Did you know that green tea is more than just a green solution? Did you know that it has powerful health benefits?

It has grown in popularity in recent years and for good reason – it has very genuine health benefits and make a great variation on your usual cuppa!

So what about Green Tea?

Green tea is a very largely consumed drink in the world after water. It is made from the plant called Camellia Sinensis. It is made by lightly steaming the leaves after they are harvested.

It belongs to an incredible class of compounds called the polyphenols. Polyphenols are strong plant chemicals that work together with the human body to keep us healthy.

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The polyphenols found in green tea are called catechins and flavonoids, they are responsible for various green tea benefits. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that flavonoids and catechins have a strong antioxidant activity.

Green tea is full of nutrients and antioxidants that have powerful effects on the body. So what are the green tea benefits?

Here Are 5 Amazing Green Tea Benefits:

1) It Improves Mood & Brain Function

Did you know that green tea contains caffeine but not as much as coffee? It contains enough to produce a response but without causing you to feel edgy or nervous, something associated with too much caffeine.

Caffeine has been studied extensively. Low to Moderate consumption has been associated with improvement in cognitive function.

A review of studies published in the Nutrition Bulletin found that low to moderate consumption of caffeine (38 to 400mg per day, equivalent to 1 to 8 cups of tea, or 0.3 to 4 cups of brewed coffee per day) maximized the benefit of caffeine and was associated with improvements in memory, mood and brain function. There was minimum risk of dehydration.

Green tea also contains a unique amino acid called theanine, responsible for a sense of relaxation. A study published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that theanine affects aspects of the brain function in humans. It was found to increase activity in the alpha frequency band of the brain indicating that it helps to relax the mind without causing drowsiness.

The studies found that the individuals reported they had constant energy and were more productive when they drank green tea, compared to coffee.

2) It Improves Oral Health

The dangerous bacteria associated with the formation of plaque, tooth decay and cavities in humans is called Streptococcus mutans. Catechins in green tea has been shown to stop the growth of Streptococcus mutans.

A study published in the Caries Research found that green tea effectively stops the attachment of the Streptococcus mutans strain to saliva in the mouth.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology also found that green tea was effective in reducing mouth odour because of its disinfectant and deodorant activities. Improving oral health was found to be one of green tea benefits.

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3) It Improves Cardiovascular Health

According to the World Health Organization, heart disease and stroke are one of the leading causes of death in humanity.

Improving cardiovascular health is one of the green tea benefits. Green tea has been shown to boost a variety of risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. A study published in Atherosclerosis showed that green tea stopped induced LDL oxidation; LDL oxidation is a typical feature of coronary heart disease.

The study concluded that the consumption of green tea may lower the risk of coronary heart disease.

Another study published in the Obesity Journal also found that the consumption of green tea decreased Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thereby contributing to a decrease in cardiovascular disease risk.

4) It helps to Reduce Body Fat

The body fat reducing effect is one of the green tea benefits. It also helps to improve your metabolic rate.

A study published in the Obesity Journal in which men and women with abdominal fat-type obesity over a 12 week period ingested green tea containing catechin. The study found that there was a decrease in body weight, body mass index, body fat mass, waist circumference and hip circumference suggesting that green tea contributes to a decrease in obesity.

5) It Helps To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Maintaining blood sugar levels is one of the green tea benefits. High blood sugar levels increases your risk of insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that green tea consumption drastically reduced the fasting glucose and haemoglobin A1c (Hb A1c) concentrations.

Green tea was also found to reduce fasting insulin concentration and improve insulin sensitivity.

Another study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that the regular consumption of green tea was associated with a 33% reduced risk for diabetes.

The Bottom Line

To sum up, the green tea benefits are amazing. Adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to your cup increases the benefits of green tea, the vitamin C in the fresh lemon juice boosts the amount of catechins available to be absorbed by your body.

It is important that you consume good quality green tea. Good quality green tea will be green, if it looks brown instead of green then it is not good quality, it is possibly oxidized, which destroys a lot of its important compounds.

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References:

Serafini M, Ghiselli A, Ferro-Luzzi A (1996) In vivo antioxidant effect of green tea and black tea in man. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition; 50: 28-32.

Ruxton C H S (2008) The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks. Nutrition Bulletin, 33: 15-25.

Nobre A C, Rao A, Owen G N (2008)L-theanin, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 17: 167-168.

Otake S, Makimura M, Kuroki T, Nishihara Y, Hirasawa M (1991) Anticaries Effects of Polyphenolic Compounds from Japanese Green Tea. Caries Research, 25: 438-443.

Lodhia P, Yaegaki K, Khakbaznejad A, Imai T, Sato T, Tanaka T, Murata T, Kamoda T (2008) Effect of green tea on volatile sulfur compounds in mouth air.

Yang T T C, Koo M W L (2000) Inhibitory effect of Chinese green tea on endothelial cell-induced LDL oxidation.

World Health Organisation (2014) The top 10 causes of death http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/.

Nagao T, Hase T, Tokimitsu I (2007) A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans. Obesity, 15: 1473-1483.

Liu K, Zhou R, Wang B, Chen K, Shi L Y, Zhu J D, Mi M T (2013) Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis o 17 randomized controlled trials. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98: 340-348.

Iso H, Date C, Wakai K, Fukui M, Tamakoshi A, JACC Study Group (2006) The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults. Annals of Internal Medicine,144: 554-562.

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