Green tea has reached a pinnacle of fame in the last few years. Health and fitness enthusiasts like to consume it for weight loss and better digestion. But the benefits of green tea are much more than these. By the end of this article, green tea will be the only tea you would like to have. Let’s get to know it more:
What is Green Tea and Where it came from?
A native to China and India, green tea hasn’t emerged out of blue all of a sudden. In fact, it had been around for thousands of years specifically in Ancient China where it was used for medicinal purposes. It made its way to Europe and Western countries in the 19th century where it was also used for pleasure and relief.
Green tea is made of unoxidized ground leaves of the plant Camellia sinensis and is categorized as one of the least processed types of tea. Today, there are many types of green tea that depend upon the type and degree of the oxidation process.
Have a look at the nutritional profile of this immensely popular tea and you will know why the world is going wild over it.
Nutritional Profile of Green Tea
16oz cup makes one serving and here is what carries within it is:
- Total calories: 0kcal
- Total Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 0g
- Total proteins: 0g
- Sodium: 33.1g
- Phosphorous: 123mg
- Calcium: 4.7mg
- Potassium: 89.9mg
Benefits of Green Tea
From aiding in digestion to helping with weight loss, let’s dive into the world of the amazing benefits of green tea and see why it is a favorite among masses around the globe. Here, have a look:
1. Rich in Bioactive Compounds
When it comes to healthy bioactive compounds, green tea leaves come naturally packed with them. One of these compounds is known as polyphenols that help in the reduction of inflammation and also prevents diseases like cancer. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a catechin that is present in large amounts in green tea; these catechins act as protectors and protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. The free radicals cause several diseases and also cause inflammation in the body. According to a research the medicinal quality of green tea is due to EGCG. In addition to these both, there are also minerals present in the green tea that impart beneficial effects on the body.
2. Increases Fat Burning
Green tea is a popular and well-known fat burning drink enjoyed by fitness freaks all around the globe. This is backed by research that says that green tea speeds up the body’s metabolism. Two researches were carried out on men which showed that green tea speeds up the calorie-burning procedure by 4% and fat oxidation by 17% respectively.
3. Prevention of Cancer
Green tea is literally a gift of nature as it is full of antioxidants. These antioxidants reverse the damaging action of free radicals as well as reduce their number. Free radicals in the body cause oxidative stress which leads to chronic inflammation and that leads to certain diseases including cancers. Several researches have been done to study the compounds present in green tea and they have found the link between green tea and a reduced risk of cancers like prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer in women. In order to retain the effect of antioxidants, try to drink it as it is instead of adding milk to it.
4. Heart Friendly
If there is some real heart-friendly drink, it is green tea for sure. Research has shown that drinking green tea reduces the risk of stroke. Green tea has shown to increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure. Moreover, the compounds present in it lower bad cholesterol in the body (LDL) in the blood. Green tea also exerts a relaxant effect on the blood vessels. All of these effects help in maintaining a healthy heart.
5. Improved Brain Function
Not only is this categorized as a heart-friendly drink, its healthy effects on the brain are also no less. It has plenty of positive effects on the brain. It keeps your mind alert and also boosts the function of the brain. Caffeine which is a key ingredient of green tea plays the role of a stimulant. Research shows that drinking green tea improves memory, mood, vigilance, and reaction time. There is an amino acid known as L-theanine present in caffeine which has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier which increases the activity of GABA, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that has an anti-anxiety effect. Caffeine and L-theanine together have synergistic effects on the brain.
6. Helps you Live Longer
Since green tea prevents your body from certain diseases, it is often known as a drink that helps you live longer. A Japanese study that went on for 11 years concluded that individuals who drank green tea were less likely to die.
Side Effects of Green Tea
Excess of everything is bad. So if your green tea exceeds 8 cups a day, it can pose some serious side effects despite all the benefits. These are headaches, dizziness, diarrhea, heartburn, nervousness, irregular heartbeat, and tremors. In some rare cases, it can damage your liver and kidneys.
The benefits of green tea make it way more irresistible, but one must keep in mind that consuming it in a moderate amount is the right thing. You cannot get all the benefits by drinking a gallon of it in one day. So consume the amount that suits you and enjoy!