Green tea is one of the few teas that boast of being true teas. The others are black tea, white tea and oolong tea. These teas all come from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis.
Tea has been equally lauded and mocked as a panacea for all ills. Green tea, unlike its true tea counterparts, is unfermented. This distinction, research shows, make it superior to the other true teas and is the reason why green tea might just be the true tea.
Below are the reasons why you should consider switching to green tea.
- Rich in antioxidants
Green tea is a rich source of antioxidant nutrients. It gets this from its components. These include vitamins (B, C and E), minerals (such as manganese and zinc), and micronutrients that are known as polyphenols.
Antioxidants help prevent cellular damage by fighting off compounds known as free radicals. If left uncontrolled, these compounds increase the risks of diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Kombucha tea is yet another antioxidant-rich beverage. Here is how you make it, Health: Benefits Of Kombucha & How To Make It
2. Improves oral health
Regular green tea intake helps improve oral health. It does this by:
- inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria like porphyromonas gingivalis. Such bacteria are to blame for tooth loss and other periodontal diseases.
- reducing cariogenic potential (ability to cause tooth decay) of starch-containing foods.
- having a deodorant-like effect on our mouths, thus reducing the likelihood of halitosis. Home Remedies To Help Relieve A Toothache
A study done on males aged 49-59 showed that those who regularly took green tea were less likely to suffer from periodontal diseases when compared to non-green tea drinkers.
Please note that green tea is no substitute for healthy oral hygiene practices.
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3. Green tea and weight loss
Green tea may contribute to weight loss by inhibiting enzymes such as pancreatic lipase and amylase, that are responsible for fat and carbohydrates digestion.
Inhibiting these enzymes lowers the rate of fat and sugar absorption into the body. This ultimately leads to a decrease in weight gain.
Not only does green tea interfere with fat absorption, but it also aids metabolism. Studies done concluded that green tea did indeed promote fat burning.
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4. Nutritional Value
Green tea, as previously discussed, is a rich source of antioxidants. This is partly due to its high minerals and trace elements. Amongst the minerals that it contains are manganese, calcium, chromium, selenium and zinc. Plus green tea has higher levels of vitamin C than black tea. The reason for this is the fermentation process that true teas go through. It has been blamed for decreased vitamin C levels. Since green tea skips this process, then it gets to retain its entire vitamin C content. Green tea is also a source of Vitamins B and E.
Another pro-green tea factor is its contribution to our daily fluid intake. For those like me, who are not huge fans of water, green tea could be a healthy alternative. If you can manage to take it without adding sugar, that is even better.
Additionally, with green tea, you still get your caffeine fix but at much lower levels than if you take coffee or black tea.
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5. May reduce the risk of cardiovascular illnesses
Oxidative stress has been linked to heart disease. Antioxidants, on the other hand, work to prevent oxidative stress. Since green tea is a rich source of antioxidants, then it follows that taking it is beneficial to our cardiovascular health.
A study was conducted on over 40,000 Japanese adults. The results of the study showed that participants who had more than 5 cups of green tea a day had a 26% lower risk of death from a heart attack or stroke.
A different study compared black tea and green tea drinkers. The results showed that green tea drinkers had a 28% lower risk of coronary artery disease. Black tea, according to this particular study, was ineffective. There was yet another study that linked green tea to lower cholesterol levels. The low levels were due to the polyphenols in green tea.
Clearly, green tea is good for our cardiovascular health.
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6. Strengthens the immune system
Green tea strengthens the immune system by protecting it against oxidants and radicals. We have the antioxidants properties in green tea to thank for this.
Research done at Oregon State University linked green tea to better immune function and suppression of autoimmune diseases. Animal tests done using polyphenols showed increased levels of regulatory T cells. These cells control immune system responses and help prevent autoimmune diseases.
It goes without saying that a product that can naturally increase the number of these regulatory T cells is something that one should consider taking.
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7. Glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity
Insulin controls levels of glucose in the blood. Insulin sensitivity refers to the cells’ responsiveness to insulin.
Studies have been done to test the effect of green tea supplementation on glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. They proved that green tea helps cells absorb glucose, thus helping in the balance of sugar levels in the blood. The absorbed glucose provides the energy needed by the body to function.
Other investigations have shown that green tea may help rehabilitate damaged beta-cells, which are responsible for producing insulin.
For this reason, green tea can be useful in the management of diabetes.
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8. Antibacterial functions
Research shows that green tea is effective in inhibiting the growth of diarrhoea-causing bacteria like salmonella. Green tea can therefore be useful when fighting off infections like diarrhoea, typhoid and h-pylori.
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9. May contribute to increased bone mineral density
Research has linked green tea to the prevention of age-related bone loss in the elderly. It may lessen the effects of bone loss and protect against the risk of fractures. Health: Tips For Stronger Bones And Teeth
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10. Green tea and skincare
Prolonged and repeated exposure to solar ultraviolet (UV) light might lead to oxidative stress, premature ageing and skin disorders. These disorders include melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers.
Studies done show that green tea is useful in lessening the damaging effects of UV exposure.
Antioxidants in green tea have also been linked to anti-ageing. They help protect the skin from free radicals which can cause wrinkling and skin ageing.
Green tea has also been proven to have moisturizing effects on the skin. This was concluded after a 30-day study where a green tea extract was applied to the forearms of 24 people. Thus providing additional benefits of skin on the skin.
Last but not least, green tea might be useful in the treatment of acne. Sebum is an oily substance produced by sebaceous glands which are found throughout the body. The function of sebum is to protect the skin’s outer layer against water loss through evaporation. As a result, sebum helps keep our skin moisturized. However, if excess sebum is produced, it causes skin conditions like acne. Research now shows that green tea can help reduce the production of sebum. 6 Benefits Of Incorporating A Moisturizer Into Your Skincare Routine
Now many skincare products now use green tea as one of their ingredients including these products we have reviewed on the blog – Innisfree Green Tea Balancing Lotion Ex and The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
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11. May help reduce the risk of cancer
Lifestyle-related diseases are tied to ageing. Therefore, slowing the ageing process may help keep some of these diseases at bay. The antioxidants present in green tea are also known to reduce the risk of cancer.
Additionally, cell culture and animal studies carried out so far point to green tea having anticarcinogenic potential. This potential is with regards to cancer of the skin, lungs, stomach, liver, prostate and other organs.
Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years in China and other Asian countries due to its health benefits. Over the past few decades, it has slowly made its way to the rest of the world. While research on green tea continues, what is known so far is enough to consider taking some green tea.
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