What’s all the hype about green tea? People say that there are so many health benefits associated with drinking green tea, but which ones are true and which ones are myths? We are here to put an end to the misconceptions by just giving you the cold hard facts. The important thing to remember is that green tea is full of beneficial flavonoids and phytochemicals that go beyond the regular nutrients you get from plant-based foods.
Green, black, white, and oolong tea all come from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, which is native to Asia. If all of these teas come from the same plant, how are they different? This comes down to the way that the teas are processed. White tea is minimally processed, but oolong and black teas are typically fermented. They get heated and completely oxidize, which transitions them into the black spectrum. Green tea leaves are quickly heated and minimally oxidized, which is why they retain the green color.
Most teas, be they herbal or caffeinated, have powerful benefits. When it comes to green tea, though, it has superior antioxidants that give it unique benefits. See the following.
Helps With Weight Loss
Solely drinking green tea will not magically make the weight fall off, but there are elements of green tea that can help promote weight loss. Drinking green tea helps to oxidize the blood and it is associated with higher energy levels. This makes people burn about 100 extra calories over a 24-hour period.
Bye Bye Cholesterol
Several studies have shown that people who regularly consumed green tea experienced lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Additional research points to the fact that green tea helps to lower overall cholesterol, primarily due to the compound Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG).
Dark Circles Disappear
While green tea has skin-enhancing benefits, the tannins in the tea leaves can help to get rid of dark circles or puffy eyes. All you have to do is place chilled, brewed teabags on your eyes for about 15 minutes, once a day.
A recent study at Texas Tech University conducted an experiment to see the effects of green tea on postmenopausal women, who have an extreme risk of osteoporosis. For six months, they drank four cups of green tea a day. The results showed that they had improved bone formation, reduced inflammation, and stronger muscles. The flavonoids and antioxidants in green tea work to reduce a person’s risk of osteoporosis.
The National Cancer Institute has made the case that the polyphenols, particularly EGCG, help to protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species. Additional studies have shown that regular consumption of green tea leads to a reduced cancer risk. One particular study found that green tea consumption was linked to a decreased risk of stomach cancer risk in women.
Green tea consumption has been linked to higher scores on cognitive tests, as opposed to people who do not consume green tea. While more research still needs to be conducted, some evidence is pointing to the fact that consuming green tea may help ward off early onset dementia.
How To Buy The Best Green Tea
- It is best to buy tea that is fair trade, meaning that the people are taken care of and the quality of the product is higher.
- Try to buy organic to avoid herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, all of which are known hormone disruptors and cancer promoters.
- Consider the tea bag. This isn’t always the first thing that is considered when buying tea. Most commercial tea bags are bleached and contain chemicals that can negate the benefits of the tea you are drinking. Buy loose leaf tea or tea from a trusted company.
How To Drink Green Tea
Most people say that anything goes when it comes to how you drink tea. You can drink it hot or cold, but don’t load it up with sugar or honey. It is best to drink it plain, but you can use a little stevia or raw agave as natural sweeteners. When you steep the tea, try to steep it for about 3-5 minutes for maximum benefits.