7 evidence-based benefits of green tea

If you’re into health and nutrition, you must have come across green tea, touted as one of the healthiest beverages available in the market today. Green tea is made from unoxidized leaves of Camellia sinensis, a tea plant. 

This tea is rich in antioxidants, catechins, caffeine, vitamins, and theanine, which help the body in numerous ways, such as improving brain function and weight loss, to mention a few.

In this article, we’ll discuss the top 7 evidence-based benefits of green tea. Let’s get started!

 

1. Contains bioactive compounds

The benefits of green tea go beyond hydration. It contains many bioactive compounds that make it a healthy drink (1).

For example, green tea is rich in polyphenols, which help fight cancer and have anti-inflammation properties.

It also contains EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), a catechin that prevents cell damage, reduces inflammation, prevents the formation of free radicals that promote aging, and reduces the risk of heart and brain diseases, among others (2).

 

2. Improves brain functions

Green tea also contains caffeine, a very powerful stimulant. Although the amount of caffeine in green tea is much less than that in coffee, it’s enough to bring some response without having any psychoactive effects.

Typically, caffeine improves brain function by blocking adenosine, a neurotransmitter. When this happens, the rate of neuron firing will increase, and there will be an increase in the concentration of norepinephrine and dopamine, the two neurotransmitters that boost brain functions. (3, 4).

Improved brain function improves your mood, memory, and reaction time.

 

3. Accelerates fat burning

Many fat-burning dietary supplements contain green tea. This is because green tea is known to trigger fat burning and increase metabolic rate (5).

Several studies have been conducted to ascertain green tea’s effectiveness in burning fats. In one research, 10 healthy men were given green tea extract, which increased their 24-hours energy expenditure (EE) or the amount of calories burned by 4%( 6). 

In another research involving 12 healthy men, it was found that green tea can increase fat burning by up to 17% (7).

 

4. It contains antioxidants

The antioxidants in green tea give it its anti-carcinogenic properties. Research has shown that chronic inflammation is caused by oxidative damage of cells. Such damage is what leads to cancer and other chronic diseases. Therefore, the antioxidants in green tea can protect your cell against oxidative damage (8).

So, increased consumption of green tea can reduce the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer, among other forms of cancer (9, 10, 11).

 

5. Prevents brain aging

Your brain is bound to age as you grow old, but green tea can help reduce the rate at which brain aging occurs.

One of the age-related neurodegenerative diseases called Alzheimer’s disease is the main cause of memory loss (dementia) in elderly people (12).

Another neurodegenerative disease common in older people is Parkinson’s disease. It damages the brain by killing the neurons that produce dopamine.

Many researchers have found that polyphenols and other catechins found in green tea can lower the risk of memory loss by protecting neurons against damage (13, 14, 15).

 

6. Helps with type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is common in America, with about 10% of Americans suffering from it. And 90-95% of this number have type 2 diabetes (16).

If you have type 2 diabetes, your blood sugar levels will increase, and you may develop insulin resistance, or your body may fail to produce this important hormone.

Researchers believe that green tea can lower blood sugar levels and help with insulin sensitivity (17).

For example, a research conducted on 17,143 Japanese adults found those with a high intake of green tea at a 42% lower risk of suffering from type 2 diabetes (18).

 

7. Prevents cardiovascular disease

Stroke, heart disease, and other cardiovascular diseases are among the leading causes of death worldwide (19).

Green tea may help control some risk factors associated with these diseases. For example, it may help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and the total cholesterol levels in your body (20).

 

Bottom Line

From the health benefits discussed above, it’s evident that green tea is a healthy addition to your list of daily beverages.

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