent those cavities.
iii. Removes Bad Breath
If you are someone who always complains of bad breath, then green tea is just for you. Green tea works a lot better than those commercial mouth fresheners and chewing gums, mint, and parsley seed oil. It kills off the bacteria which is responsible for causing bad breath.
iv. Promotes healthy teeth
Since green tea leads to healthier gums and prevents cavities, it leads to stronger and healthier teeth in general.
v. Oral cancer
This is one of the most significant wonders of green tea. The polyphenols and catechins present in green tea act as potent oxidizing agents. They increase the effectiveness of fighting cancer cells present in the mouth. They can prevent damage to cells and arrest the growth of harmful tumors.
Green Tea Can Prevent Cardiovascular Diseases
Regular consumption of green tea relieves various symptoms and factors which often cause cardiovascular diseases. Green tea has remarkable effects on cholesterol content in the body. It has a healing effect on the delicate lining of cells which surround blood vessels.
Most importantly, green tea is responsible for enhancing the function of endothelial cells. These cells are essential for maintaining the health of arteries. If there is a dysfunction in endothelial cells, it can lead to clogged arteries affecting the blood flow to the heart. This is the primary precursor to cardiovascular stroke.
In addition to above, the presence of a huge number of antioxidants in green tea also prevents the oxidation of LDL which is one of the important reasons for causing the heart attack.
Nasty Hangover? Try Green Tea with Lemon
How often does it happen that you reach office on a Monday morning with a terrible headache and dizziness reminding you painfully about the fun you had on the weekend ? Now you do not have to stay with such nasty hangover which might not go down too well with your boss.
You can have a large cup of green tea along with lemon, and you will be amazed by almost instantaneous relief from the hangover. The caffeine present in green tea along with polyphenols and citrus nature of lemon will ensure your optimal performance on Monday without compromising on your weekend fun.
Green Tea Benefits for Type- 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease caused due to the inability of the body to produce enough insulin (Type I diabetes) or due to the insulin resistance (Type II). The latter is found in almost 85-90% of the people suffering from diabetes. It is often a result of poor lifestyle choices, obesity, and genetic factors to an extent. Green tea may also prevent Type II diabetes by helping in the better metabolism of sugar.
According to research carried out in Japan, people who had more than 6 cups of tea a day were 33% less likely to develop Type II diabetes than people who only drank less than one cup of green tea per week.
When you eat sugar rich food, high amount of insulin is secreted to make that sugar available for absorption by cells and tissues. Over a period, insulin becomes resistant to such high levels of sugar in the blood.
Green tea increases this metabolism by inhibiting an enzyme called amylase. Salivary glands and pancreas secrete amylase to help in starch digestion and production of sugar from food. By inhibiting this enzyme, green tea helps in decreases sugar level in the blood. This leads to less load on insulin.
This leads to improved insulin sensitivity and better assimilation of sugar inside the blood. This ensures that blood sugar level is low inside the body thereby preventing Type I diabetes.
Moreover, green tea also helps in reducing obesity and in weight loss in proper combination with regular exercise and correct diet. Obesity is also closely linked to diabetes, so this factor also contributes to keeping diabetes at bay.
If you get frequently ill or affected by seasonal changes of weather, green tea can provide you a much-needed immunity boost. You can consume green tea on a regular basis which would help you prevent common diseases like common cold, cough, flu, dysentery, indigestion, diarrhea and all ailments caused due to fungi and microbes.
Aim to have 3-5 cups of green tea in the rainy season or during season in which you find yourself most susceptible to these common diseases.
Green Tea Benefits on brain
The 2.5-pound mass sitting inside your head is the most vital organ of your body, performing most functions outside our awareness. Drinking green tea can further boost that role and improve your cognitive abilities. People who drink green tea regularly are shown to have improved memories and do not lose cognitive abilities as they age.
The caffeine content in green tea is the biggest reason behind its effects on boosting brain power. You must be already aware how caffeine keeps you alert and awake and allows you to temporarily improve your attention span.
Caffeine alone may have temporary effects but another compound in green tea called L-Theanine helps in prolonging that period of attention and alertness. L-Theanine is an amino acid also has a calming effect and increases alpha waves and dopamine production in the brain.
This study published in Psychopharmacology also showed that consuming green tea led to a better connection between parietal and the frontal cortex of the brain. It resulted into temporary brain plasticity improving the working memory of a person.
Prevention of Alzheimer and Parkinson’s Disease
Due to advancements in medical science, we may have increased the overall life expectancy of people. People live longer these days as compared to, say 100 years ago. However, with prolonged life expectancy, we are also facing neurological diseases associated with aging and decrease in cognitive functions of the brain with passing years.
Alzheimer and Parkinson’s diseases are two of such most common diseases without any proven cure so far. However, consuming green tea on a regular basis early in years is found to be extremely beneficial in retaining cognitive functions of the brain and preventing these diseases in old age.
Various studies have shown that the antioxidant actions and anti-inflammatory effects of catechins and polyphenols present in green tea have remarkable effects on reducing the chances of neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons.
Green tea mainly helps in offering a protective capability to Parkinson’s disease caused due to lack of neurons in the brain after the age of 50. The disease affects almost 6 million people worldwide with no effective cure discovered so far.
However, this study found that Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) can protect brain neurons from dying by activating an enzyme called AMP kinase. And, green tea contains loads of EGCG thereby validating its effects on treating Parkinsons.
Benefits of Green Tea for Bone Health
With increasing age, bones tend to get weaker and more prone to fractures and breakage. This is even more severe in elderly women who find that their bones have become brittle and weak due to the onset of osteoporosis. Consuming green tea regularly can increase the strength of bones.
It also increases bone density in menopausal women who often suffer from weak bones. Moreover, the compounds in green tea can also lead to the strengthening of bones and muscles in leg and hip areas. These are most susceptible to injuries in old age.
Researchers at US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health carried out a study on effects of green tea on bone health of elderly people.
The study showed that green tea and its bioactive components have a significant potential to reduce fracture risk by improving bone mineral density (BMD).
Moreover, the benefits of green tea can further get enhanced if one combines it with the intake of calcium and Vitamin D. The presence of antioxidants in green tea and polyphenols can reduce the degradation of bones related with increasing age. You can enjoy healthy bones by consuming two to three cups of green tea regularly.
Is Green Tea Antibacterial?
You must have taken antibiotic medicines on many occasions while suffering from strep throats, bacterial infection, and other seasonal diseases. Although those antibiotics are quite useful for relieving the symptoms and curing the condition, they also have many side effects on your health. Green tea can be a natural alternative to these antibiotic medicines.
It contains plenty of antioxidants and catechins which can quickly kill those disease-causing bacteria. These catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and epicatechin gallate (ECG) attach themselves onto thin films that cover the bacteria. By doing this, they inhibit the further action of bacteria that could make you ill.
Green Tea Helps in Preventing Cancer
Cancer is one of the rapidly increasing diseases in the modern world. In many of the cases, it remains uncured whereas those who go through expensive treatment have to go through extreme physical and mental trauma. However, increasing evidence shows that regularly drinking green tea can help you fight cancer.
The research on the benefits of green tea on cancer is still undergoing and yet to provide any conclusive evidence. But laboratory experiments have shown that antioxidants in green tea cause significant damage to cancer cells.
The polyphenols, EECG, and other antioxidants can significantly arrest the growth of cancer cells. This woman made headlines of major newspapers by miraculously healing her cancer by consuming green tea regularly.
Even though doctors believed that this happened rarely but we can safely conclude that there is a relation between green tea and cancer.
Green Tea And Down Syndrome
Down syndrome is a genetic disease found in 1 out of 1000 people according to WHO. Cells in a human being contain 23 pairs of chromosomes which store information about genes. However, in individuals suffering from Down’s syndrome, there is an extra copy of chromosome number 21.
This leads to overexpression of genes in these people causing various health problems and reduction in cognitive function. Children suffering from Down’s syndrome have a slightly flattened face profile along with an upward slant to their eyes. Due to decreased cognitive function, they also possess less than normal intellectual capabilities.
Once again, green tea comes to the rescue as a recent research showed the immense benefits of EGCG compound on improving Down Syndrome condition. In the latest study published in The Lancet Neurology just two months ago, EGCG was found to have positive effects on improving the memory of Down syndrome patients.
It led to a better connection between neurons in the brain. Participants were able to remember the pattern, enhance their adaptive behavior and verbal recall functions.
How to Use Green Tea
As you must have seen by now, that green tea has innumerable benefits. Moreover, people from all over the world have tried and tested these benefits themselves. You can further maximize the benefits of green tea by following these tips and suggestions:
- Do not drink green tea on an empty stomach as it releases gastric acids inside the stomach. Moreover, caffeine in tea can also lead to dehydration which could prove harmful if you intend to go on a workout after that.
- For effective weight loss, you can drink green tea with your meals. It prevents absorption of fat as well as increase the metabolism of the body. However, avoid doing this if you have a sensitive stomach prone to stomach aches and other gut related problems.
- Consume green tea in between your meals or in a gap of 2-3 hours before or after the meals. This will also help in better absorption of iron, thiamin (vitamin B1) and other macronutrients. This would not happen if you take green tea with your meals.
- Avoid taking green tea immediately before going to sleep as the caffeine content can affect the quality of your sleep. Have it at least before an hour of going to sleep. You will not only sleep better but also avoid the urge to urinate after consuming a caffeine-rich drink.
- Many people drink excessive green tea believing it would lead to a faster weight loss. However, the more is not necessarily better and can prove harmful instead (Check out some of the major side effects of green tea). You can achieve reasonable weight loss goals by consuming as fewer as 2.5 cups per day.
- Refrain from drinking green tea immediately after meals. This is because catechins present in it can interfere with the proper absorption of nutrients during the digestion process.
- The best time to have green tea can be in the late afternoon after 2-3 hours of lunch. At that point, the caffeine content in green tea can help us recharge and remain fresh. You will also reap maximum benefits of antioxidants present in the tea.
- Take care while brewing your green tea. Do not put green tea into boiling water. This would severely affect the catechins in the green tea. After boiling the water, allow it to cool down a bit for 10-12 minutes and then add green tea extract.
So, you see there are several benefits of green tea due to which people from all around the work are using it for various issues of health and fitness. Even if you do not have any issue, you can safely drink green tea regularly as long as you are taking it in limited amounts.
Also Read: Side Effects of Green Tea.