Green Tea which is made from the Camellia sinensis (tea) plant is touted to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet. The dried leaves and leaf buds of plants are used to produce various types of teas. Green Tea is prepared by steaming and pan-frying these leaves and then drying them. Other teas such as black tea and oolong tea involve processes in which the leaves are fermented (black tea) or partially fermented (oolong tea). As green tea is not fermented in the processing, it is able to maintain important molecules called polyphenols, catechin etc., which seem to be responsible for many of the benefits of green tea. While it has recently gained popularity in the West, green tea has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat numerous conditions from headaches to wound healing. Here are some benefits of green tea as a beverage.
Contains healthy bioactive compounds
The key compound in tea is caffeine, which is known as a stimulant. So green tea is also rich in caffeine but not at a level that is harmful to our health.
Usually, tea is rich in polyphenols which are natural compounds that have health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer. As green tea isn’t going through fermentation while processing, it is very rich in polyphenols.
Green tea contains a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate( EGCG). EGCG is one of the most powerful compounds in green tea. It is a natural antioxidant that helps prevent cell damage. These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals play a role in ageing and many types of diseases. Therefore green tea helps you to have a younger look than your age.
Green tea also contains a range of different beneficial compounds, including: B vitamins, folate, flavonoids and also has small amounts of minerals; magnesium that can benefit your health.
Boost brain function
As mentioned in the above, the key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known Stimulant; a substance that raises levels of physiological or nervous activity in body. So green tea helps the brain to function well and keep us active.
The most important thing is, green tea doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the jittery effects associated with taking in too much caffeine. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.
More recently, green tea has been linked to weight loss as it contains compounds that help for effective metabolism. Researches have found that green tea supplements, containing catechins or caffeine, had a small but positive impact on weight loss and weight management.
The processes that allow the body to convert food and drink into usable energy are collectively known as the metabolism. Green tea may be beneficial for weight loss by helping the body’s metabolism to be more efficient. Green tea contains caffeine and a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is an antioxidant. That both of these compounds can speed up metabolism. Catechin can help to break down excess fat, while both catechin and caffeine can increase the amount of energy the body uses.
Reduce the risk of diabetics
There are indications that green tea can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. green tea consumption is associated with decreased fasting glucose levels and A1C levels, as well as reduced, fasting insulin levels, which are a measurement of diabetes health. For example, drinking green tea may help reduce cellular damage, decrease inflammation, and optimize blood sugar control. Some of the compounds in green tea, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), have been shown to stimulate the uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle cells.
Apart from these main benefits, many types of research have shown that green tea can reduce the risk of cancers including lung cancer, liver cancer etc. and also it helps the body to control blood pressure levels in the body. Green tea is good for the skin as well. So many products for skincare includes green tea extract.
Things to improve the results
Though green tea has compounds that will beneficial for our health, green tea alone can’t keep you healthy. As an example, green tea may help you to reduce your weight but along with using green tea regularly exercising and eating a healthful diet with plenty of vegetables should be practiced for effective results.
Drinking between 2 and 3 cups of hot green tea throughout the day should be sufficient for supplementing weight loss. The exact amount will vary from person to person, depending on how much caffeine they consume and their natural metabolism. Therefore it is better to take guidance from a nutritionist.
When reducing blood sugar levels is considered, Green tea alone couldn’t give good results. But it has been validated as a great addition to one’s diabetic meal plans.
If you Add lemon to green tea it would be much better as Vitamin C makes the catechins easier to absorb. And avoid mixing milk with green tea as dairy, on the other hand, makes it harder to absorb catechins.
Don’t use excessively, it may be a risk…
Nothing may not be good when used excessively. Therefore drinking green tea is possibly unsafe when consumed for a long time or in high doses (more than 8 cups per day). Drinking large amounts of green tea might cause side effects due to the caffeine content. These side effects can range from mild to serious.. Caffeine in green tea might increase the risk of bleeding. Don’t drink green tea if you have a bleeding disorder. As well as green tea especially when taken in large amounts, can worsen diarrhea.
Headache, nervousness, sleep problems, vomiting, irregular heartbeat can also occur if you exceed the limit. Green tea also contains a chemical that has been linked with liver injury when used in high doses. In order to reduce the risk for liver injury, take green tea extract with food.