Tea has been cultivated for centuries, beginning in India and China. Today, tea is the most widely-consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Hundreds of millions of people drink tea, and studies suggest that green tea (Camellia sinesis) in particular has many health benefits. – University of Maryland Medical Center
Are you a tea drinker? If not, you should perhaps consider the second most popular drink in the world. Tea is a refreshing and delicious drink, yes, but it’s astonishing benefits to human health are perhaps the best reasons to brew.
Black, green, and oolong are the three main variations of tea. Of the three types, it is widely accepted within the medical and scientific communities that green tea is the most beneficial to health. Research seems to prove these claims.
The primary difference between the three tea types – and their respective properties – is a byproduct of processing methods. Green tea’s potent health benefits are attributed to its high concentration of polyphenols – a powerful antioxidant.
All health problems are associated with damage at a cellular level. Cellular bodies are destroyed by a number of things, including free radicals. Free radicals are compounds that harm and kill cellular bodies; resulting in health problems such as cancer and heart disease.
The high concentration of polyphenols within green tea counteracts and neutralizes free radicals and other compounds that cause cellular damage. Thus, it is widely accepted that green tea can prevent or improve acute and chronic health conditions.
In traditional medicine, green tea was used in a number of ways; as a stimulant, a diuretic, an anti-coagulant, and for heart health. Other traditional uses include regulation of blood sugar, improving cognitive functions, treating gastrointestinal problems, normalizing digestive functions, and normalizing body temperature.
Green tea has been studied extensively in both animals and humans, culminating in research that apparently confirms the myriad of health benefits.
Here, we discuss ten amazing health benefits of green tea based on research studies. You may want to get that kettle heated up!
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
1. Diabetes prevention
As mentioned, green tea has been used for years to stabilize blood sugar levels. Many animal studies demonstrate that this inherent property of green tea may be effective in preventing type 1 diabetes. Also, research has shown that the drink may also slow the progression of the disease following acquisition.
2. Digestive health
The high levels of antioxidants in green tea seem to aid digestion. Research demonstrates this digestive function is a byproduct of polyphenol activity – an antioxidant which also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Also, green tea may reduce inflammatory symptoms of the two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease.
3. Anti-cancer uses
Clinical studies suggest that green tea may be a strong anti-cancer agent. Researchers attribute this to polyphenols, which can neutralize cancer cells and prevent cancerous growths. Green tea’s effects on cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, esophagus, lungs, skin, stomach, pancreas, and prostate have all been researched with promising results.
4. Lowers cholesterol
Green tea’s antioxidants may prevent cholesterol absorption in the intestines and expedite the ridding of bad cholesterol in the body. Interesting, green tea demonstrably raises good cholesterol (HDL) in humans.
5. Lowers risk of heart disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world. Population-centric studies indicate that green tea’s abundance of antioxidants may impede the mechanisms of atherosclerosis, including coronary heart disease. Additionally, across studies, researchers believe that 3 cups of green tea daily lowers the risk of heart attack by over 10 percent.
6. Improves liver health
The liver is another organ that apparently benefits in a variety of ways from green tea’s properties. First, prolific green tea drinkers are less likely to develop liver problems; reverse the effects of alcohol on the liver, and protect against liver tumors. Scientists attribute these outcomes to plant chemicals called catechins, which are abundant in green tea.
7. Aids in weight loss
Early clinical studies indicate that green tea boosts metabolism and assists in fat burning. Interestingly, green tea combined with caffeine expedited weight loss in moderately obese and overweight demographics. Green tea contains a phytonutrient called EGCG which increases a hormone that promotes satiation, or a feeling of fullness.
8. Reduces inflammation
A number of studies have linked green tea consumption to decreased inflammation in a number of organs of the body. Inflammation of the stomach, bowels, liver, in addition to the reduction of inflammation of body tissue and cartilage, have been cited.
9. Improves cognition
According to a study at the University of Basel in Switzerland, consumption of green tea “enhances memory performance, a finding that researchers suggest may have important implications for the treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders, including cognitive impairment.” Dementia is one such disorder where green tea has been shown to have promising treatment potential.
10. Other possible benefits (many)
In the sake of brevity, we’ll quickly mention some promising research being undertaken. Scientists are currently examining the consumption of green tea and:
– prevention of dental cavities
– treatment of arthritis
– treatment of genital warts
– treatment of various skin conditions
– prevention of cold and flu symptoms