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Health & Wellness

7 Stupendous Health Benefits of Green Tea - By Susan Melony

~HEALTHY FOODS / TEA
7 Stupendous Health Benefits of Green Tea
by Susan Melony
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Health Benefits of Green Tea
Improves Heart Health
Improves Cognitive Health
Prevents Diabetes
Improves Bone Health
Improves Eye Health
Fights Obesity
Fights Free Radicals

A lot of us are tea drinkers, but many people in the western world largely consume forms of black tea as their preferred beverage. We’ve all tried green tea, but it’s not as popular here in the west as it is in parts of Asia.
While black tea is certainly healthy for you, green tea is purported to be one of the healthiest beverages in the world.

Have you ever wondered why health statistics and lifespans for Asian countries are often a bit longer than they are in the west? Green tea might not be the only thing responsible, but it certainly helps.

Not only does it improve your overall health, but it tastes great and is a good addition to meals of all sorts. Today we’re going to look at some of the most impressive health benefits of green tea, so you have even more reason to include it in your kitchen.

1. Improves Heart Health
One of the things that green tea is most widely renown for is its ability to improve the health of the heart. This is mostly because of the wide range of flavanols and antioxidants, which are some of the nutritional compounds found in the green tea.

>> Read Reviews & Buy Green Tea on Amazon

There have been a wide range of studies done on these compounds that have suggested that they are significant for improving the health of the heart and limiting the chances of developing heart disease.

They have particularly been shown to help improve cholesterol levels by increasing the good HDL cholesterol while reducing the bad LDL cholesterol. They are also shown to help regulate blood pressure.

2. Improves Cognitive Health
Tea is one of the most well-studied beverages in regards to improving cognitive health. In particular, green tea has been studied for its ability to help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s, a condition that causes serious cognitive decline in aging patients.

Tea has been shown to help improve the function of acetylcholine, a chemical or neurotransmitter in the brain that’s involved with cognitive functions like memory and thought process. Tea also helps prevent the development of ‘Alzheimer’s plaques,’ which contribute to the illness.


Green Tea
These plaques contribute to the damage of brain cells by oxidation and other causes which makes it difficult for them to communicate with each other. This leads to symptoms like confusion and memory loss.

Researchers have found that some of the catechins found in green tea can actually prevent oxidative damage from occurring in the brain, which thus contributes to a reduce level of plaque.

3. Prevents Diabetes
Other studies have proven that consuming a lot of flavonoids and anthocyanins can help a person manage their blood glucose. Diabetes is a condition that occurs when a person has a hard time regulating their blood sugar.

This usually happens when someone develops what is known as an insulin resistance. Insulin is the compound that is used to metabolize blood sugar and help to prevent blood sugar spikes; people who cannot use their insulin properly are more likely to have problems with blood sugar.

Green tea can also help people overcome diabetes by acting as an anti-inflammatory. Anti-inflammatories are useful for people who are developing or are at risk for developing type  diabetes.

The catechins in green tea have also been shown to be useful for fighting obesity and reducing the symptoms of diabetes.

4. Improves Bone Health
One study was done in Hong Kong to evaluate the way that green tea can affect the health of the bones. However, this study was done on rats instead of humans.

Still, the results were conclusive. Rats were given good doses of some of the catechins found in green tea. They found out that one particular catechin, known as EGC, was particularly effective at promoting the function of an enzyme that greatly accelerates the growth of bones.

They also helped to increase the mineral content of bones, and helped to combat cells that actually suck bone mass out of cells.

5. Improves Eye Health
Other studies have shown that green tea can be useful for helping to promote the health of the eyes. This study in particular was published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, and it showed that many of the nutritional compounds in green tea can be great for fighting ocular disease.

They realized that these catechins are useful for helping to prevent vision loss from occurring, particularly when it is a result of oxidation in the eyes. The study showed that these catechins can be absorbed in the bowels of rats and be transmitted quickly to their eyes.

The study revealed that these nutrients protect the eyes for at least 20 hours after being consumed. This suggests that consuming green tea on a daily basis will help to ensure the health of your eyes.

>> Read Reviews & Buy Green Tea on Amazon

6. Fights Obesity
One of the other things that green tea is purported to do is fight obesity. We have looked into this in more detail and concluded that it can be quite useful for doing so.

Some studies have shown that many of the antioxidants present in the beverage, particularly the catechins, can help to fight obesity by enhancing metabolism. A collection of studies are found in the International Journal of Obesity which support these findings.

These catechins have been shown to help enhance the health of the metabolic system and influence healthy weight loss. The effects on metabolism are not overwhelming, but they are certainly present.

Green tea also has an appetite-reducing effect, which makes it ideal for people who are suffering from obesity as a result of excessive food consumption. It’s best included in a diet plan along with lifestyle changes to help improve weight.

7. Fights Free Radicals
Free radicals are dangerous compounds that can arise as a result of oxidation. Many studies have been done on some of the flavonoids in green tea and have shown that they are effective at fighting oxidation and free radicals, particularly in the brain.

One flavonoid in particular, known as epicatechin (the same one that is found in blueberries, dark chocolate, and grapes) has been shown to have positive effects on cognition. It enhances the growth of blood vessels in the brain and fights free radicals.

This is one of the few nutrients that can actually pass through the blood-brain-barrier and directly affect brain cells on its own. It has been shown to help prevent free radicals from forming in the tissue of the brain, though researchers aren’t exactly sure how this happens.

What is Green Tea?
Green tea is one of the oldest beverage that has been drunk throughout history and remains one of the healthiest beverages that you could possibly drink. It’s similar in flavor to another superdrink, matcha, and provides similar health benefits. Both are actually different types of green tea.

Green tea is incredibly popular all throughout Japan, particularly in Okinawa. And, in what might be more than just a coincidence, Okinawa is considered a ‘Blue Zone,’ which is an area that’s designated as one of the healthiest places on the planet.

Okinawa is one of the places where people live longest, and in the area, people drink green tea on the daily. It’s considered more of an essential drink than coffee is over here in the West. There, they like to mix green tea with jasmine and turmeric to enhance the powerful health benefits.

So what is green tea made of that makes it different than other kinds of tea? There are 3 main kinds of tea that are drunk throughout the world: green, black, and oolong. They all come from the same plant, but green tea is made from leaves that haven’t yet been fermented.

That means that they contain the most antioxidants out of any type of tea consumed from this plant, the camellia sinensis tree. In fact, antioxidants make up about 30% of the weight of green tea, making it a very dense source of nutrition.

Green Tea Nutrition
Green tea is noted for the wide variety of phytonutrients, or plant-based nutrients, that it contains. These include a wide variety of polyphenols, antioxidants, and catechins.

Green tea contains a lot of similar nutrients as red wine, which can be very good for your health when consumed in moderation. It’s also got a lot of similar nutrients as blueberries and dark chocolate, two other nutritional superfoods.

It’s only got a minimal amount of caffeine in it, so it doesn’t strain the body in the same way that coffee does. In fact it’s regarded as being one of the most nutritionally dense drinks on the planet, whereas coffee has been proven to actually drain the body of nutrients.

Some of the most powerful nutritive components in green tea are the same as those found in other superfoods. It contains a lot of linoleic acid and quercetin, which are widely regarded as being some of the most potent antioxidants that you can find.

Green tea also contains minerals and vitamins, though not in very significant amounts. It has a little bit of calcium, chromium,and manganese, and small amounts of iron, copper and zinc.

It also contains a wide variety of amino acids, which can help your body synthesize proteins. It contains complex carbohydrates that can contribute to its energetic effects.

In terms of energetic effects, green tea also contains some other components besides caffeine that can give you a boost. Most notably it contains theobromine, a sister compound of caffeine that can also provide mood-boosting effects and help improve immunity and overall health.


Green Tea
Varieties of Green Tea
There are actually quite a few types of green tea that you can purchase. Some are more available in different parts of the world. What most of us regard as ‘green tea’ is just one variety, known as sencha green tea.

There are many different varieties, though. One of the other most popular types of green tea is matcha, which is a very finely ground version of green tea. It’s popular in Japan, but it’s generally just used for ceremonies or for when people really need a punch.

Since it’s a concentrated form of the same beverage, it provides more antioxidants, but it also provides a lot more caffeine. This is further accentuated by the fact that you actually consume the leaves. It’s a pretty intense beverage that shouldn’t be consumed everyday.

Other varieties of green tea include gyokuro, sencha, genmaicha, and hojicha. These can be found in speciality stores or in some grocery stores. Each provides similar health benefits but differences in flavor and antioxidant content.

Green or Black Tea?
All you have to do is taste green and black tea, one after another, to tell that they are very different beverages. However, since they come from the same plant, they are surprisingly similar in terms of their nutritional makeup. The main differences are in the ways that they are processed.

Green tea isn’t dried for as long as black tea, so they retain their color. It’s also less processed: after it’s dried, it’s heated up in a pan or steamed (depending on the type that is being made). Black tea, on the other hand, is made using leaves that have already undergone the oxidation process.

That basically means that green tea is fresher and healthier than black tea. It’s got more antioxidants, but only by a small margin: just because green tea is a bit healthier doesn’t mean you should eschew black tea, because they’re both great for your health.

Both are great for fighting viruses, inflammation, and illness. They can both boost your immune system and help your body eliminate toxins. Green tea is better for drinking throughout the day because it contains less caffeine, however black tea can be better if you’re looking for more of a punch.

Green Tea Cautions
While green tea is generally considered safe and healthy, it’s important to remember it contains caffeine. Certain types of green tea, especially matcha, should be avoided by people sensitive to caffeine.

Overall, the benefits of green tea make it one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.


Susan Melony
Susan Melony is a blogger, editor, and digital nomad. Because she spends her life on the road, she knows how important food, vitamins, and minerals are to keep the body healthy and thriving. Susan is a lifelong learner, and believes everything she writes needs to be backed up by scientific studies and research. Coincidentally, Susan loves reading about food, looking at photos of food, and (if she’s really lucky) eating food.

 

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