I think by now we’ve all picked up on the fact that green tea is good for us, but many of us are still unclear as to what the health benefits of green tea really are.
So why not pour yourself a cup, sit back, and let me explain.
Is Green Tea Good For You?
All teas are made from the same species, Camellia sinensis; it is just their various preparation methods that give them different properties.
Green tea leaves for instance are the least processed of the teas, with its leaves steamed instead of fermented, meaning it retains more of the properties that fuel its reported health benefits.
Now, I say ‘reported’ because although numerous studies have looked into the multitude of ways green tea can be beneficial for our bodies, often they are animal studies, have small sample sizes, or achieve results conflicting with similar studies – so results should be taken with a pinch of salt. (just a pinch)
One thing we can be sure about is that green tea contains pretty much zero calories, is almost as hydrating as water and, other than a small minority of people reporting insomnia due to its caffeine content (which is much lower than black tea), it has no reported negative effects on the body.
Now for the science bit. As I said before, green tea is only minimally processed, and as a result retains the most concentrated amount of antioxidant polyphenols of all the teas.
The most important of these is a catechin, called EGCG, which is the most studied ingredient of green tea, and thought to be behind much of its beneficial qualities.
These benefits range from lessened risk of cardiovascular disease and stokes to viral infections and even cancer.
Pretty amazing stuff from a simple drink!
The catechins in green tea are responsible for these health benefits through a variety of methods.
For example, in cardiovascular disease, the catechins inhibit enzymes from producing free radicals on the lining of our arteries, and in the case of heart attacks and strokes, green tea has been shown to minimize the damage caused after the event and increase the speed of heart cells’ recovery.
More Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea has also been shown to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, and prevent tooth decay and food poisoning, by killing bacteria.
And it just gets better – for those of us trying to lose weight, a study found that participants given green tea and a caffeine supplement lost more weight than those taking a caffeine supplement alone!
So, if you’re on a diet right now, why not add green tea in to your weight loss regime today!
Some people choose to take green tea extract as a supplement rather than drinking the infusion itself.
A of word of warning here though, potency of the polyphenols and EGCG in these extracts varies widely, so shop carefully.
Another interesting way green tea extracts are starting to be used, due to green teas high levels of antioxidants, is in beauty products, including deodorants, moisturizers and acne products – keep a look out next time you go shopping!
The health benefits of green tea in most studies appear to improve the more you drink, so why not try drinking green tea at home as well as in the office and see if you start to notice a change for the better?
Of course we have to be careful with the results of these studies, but I think we can safely say that adding green tea into your daily routine can only have positive effects on your health, and who knows, it may just change your life!
To learn more about the health benefits of green tea, we would recommend this article.
*This article was written by professional blogger and fitness enthusiast, Amy Corcoran.