Green tea is much more than you would expect from a green beverage- in fact, it is one of the most widely consumed health beverages in the world today. There is good reason for this- scientific studies have shown that there is a solid scientific basis for the demonstrated health benefits of green tea.
Not that the people of Asia, Japan, and China need scientific proof though- they have been using green tea as a cure-all for a long list of diseases and chronic illnesses for hundreds of years. These populations know everything there is to know about the health benefits of green tea, so if you want to enjoy the same benefits, just sit down to some green tea every day. Here is what you stand to gain…
Green tea improves your overall health
While the advantages of taking dietary supplements are indisputable, the health benefits of green tea includes the fact that it contains large amounts of critically important micro-, and macronutrients.
Among others, green tea contains several important poly-phenols, such as flavonoids and catechins, all of which are powerful anti-oxidants that inhibit the formation of free radicals in the body that hasten aging, and help in the formation of many cancers.
Arguably the most important compound in green tea is Epigallocatechin Gallate, aka ECGC, which is known to be effective in the treatment of many forms of disease, and you could speculate if this is the reason why persons of Oriental descent often don’t seem to age.
Green tea improves brain function
The health benefits of green tea, as they relate to brain function, should come as good news to students the world over, especially those who want to avoid the jittery sensation induced by large amounts of coffee.
While it is known that caffeine blocks Adenosine, an inhibitory neuro-transmitter, and thus improves concentration and the action of dopamine and norepinephrine (both “feel-good” hormones), green tea also contains L-theanine, an amino acid that increases the absorption of “feel-good” hormones into the brain.
Moreover, L-theanine also produces a calming effect by increasing the action of GABA, an inhibitory neuro-transmitter, which goes to show that millions of mothers the world over are right when they tell their student children to- “Have a cuppa- it’s good for you.”
Green tea promotes weight loss
The health benefits of green tea are so well known that manufacturers of energy-boosting, and fat-burning supplements include it in their products almost as a matter of course. Although green tea does not contain as much caffeine as coffee does, it nevertheless contains enough to have a beneficial effect as a stimulant.
Moreover, green tea has been shown in several studies to increase the metabolic rate in some test subjects, which translates into an almost automatic loss of fat in some people. In one notable clinical trial, the caffeine in green tea was claimed to have increased the oxidation of body fat by 17%, while in another study, it was shown the energy expenditure in 10 test subjects had increased by 4% after consuming green tea.
In yet two more trials, or more precisely, review studies, caffeine was shown to improve physical endurance by as much as 12%.
Green tea may prevent cancer
Some of the health benefits of green tea are more significant than others, and its known anti-oxidant properties are especially noteworthy in relation to the formation of several dangerous forms of cancer.
Several studies have been performed to determine how green tea can reduce the possibility of some of the most common cancers in humans, and in a summary of several such studies, it was found that among people who consumed several cups of green tea per day it had a significant impact on this risk.
However, the studies also found that the anti-oxidant effect of green tea is greatly reduced with the addition of milk to green tea, so make the best of the health benefits of green tea by enjoying it as nature intended, without milk or sugar.
Green tea may prevent Alzheimer’s- and Parkinson’s Disease
The health benefits of green tea even extend to the possible prevention of two of the most common neuro-degenerative diseases today, Alzheimer’s-, and Parkinson’s disease, which are both causes of dementia in humans.
Several laboratory tests have shown that the catechin compounds in green tea have a protective action on the brain neurons of animal test subjects. Although no clinical trials on humans have been authorized, the potential of geen tea to prevent, or delay the onset of neuro-degenerative in humans cannot be over emphasized.
Green tea prevents tooth decay
An unexpected health benefit of green tea involves the fact that it can improve dental health due to the fact that it kills streptococcus mutans, the strain of streptococcus bacteria that causes dental plaque, and by extension, tooth decay.
Green tea was found to contain catechins, which not only kill the germs that cause tooth decay, but also inhibits the growth of the influenza virus, which is a huge health benefit since it reduces the likelihood of viral infections in drinkers of green tea. As a bonus health benefit, green tea also reduces halitosis, as a result of its anti-bacterial properties.
Green tea may prevent Type II diabetes
Type II diabetes now affects some 300 million people worldwide today, and a summary of seven different studies on the health benefits of green tea, as it relates to the prevention of diabetes, has shown that green tea improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thus reducing blood sugar levels.
The seven studies involved 286 701 people, and it was shown that the subjects who consumed the most green tea per day (5 cups and more), had a significant lower risk of developing Type II diabetes at all stages of life.
Green tea may prevent heart disease
As far as proven health benefits of green tea go, the fact that it protects LDL cholesterol particles against oxidation, is perhaps the most significant. High LDL cholesterol levels is one of the leading causes of heart disease, which in turn, is one of the leading causes of death in the world today.
Green tea also has other health benefits, in that it lowers the level of triglycerides in the blood, which taken together with the beneficial effect green tea has on reducing total cholesterol, means that persons who drink several cups of green tea every day have a lower risk of developing heart disease.
Green tea can prevent obesity
One of the proven health benefits of green tea is that it increases the metabolic rate in the short term, which given the prevalence of obesity in the West, is not a bad thing. In one study that ran over three just months, and involved 240 test subjects, it was found that the body fat, abdominal fat, and waist circumferences in all the subjects had decreased significantly.
However, it must be pointed out that several other studies could not replicate the results, but the other proven health benefits of green tea far outweigh any statistical differences in tests or studies of this nature.
Green tea can help you live longer
Green tea can actually also help you live longer. This surprising fact emerged during a recent study on more 40 530 Japanese adults who regularly drank more than one cup of green tea per day.
The study, that ran over eleven years, found that subjects who drank more than five (or more) cups of green day everyday were at a significantly lower risk of dying from cardio-vascular disease or cancer.
One more thing…
Many of the health benefits of green tea seem to be dependent on the quality, processing, and storage of the product, so be sure to buy the best quality brands to get the most out of your several cups of green tea per day.