Tea is, without question, one of the most popular beverages on the face of the earth. Every single day, households worldwide start their morning with a cup of delicious, freshly brewed tea, and for many, that’s exactly how they end their days as well. Tea is a warming, soothing, delicious beverage that can be enjoyed at any time of day, whatever the occasion. When most people sit down to enjoy a tasty cup of tea, they drink it purely for the taste, and why wouldn’t they? Well, as it turns out, there are plenty of health benefits associated with drinking tea, especially green tea. While there are countless health advantages associated with drinking green tea, today it’s all about our female readers out there, as we’ll be looking at green tea for menstrual cramps. Green tea has been found to provide countless health benefits for menstrual cramps, but why is this? Well, let’s take a look, shall we? Below you’ll find everything you need to know about green tea for cramps.
What is green tea?
Green tea is derived from the camellia sinensis plant, and for many that may be quite surprising, as black tea is also derived from this very same plant, so what’s going on? Well, green tea is actually the same as black tea, and many other strains of tea for that matter. But hold on, how can green tea be the same as black tea? The reason for this is that all strains of tea begin their lives as green tea, it is how they are processed, dried, and manufactured that influences the taste and the nutrient content. Black tea is more heavily processed and is produced in a slightly different way to green tea, which is why it has such a darker colour. It is also why black tea is not as healthy as green tea, because it is during the processing phase that the tea loses a lot of its nutrients. Black tea is exposed to higher amounts of oxygen than green tea, which may sound like a good thing, but it’s not. You see, during oxidation, foods and natural ingredients start to break down and become damaged. That’s why food that is vacuum sealed stays fresh for longer, yet as soon as the seal is broken and oxygen is able to get at the food, the food slowly starts to breakdown and turn bad. Green tea undergoes less oxidation and processing, allowing it to retain far more of its nutrients. The leaves contain enzymes which react with oxygen when they oxidize, which turns the leaves a darker colour. Green tea leaves are heated very gently beforehand, which actually prevents this reaction from occurring, thereby sealing in more of the nutrients. But what about green tea for cramps? Well, we’re getting to that next so don’t worry.
Why green tea for menstrual cramps is so beneficial
As mentioned, there are countless health benefits associated with green tea, which is why it is considered one of the healthiest beverages in the world. We’re going to focus on one particular form of health benefit today however, and that is the health benefits in regards to menstrual cramps in women. Here’s a look at green tea for cramps and why it is so popular and effective:
Green tea helps to relax you and calm you down
Let’s face it, when you’re suffering with menstrual cramps, not to mention when your hormones are all over the place in the leadup to your monthly menstrual cycle, relaxed is probably not the word you would use to describe yourself. After all, if you imagine trying to relax when it literally feels as if your insides are being squeezed as you are simultaneously stabbed with a red-hot poker and you’ll know how difficult it can be. While on your cycle your hormone levels will be up and down and you will be in pain and discomfort, making it very hard to relax and it very tough to get to sleep at night. Green tea however, could be the solution to many of these issues. You see, green tea is loaded full of powerful antioxidants and polyphenols, including L-Theanine. L-Theanine has been found to help promote cognitive rest and relaxation in the brain, as well as in your body and muscles too. This helps to relieve tension so you are mentally and physically relaxed. If you sip on a cup of green tea after a long day, before slipping into a warm and soapy bath and then hop into the baggiest sweats you can find you’ll feel calmer and more relaxed than you’ve felt in years.
It has been scientifically proven to ease menstrual cramps
Numerous studies over the years have found that, when a woman is on her monthly cycle, a compound in the body known as prolactin, causes the uterus to contract incredibly tightly in order for it to shed the inner-lining. This then means that blood vessels in the surrounded area are cut off and starved of oxygen. It sounds pretty gross but is biology and it is a perfectly natural process. Although natural, boy does it hurt, so what can you do? Well, you could reach for the green tea, and this is why. Again, it is because of the amino acid, L-Theanine, that green tea has been proven to be so beneficial for menstrual cramps. L-Theanine causes blood vessels to relax and dilate, allowing more oxygen to be carried around the body. It also has a relaxing effect on the uterus itself, helping to ease the painful cramping and thereby resulting in far less pain and discomfort brought on by menstrual cramps.
Green tea helps to boost energy
Often when women experience menstrual cramps, they resign themselves to the fact that, for the next several days, they won’t be getting much sleep and they won’t be doing much activity. To combat this, a lot of women will reach for a cup of caffeine-enriched coffee to start their day, and will then drink more and more to keep these levels topped up. Too much caffeine however, is bad for you as it can cause you to feel jumpy and jittery, plus it can speed up your heartrate and make you feel slightly manic and erratic. A little caffeine however, is extremely beneficial, which is why green tea is ideal. Green tea contains caffeine, but it contains far, far less caffeine than coffee and black tea, making it better for you. When you drink green tea in the morning, you get a slow, gradual, and sustained boost of energy, rather than having it all kick in at once. This helps wake you up and motivate you, without turning you into a jittery mess in need of another coffee fix a couple of hours later. Caffeine also helps stimulate the brain so you feel more mentally alert as well, plus it assists with the production and secretion of dopamine, which is a happy chemical which provides pain-relieving benefits.
Green tea is a natural anti-inflammatory
When people speak of the health benefits of green tea, there is one ingredient in particular, that people will speak of, and that is EGCG. EGCG is scientifically known as Epigallocatechin Galate, and it is one of the most powerful and active antioxidant polyphenols in existence. EGCG provides countless health benefits for the human body, including being able to fight and prevent cancer, but in terms of green tea for menstrual cramps, it is its natural anti-inflammatory properties that prove so useful. Often when we experience pain and discomfort in the body, it is brought on by inflammation, which is why many pain-relieving medications provide anti-inflammatory benefits. The problem with pain-relieving drugs is the fact that they’re still usually bad for you, especially in large doses. Green tea however, works as a natural pain-relieving because it provides anti-inflammatory benefits. The end result is a delicious beverage that not only tastes great, but that also helps ease pain and discomfort brought on by menstrual cramps.
Green tea helps regulate hormones
When a woman is on her monthly period, her natural hormone levels will be all over the place, and will fluctuate dramatically. With fluctuating levels of Estrogen, Progesterone, as well as Testosterone, it’s no wonder why women often experience such drastic mood swings while on their monthly period. If you find yourself feeling erratically angry, or getting upset over the simplest of things, grab yourself a cup of green tea and you’ll find yourself feeling better in no time at all. For erratic and unpredictable hormone levels, green tea is ideal. You see, green tea is enriched with natural antioxidants and polyphenols that stimulate the synthesis and secretion of happy-chemicals and hormones in the body, including dopamine and serotonin. These happy chemicals will help put you in a much happier, far more relaxed and less-erratic mood, leaving you feeling much better about everything.