11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)
Green tea is the world-famous drink that everybody is using for a variety of reasons. It has proven popular over the ages because of several advantages it brings to your health and body.
Even though popular, it is an acquired taste and not many people like to drink green tea, even though they would gain a lot in the process.
It is considered to be one of the healthiest drinks on the planet due to the high amount of nutrients that benefit the body.
Green tea has come a long way from its humble origins in China to the rest of the world, and it really took the world by a storm.
If you have ever wondered about the benefits of the green tea, as well as its origins and history, do not fret, as all that will be covered in this article.
In addition to the origin, history, and health benefits, a number of myths that surround this beverage will be covered.
Finally, guidelines will be provided on how to drink green tea, in what way, when, and whether or not to eat before or after meals and other similar things. Enjoy the article.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF GREEN TEA AND TEA IN GENERAL
The tea has been a crucial part of history for a longer time than anyone believes. It is believed that tea itself originated in the Yunnan region of China. Back then it was being used as a medicinal drink.
It is believed that the earliest point in time in which tea is believed to have been consumed is as early as the 3rd century.
13 centuries later, Portuguese merchants and priests are believed to have brought the tea to Europe, where it later spread to other countries, particularly the United Kingdom in the 17th century.
The tea origins are told through legends, one particular being the legend of the emperor of China that went by the name of Shennong who used to boil water before drinking.
One time, the wind blew leaves into his water and he was amazed by the restorative abilities of this new beverage. Thus tea was born.
There are a lot of stories about the origins of tea, but none are certain how it came to be and who was the first to “invent” it.
Green tea, in particular, is made with the leaves of Camellia sinensis plant, a plant native to East Asia.
The leaves are from 4 to 15 centimeters, they are harvested and readied for tea production.
Green tea itself is believed to have been since the year 800 when a Chinese man called Lu Yu wrote a book called “The Classic of Tea“.
Lu Yu was taught by a Buddhist monk how to brew tea. Lu Yu took an interest in tea and went on to improve on his abilities to brew and make tea. He wrote his findings into this book and called it “Cha Ying” or “The Classic of Tea”.
Green tea touched European soil in the 19th century through European explorers who came back from their Asian journey.
The flavor of green tea was particularly popular in the United Kingdom, and became one of the most popular teas, along with black tea.
After hitting the soil of the United Kingdom, the British sent green tea, along with other types of tea, to their colonies in North America.
Green tea saw a great resurgence during the 20th century and its popularity blossomed tenfold in the last two decades.
The popularity rose due to the health properties of green tea, and its benefits it brings to the people who consume it.
The origin of green tea is not something that is easily found, but there are traces of it throughout history.
Having said that, let us shift our focus to the benefits of drinking green tea can bring to our physical and mental state and how green tea can contribute to our general wellbeing.
1. GREEN TEA FUNCTIONS AS A NOOTROPIC
Nootropics are brain foods that work wonders for your cognitive functions aka they improve them immensely.
Caffeine is an essential ingredient of this super-potion and it can and will stimulate you in a number of ways. A certain amount of caffeine can increase the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine.
Dopamine is important because it is the main chemical that helps us feel motivation and pleasure. Norepinephrine, on the other hand, is important for another reason.
Norepinephrine is the chemical that readies our body for action in a physical sense. It is the chemical that is responsible for the famous “Fight or Flight” situation.
These two chemicals are triggered through caffeine, which is found in green tea, so it makes us more alert and ready for action.
In addition, caffeine itself is known to improve mood and, thanks to dopamine and norepinephrine, improves our reaction times and alertness, including concentration.
However, caffeine is not the only ingredient green tea has, there are a lot of other ingredients that are helpful to our health, particularly the mind.
Another important ingredient is the amino acid called L-theanine, which can relieve anxiety, among many other benefits.
These two essential components are a wondrous team of healthy chemicals working in your favor.
The benefit of this chemical team is having more mental energy and productiveness.
To clarify, the success of these two ingredients is mostly due to the smaller amount of caffeine green tea has when compared to coffee.
The amount of caffeine a typical cup of coffee has is around 40 milligrams, while a cup of green tea usually has around 20 milligrams.
All in all, the tea boosts the processes in our minds and helps us in weeding out the anxiety we might have.
2. GREEN TEA HAS A POSITIVE IMPACT ON DENTAL HYGIENE
Simply put, this tea is biologically proven to destroy some bacteria and lesser viruses and has other anti-inflammatory proprieties.
Catechin is an antioxidant found in Green Tea and it can soothe inflammatory problems and like any other antioxidant, it can help with chronic diseases.
Catechin itself is beneficial because it cleanses your mouth from any bacteria that may have taken asylum there, and mouth is known to be full of various bacteria.
Catechin has another dental benefit, in addition to being a bacteria killer, and that benefit is lowering the risk of caries.
All in all, drinking green tea can help you with combating bacteria in your mouth cavity, as well as other bacteria and viruses residing in your body.
3. GREEN TEA HELPS YOU STAY LEAN AND THIN
This can very well be the most popular information about green tea and the very reason why they drink it worldwide. Not only that it impacts wellness on an overall level, it can also help you fight of obesity and maintain an attractive physique.
Although green tea alone cannot help you reduce a major amount of your weight, it can still regulate a bit, supplementing the tea with a diet and at least a moderate amount of physical activity.
There was an experiment that had a goal of researching can drinking green tea lead to a significant weight loss.
The test was conducted on 240 people, men, and women. The results concluded that the group that had drunk green tea saw a decrease in body weight, body fat percentage, and belly fat.
There are many reasons why green tea can help you regulate your body weight, it can be the ability of the tea to reduce your appetite, which helps you feel hunger less.
Another might be the fact that the green tea extract increases the body’s ability to burn fat faster, especially during an intense workout, making it a great workout beverage.
All in all, green tea can help you reduce weight, however, you should not depend solely on the tea.; You can add it freely into any of your diets, but should not go all-in on the tea alone.
4. GREEN TEA POSITIVELY IMPACTS PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE
Not only that it burns fat, but it is, as previously mentioned in this text, a good beverage that causes your dopamine levels to increase. This is because green tea has all of the necessary ingredients which causes your metabolism to work at a faster rate.
Caffeine and ephedrine, as researched through a particular experiment, can boost your metabolism and temporarily increase your energy levels.
Caffeine boosts the physical performance by taking the fatty acids from fat tissues and storing it for your body to use it as energy.
The fat burning process is believed to differ from an individual to an individual, some people may experience a larger percentage of fat burning than other people.
5. GREEN TEA CAN LOWER THE RISKS OF CANCER
Green tea is known to be an excellent and rich source of antioxidants. Having said that, there have been extensive research and experiments on green tea’s effect on cancer.
According to research, women who drink green tea are 20 to 30 percent less susceptible to developing breast cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in women.
There have been a couple of research endeavors about green tea’s influence over other types of cancer, for example, prostate cancer or colorectal cancer.
According to the research, male green tea drinkers had 48 percent less chance for developing prostate cancer, while there is a 42 percent less of a chance to develop colorectal cancer if you drink green tea.
All in all, green tea is a good addition to your healthy diet due to its high amount of antioxidants, which can prove to be a powerful ally in combating cancer.
6. GREEN TEA CAN PROTECT YOUR BRAIN
Green tea cannot only improve your cognitive functions but also protect your brain from many neurodegenerative diseases, for example, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.
These neurodegenerative diseases usually work the same. They usually destroy neurons and their connections of the brain and affects them severely negatively.
In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, the connections are the ones linked with memory. In the case of Parkinson’s disease, it affects the nerve cells in the deep parts of the brain.
The protective effects the catechin has on neurons have been the topic of many research experiments, such as this one, which says that they can have a beneficial effect on the brain.
All in all, green tea can provide a bit of help by protecting the neurons that are often attacked by various types of neurodegenerative diseases.
7. GREEN TEA CAN PREVENT HEART PROBLEMS
Heart disease is the leading cause of death around the world, with a 23 percent share of total deaths. Many people have problems with cholesterol which can lead to heart disease.
However, drinking green tea can help you regulate levels of certain factors that determine whether you get heart disease or avoid it altogether.
This tea can fix your cholesterol levels as well as triglycerides in your blood stream, both of which are important factors in defending your heart.
Green tea, and other similar drinks, are believed to decrease the chances of having a heart disease by 30 percent, according to various research experiments.
In conclusion, there is a connection between green tea and lower chances of heart disease due to the various compounds that affect the molecules in your body.
8. GREEN TEA BATTLES THE DANGERS OF DIABETES
Green tea battles the dangers of diabetes, especially type 2. Type 2 diabetes is similar to type 1, but your body does not make insulin or your insulin does not work properly.
Studies have concluded that consumption of green tea lowers insulin resistance and the levels of sugar in your blood.
The experiment was conducted with people who drank the tea, and the researches saw that the group who drank the tea the most has 42 percent less of a chance to develop type 2 diabetes.
All in all, using the studies as a guideline, one can say that by drinking green tea, one can reduce their own chances of developing diabetes through mild reductions in their levels of blood sugar.
9. GREEN TEA CAN HELP YOUR SKIN
Due to its minerals and substances, green tea is great for skin diseases. It has proven to be helpful with combating psoriasis, which is a condition where scaly and itchy skin plaques develop on your skin.
It is also a good remedy to dandruff problems, which affects the majority of the population around the world.
Green tea is especially good for inflammatory diseases as it soothes the redness and itchiness of skin by decreasing the speed of skin cell growth.
All in all, green tea is an excellent solution to everybody with skin problems, as it is a useful solution to keeping these problems at bay.
10. GREEN TEA CAN HELP YOU WITH DEPRESSION
Depression is one of the most prevalent problems of young people around the world. Green tea is considered to be a bit helpful with this problem.
Even though green tea cannot be considered a cure for depression, it can be a good helping tool to cope with it better.
The compounds of green tea like L-Theanine and other antioxidants are what make us feel better and calms our nervous system, further relaxing our brain activity.
There are various surveys and tips on how to improve your mental state using green tea, like adding lemon to your cup of green tea.
If you wish to learn about it in greater detail, here is an article that talks about the surveys, tips on how to drink it for bettering your mental state, and other additional pieces of information.
If you wish to know if there are any other types of tea that can help you with depression, here is a useful link for you.
This tea has a great positive impact on people who suffer from depression, although have in mind that you should still seek help from a professional and should not solely rely just on green tea.
11. GREEN TEA DOES WONDERS TO YOUR GENERAL HEALTH
The ingredients in the leaves contain important nutrients that feed the body. Some compounds have been mentioned throughout the text, such as catechin.
Catechin is a natural antioxidant that maintains the body and soothes internal damage, like inflammation or cell growth.
Other substances in green tea also help in restricting of formation very detrimental radicals that damage the cells in your body.
If you wish to learn more about free radicals, give this article a read.
One of the most important substances in green tea is Epigallocatechin Gallate.
Epigallocatechin Gallate, or EGCG, is what gives the tea its medicinal properties. Among other benefits, this substance lowers your cholesterol, and with the help of other substances in green tea, boosts your health over-all.
In addition, green tea also has a small number of various minerals that are helpful to your body, especially when working with other substances that are found in the tea.
All in all, even if you do not have a particular health problem, it is good for you to drink green tea in order to boost and improve your health.
HOW TO DRINK GREEN TEA FOR MAXIMUM BENEFITS
If you wish to drink green tea, there are a few things you need to know in order to benefit fully from it.
First of all, you should not consume it on an empty stomach, do it after a meal. The caffeine in it can trigger stomach acids and that is why it is for the better to have a cup of it after a meal, in order to avoid the feeling of nausea.
Secondly, you should not drink it early in the morning or before going to sleep. Before sleeping is alright if you wish to burn fat, as it will boost fat burning at night.
Drinking after you wake up will make you nauseous, especially if you did not have breakfast. The best possible time to drink the tea is in between meals, during the day.
Thirdly, try to drink it once or twice a day. Drinking more will cause discoloration of your teeth, due to the green tea being a darkly-colored drink.
If you wish to drink it more than once or twice, be sure to wash your mouth with water or brush your teeth after consumption.
Finally, use green tea in tea bags and avoid green tea products with fruit flavoring. Some products add too many fruits which increase the acidic flavor, which can cause you stomach problems.
As for preparation, there is no special way of preparation. Boil the water, let it rest for a couple of minutes and you are ready to go.
You can add additional stuff for flavoring, like sugar, lemon, ginger is also widely recommended by everyone.
All in all, it is a bit more potent than other teas, so drink it on a full stomach and add stuff purely for taste boosting, you will be fine.
MYTHS REVOLVING AROUND GREEN TEA
Green tea being a popular healthy beverage has been around for a long time. It is only normal for it to have some myths that are thought to be true.
In this part of the article, we will discuss some of these myths regarding this tasty and healthy beverage.
The first myth is that green tea and black tea are one and the same. That is untrue. There are a lot of differences between these two teas, one of the biggest being different preparation methods.
They come from the same plant, but the leaves of black tea are oxidized before they are picked up, thus explaining its much sweeter flavor.
This oxidization is what makes the black tea less potent than green tea, although they both provide interesting and good health benefits to human bodies and minds.
The second myth is that by adding milk, honey, or any other sweetener, you are making your cup of green tea unhealthy.
It cannot make it unhealthy, per se, but it all depends on that sweetener. There are some sweetener which should not be put into your green tea if you wish its maximum effect.
If you do not wish to risk it, it is for the best to drink green tea plain, without any sweeteners.
This tea has properties that protect the skin from various conditions, but currently, there is no research that proves that it has a de-aging ability.
Finally, it is a myth that every green tea is the same. They are not, it all depends on the age of the plant, the method of picking and making the tea.
Most brands are going for the cheaper versions of older and more dried leaves that are not as potent as fresh ones.
Green tea is one of the most famous types of tea whose popularity can be traced back to its humble origins and health benefits.
Even though having originated from China around the 3rd century, it passed the test of time and saw a resurgence in the early 20th century.
Green tea popularity can be assigned to its healthy substances and compounds that can be found inside the leaves of its mother plant, Camellia Sinensis, and its particular flavor.
Many people opted for this tea due to its various positive impacts the tea has on the metabolism and body.
It can positively help the body fight inflammation on the skin, cardiovascular diseases, certain diabetes types, it can improve energy and physical performance to some extent.
Having said that, it also has minerals that help with the bacteria in your mouth cavity and gastrointestinal system.
Green tea is a tea that is an all-around helper and it should not be taken for granted. If you are able to, it would be highly advisable to switch to green tea or at least find a way to implement it into your diet.
All in all, it’s a very healthy tea that you’ll do good to drink on a daily basis.
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