Green tea is a type of tea made by steaming the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, frying it in a pan, and then drying it. Green tea is one of the world’s most popular beverages and has been consumed for thousands of years. Green tea is known to have many health benefits for those who drink it regularly, and Insider reported five of them, and gave advice on how to incorporate green tea into our diet.
1) Improve Brain Health
One of the main components of green tea is caffeine. Caffeine can block a chemical messenger in the brain called adenosine, which regulates waking when we are sleepy. Blocking adenosine can prevent drowsiness, and the reason many people drink caffeine is to prevent drowsiness and keep them mentally more sensitive. On the other hand, overproduction of adenosine in the brain is also associated with cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies have shown that regular consumption of caffeine may reduce the risk of developing these conditions.
Since the caffeine content of green tea is much lower than that of coffee, you can obtain the advantages of caffeine without relatively burdening with side effects. Green tea also contains an amino acid called L-theanine, which reduces stress and improves mood. Studies have shown that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine enhances working memory and attention, reduces anxiety, and improves brain function. A small 2019 study, observing the effects of green tea on brain function, concluded that those who drink green tea regularly had higher cognitive function and better organization of brain regions than those who did not. A review of 21 studies on these benefits found that drinking green tea could benefit cognition and brain function.
2) Heart Health
Green tea has been shown to play a positive role in heart health by reducing risk factors for heart disease. High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease, and studies have shown that drinking green tea significantly lowers both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A large 2006 study also found that people who consumed six or more cups of green tea a day were 33% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who consumed less than one cup a week.
“Green tea may address several heart risk factors, such as lipids, blood pressure and diabetes,” said Melinda Ling, MD, MD, Northwestern University’s Center for Integrative Medicine. A long-term study, published in 2020, is here to help. The study included two groups with no history of heart disease: the first group consisted of those who drank green tea at least three times a week, and the second group consisted of those who did not drink green tea at all or did not drink it regularly. About seven years after the study began, in a follow-up study, scientists found that people who drank tea regularly were 1.4 years more likely to be free from coronary artery disease at an average age of 50 than those who didn’t.
3) Cholesterol Reduction
Catechin, a major component of green tea, is a natural antioxidant with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hypertensive effects. It lowers cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the body. An analysis of the results of 14 studies in 2011 found that drinking an average of two cups of green tea a day for 10 years significantly reduced LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is known to increase the risk of heart attack or stroke by causing plaque buildup in the arteries. “Some clinical studies show that drinking green tea or using green tea extract can lower total and LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol,” says Melinda Ling. “One theory is that the compound in green tea, epigallocetine gallate (ECGC), can help control cholesterol by affecting the circulation of bile acids.”
4) Bone Health
Green tea helps keep bones healthy and strong. Research suggests that this may help treat and prevent osteoporosis. Green tea leaves contain fluoride, which may slow osteoporosis, and also contain beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and phytostrogens. Flavonoids and phytostrogens are phytochemicals that can enhance bone formation and prevent the breakdown of bone tissue. A 2017 study divided 171 postmenopausal women with weak bones and low bone mass into four groups and found that the group of women who received a compound derived from green tea experienced significant improvements in bone health. A 2009 study, after examining bone-forming cells, concluded that green tea may support bone health. The researchers exposed these cells to epigallocetine (EGC), gallokechin (GC), and gallokechin gallocate (GCG), which are major components of green tea. After a few days, they observed that epigallocetine (EGC) promoted bone growth by up to 79%, and that high concentrations of epigallocetine (EGC) interfered with the activity of bone-debilitating cells, myeloplasty.
5) Skin Health
Drinking green tea has many benefits for your skin. Green tea contains a microscopic gene called epigallocetine gallate (EGCG) that can be responsible for skin repair properties. Some studies show that epigallocetchin gallate (EGCG) contains antioxidants that help prevent damage from the sun. It also promotes skin hydration and moisture retention and prevents the formation of wrinkles. Green tea has also been shown to have anti-aging properties. A small 2005 study looked at the effects of topical application of green tea to aged skin using an oral supplement for 8 weeks. Researchers found that using green tea in the participants improved skin elasticity. Catechin, a polyphenol in green tea, also helps to soothe inflamed skin.
On the other hand, there are many opinions that drinking green tea as a pure tea can bring better effects. If milk or the like is added, some of the benefits may be counteracted.