13 Green Tea Benefits for Health and Beauty

Female hands holding a cup whilst talking happily

Is green tea really all it’s hyped up to be? We’ve all likely heard about a wide range of green tea benefits, but which ones are true and which ones are old wives’ tales? And for that matter, why is green tea any better than white, black, or red tea (and what’s with all the Christmas colors in tea)? We checked in with our experts and uncovered a host of benefits of drinking green tea that will answer these questions and more.

13 Incredible Green Tea Benefits

Technically speaking, green tea comes from the same plant as white, black, and oolong tea – Camellia sinensis– a plant native to Asia. Two major varieties are grown — Camellia sinensis var. sinensis for Chinese teas, and Camellia sinensis var. assamica for Indian Assam teas; the former was the first tea plant to be discovered and is the source of most green teas on the market.

So, if all of these different teas hail from the same plant, what makes them so different, and why does green tea always seem to come out on top as far as health benefits are concerned?

The answer has a lot to do with how the different teas are processed.

While white tea is only minimally processed, both oolong and black teas are more fermented. Green tea is somewhere between the two, as naturopathic doctor Serena Goldstein explains.

“Green tea leaves are quickly heated and minimally oxidized so they can still retain their green color, while black tea leaves are heated and allowed to fully oxidize to turn them into a color along the black spectrum (e.g. amber, red-brown),” she says.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that green tea will have more or fewer benefits than another tea, says naturopathic doctor Gabrielle Francis, “All three teas have antioxidants and health benefits. The antioxidants differ in each one depending on the level of oxidation in the processing.”

So if oxidation is the only thing differentiating a white tea from a green one, what’s all the buzz about green tea about?

Green Tea Health Benefits You Can’t Argue With

While there are benefits to all teas, from white to black, green tea boasts a few compounds in higher concentrations than these other teas, namely Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG). Alongside polyphenols, other catechins, and flavonoids, this antioxidant lends much in the way of benefits to the overall makeup of green tea. With this unique cocktail of antioxidants, green tea has a lot to offer.

1. Protects Against Chronic Disease

The flavonoids in green tea are powerful soldiers against viruses as well as both specific and general inflammation. Inflammation can exacerbate other health problems and cause a vast number of seemingly idiopathic symptoms that seem nearly impossible to cure.

Increasing flavonoid intake can decrease the effects of inflammation and even prevent against certain chronic diseases and problems including allergies, immune system disorders, heart disease, and depression.

2. Gives You A Feel-Good Boost

A combination of factors makes green tea great for your mood.

Caffeine enhances both mood and energy, while theanine helps with anxiety and stress.

“L-theanine can help support brain health and lower anxiety due to supporting GABA (inhibitory neurotransmitter) production,” says Goldstein.

“L-theanine can help support brain health and lower anxiety due to supporting GABA (inhibitory neurotransmitter) production.”

Plus, the flavonoids in green tea boost relaxation and help keep anxiety at bay, according to Cate Stillman of Yogahealer.com. Referencing a study in the Journal of Trends in Food Science & Technology, she explains that theanine increases all-important alpha waves in the brain. “Alpha waves are considered to be an indicator of relaxation,” she says.

3. A Weight-Loss Key

While green tea alone will not make you magically drop the pounds, some elements of green tea can help with weight loss. The major component is EGCG, which, according to Bryce Wylde, an expert in alternative medicine and the medical advisor for the Dr. Oz show, can increase metabolism by up to six percent.

Along with the caffeine of green tea, which can improve performance during workouts, EGCG is a major element of green tea’s weight loss benefits.

4. Cancer-Fighting

Different studies have shown a link between the consumption of green tea and a reduced risk of cancer. One study showed that increased consumption of green tea was directly linked to a reduced risk of stomach cancer in women.

The National Cancer Institute attributes these benefits to several characteristics of green tea, including its polyphenols, particularly EGCG and ECG, which “may protect cells from DNA damage caused by reactive oxygen species.”

5. Keep Blood Sugar in Balance

For those who suffer with blood sugar related problems, green tea can be a great, natural solution. One study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research showed that green tea may reduce the spike in blood sugar that occurs after eating starches, and another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that green tea could decrease fasting glucose in some patients.

6. Bad Cholesterol, Be Gone

A study in Western University of Health Sciences showed that participants in a study had lower LDL levels when green tea consumption was increased.

Other research has shown that both total and LDL cholesterol can be lowered when green tea is consumed, thanks — once again — to its EGCG contents.

7. Brain Health

Green tea can also be great for brain health. Research presented by the Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medical Science in Japan at Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease Conference showed that consumers of green tea had slightly higher scores on cognitive tests than those who did not. This evidence has led some to believe that green tea consumption may ward off or delay dementia.

 

Benefits of Drinking Green Tea for Beauty and More

Alongside all these great health benefits, green tea also boasts a few beauty benefits that can’t be overlooked.

8. A Glowing Complexion

Drinking green tea can help improve your skin, as naturopathic doctor Christina Major explains. “What it does is help your body hydrate, which makes your skin look better,” she says. “It also will provide antioxidants and nutrients to nourish your body, and that allows you to build healthy skin.”

“Antioxidants help ‘clean up’ the free radicals that can contribute to skin conditions,” agrees Goldstein. “Ultimately, our outside is a reflection of what’s going on inside.”

9. Prevent Skin Cancer

When it comes to your skin’s health, green tea hits all of the bases, including this all-important, more health-related one. A study published in the October 2011 issue of the journal “Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications” found that EGCG inhibited melanoma in laboratory animals by inhibiting genes that activate inflammation.

10. Dark Circles Disappear

But drinking tea isn’t the only way to take advantage of its skin-enhancing benefits.

“The tannins can also help dark eyes and puffy eyes in the morning,” says Goldstein, who suggests placing chilled, brewed teabags over each eye for about 15 minutes to take advantage of this. With green tea, you avoid the staining that black tea could lend to your skin, too.

11. Delay Aging

No, it’s not a magic potion, but green tea can help reverse or delay some signs of skin aging, such as wrinkles, according to a study published in Collegium Anthropologicum in September 2010.

“The antioxidant benefits are great for anti-aging of the skin,” says Francis. “Green tea masks can be very good for cellular regeneration and for detoxification of the skin,” she adds.

12. Slim Down

While you’re waiting for the metabolism boost of green tea to kick in, it’s helpful to know that green tea can also reduce bloating and swelling, making you appear slimmer without ever shedding a pound. Green tea aids in digestion and increases hydration, both of which can reduce bloat.

13. Luscious Locks

The catechins in green tea can also help with achieving thicker, longer hair, thanks to 5-alpha-reductase, according to Goldstein. “(The enzyme) blocks testosterone from turning into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a more potent version of testosterone that can contribute to baldness,” she says.

Taking Advantage of Green Tea Benefits: A How-To Guide

If you want to see these benefits, then you can’t just pick any brand of green tea and start brewing. “The green tea from the grocery store just does not contain the health benefits, mostly because it’s too old,” says Major.

How to Buy Green Tea

To select the best possible, most potent tea, trust our experts’ advice:

  • Buy fair trade tea. “Fair trade means the plants are taken care of, the people are taken care of, and the product is a higher quality,” says Major.
  • Buy organic. “I believe it is essential to buy only organic green tea to avoid pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, which are know hormone disruptors and cancer promoters,” says Francis. “It is especially essential to get organic green tea from countries like India and China which are known to have high amounts of heavy metals in the soil and weaker labelling restrictions.”
  • Buy local. “This way you can trace the tea back to the source,” says Major. “It also eliminates chemical adulterations, like artificial flavors, that are often used in bags of tea.”
  • Know your grower. “Smaller, more ‘mom and pop’ style farms may not have the money or means to gain the term ‘organic’, but larger companies that do a lot of outsourcing and want to further promote their brand may benefit from the label. If you can, visit the farm!” says Goldstein.
  • Consider the tea bag. “While not always thought about, the tea bag is usually bleached, and contains all sorts of chemicals that can very well cancel out the benefits of the tea you’re drinking- assuming that tea is not contaminated,” says Goldstein. Buy loose tea or tea from a company you trust.
  • Avoid the black list. This list of common tea brands shows some of the ones that have been proven to have pesticides or other harmful chemicals. Best to steer clear of these and opt for something a little cleaner.

How to Drink Green Tea

As for how to drink it, our experts say anything goes – hot or cold, you’ll be reaping the same benefits. Just be sure to drink it plain – or with a small amount of stevia or honey – to avoid adding calories to the tea, and steep it long enough – 3 minutes, according to Francis – to bring out the maximum benefits of the tea leaves.

Once you’ve brewed your green tea, you can drink it plain or you can try it in your favorite recipes. Here are just a few of ours, to get you started.

Green tea ice cream is a tasty treat often served in Japan. Use organic matcha tea powder for this delicious dessert.

 

Did you know that green tea can be a delicious base for a soup? This Japanese tea and rice soup is traditionally eaten first thing in the morning for a boost of caffeine. It’s a great way to use up leftover rice, too.

While it doesn’t really matter how you take your tea, there are two important things to consider: how much green tea to drink and when to drink it.

Green tea, unlike herbal infusions, does contain caffeine, so it’s best not to drink it too late at night. “I prefer for people to drink it in the am or noon so that the caffeine does not cause insomnia,” says Francis.

As for how much green tea you drink, this will depend quite a bit on the benefits you hope to reap and your current health.

“One to 2 cups is great to have daily, however one study showed that effective protection against heart disease (especially in women) was achieved at 3 or more cups per day,” explains Goldstein.

But don’t think that you can make up for lost time by guzzling tea. For one, Goldstein says that the benefits of green tea have been studied on a long-term basis. “Realistically, it is better to have 1-3 cups per day than none at all or drinking too much in one sitting sporadically.”

 

What’s more, drinking too much green tea can have some adverse health effects. According to Goldstein, “the tannins in tea can inhibit the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron and folic acid.”

This is particularly worrisome for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, so be sure to check with your doctor before you begin consuming green tea. Major also recommends that anyone on blood thinners, blood sugar medications, or medications that regulate blood or heart in any way ask a doctor before adding green tea or any tea to a diet regimen.

And of course, don’t forget that there is no miracle cure for any ailment. “Green tea won’t counteract a bad diet or bad habits,” Major says. “While this is a healthy drink, and it does have a lot of good benefits, it’s not a miracle.”

Adding green tea to a healthy diet and exercise regimen, featuring whole, nutritious, organic foods is a great way to boost your health and take advantage of these fantastic benefits of drinking green tea.

2016-04-28T12:23:15+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I would like to know what are the benefits of green food drinks (superfoods as I've heard them called) and how often could I drink them in a day. Thank you in advance for your wisdom!

    A:

    The benefits are all positive: alkaline, energizing, nutritious, rich in chlorophyll, antioxidant, etc. and you can drink them as much as you like, just like many people drink wine, beer, coffee, Kool-Aid, milk, etc. as much as they like and never worry about it. It's all good!

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    Q: First off, let me say, I am soooo happy to have caught the DHERBS advertising while listening to WVON radio in Chicago, IL. This is a very professional, informed and wholistic website. Kudos to the DHERBS team! Secondly, I currently don't take a vitamin/mineral supplemant, but was leaning to the Green Vibrance powder product (are you familiar with this brand), as I've talked to several health food reps, and they spoke of it's popularity within the health industry, the need for vitamins/minerals from a natural green source, and it's potency over pills, being that it's a powder and will digest better, versus pills which come from potentially harmful, scientific sources and, since they're in pill form, aren't absorbed by the body 100%. I was hoping to get a DHERB rep's opinion on GREEN VIBRANCE versus your mineral/vitamin supplemants. I hope you'd be unbiased, as you'd be commenting on a competitor product, as I truly am searching for the best product. I thank you in advance for your time and reply!

    A:

    I am delighted you enjoy the Dherbs website. Thank you for your words! Green Vibrance is a pretty good product and would supply you with much needed nutrition as mostly all green foods will. My only concern with the product (Green Vibrance) is the mixing of ingredients. I don't believe in mixing fruits with greens due to the mixture of acids and alkalines. A green food product should be TOTALLY "green foods" only and nothing else. Green Vibrance mixes citrus/acids i.e. grape seed extract, acerola berry juice powder with green foods in addition to bee pollen, royal jelly, wheat germ, etc. Also, as a vegan (strict vegetarian), I object to BEE POLLEN and ROYAL JELLY being used. These are from living entities (insects/animals). I also object to SOY as well which is in the product! Other than this, Green Vibrance is a great product that I would endorse as a source of organic nutrition and dietary fiber. Dherbs MULTI-VITAMINS AND MINERALS FORMULA and other products that are in pill form are in VEGAN capsules that dissolve 100%. At Dherbs.Com, we only use the BEST! Our product is 100% botanical! However, as far as absorption, NOTHING absorbs better than liquid and nothing is better as a source of minerals, vitamins, amino acids than FULVIC ACID which we sell as KHEMETIAN GOLD. This stuff is POWERFUL! 1000% pure nutrition! Do your research on Fulvic and Humic Acid and you'll see why I'm saying what I'm saying! So basically, Beloved, either way (Green Vibrance or VITAMIN B COMPLEX and/or KHEMETIAN GOLD) you'll be getting much needed nutrition! It's your choice! We value and respect free will and we don't believe in competition nor do we have to belittle, negate, or condemn another product or company to make a sale. Our primary concern is that people get what they need nutrition-wise and it doesn't have to come from us. Our goal is not to just sell products, but to properly educate people about human health and that's why we offer 175+ free articles in addition to 100+ products! Peace and Love --- and thank you for your interest in Dherbs.Com! p.s. - read our testimonials on our site and listen to (read about) the American people on what they are experiencing with Dherbs.Com products!

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    Feed him food: fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and some grains! Try vegan food options. You can find many entrees at Whole Foods Market!

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    Abstain from cleansing if you are going to eat holiday food. keep it real! I would suggest performing in this order: FULL BODY DETOX, ANTI-VIRAL CLEANSE AND REGIMEN, and then 10-DAY ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD CLEANSE. Work on your mind too (see NEW MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL coming next week).

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    Blend via a juicer, parsley, and cilantro add any other vegetables you might like!

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    A:

    You may have problems with herbs individually but our herbs are BALANCED due to the combination and so you wouldn't have a problem with the FULL BODY DETOX (because no one individual herbs stands out in a formula).

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    Q: I am taking Electric Green Cell Food Formula, Iodine, Vitamin C Formula, and Vitamin E. Does taking the first three give me all the vitamins, mineral, and protein I need on a daily basis?

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    Q: What is green tea good for?

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    Stimulating the central nervous system, improving circulation, and toning the heart.

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    Q: What is green tea good for?

    A:

    Stimulating the central nervous system, improving circulation, and toning the heart.

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    Q: What is green tea good for?

    A:

    Stimulating the central nervous system, improving circulation, and toning the heart.

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    A: Thank you for contacting us.  Unfortunately we cannot advise on the use of individual herbs or the combination of herbs you're referring to.  We can only advise on our herbal supplements and how they work.

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    Q: Is it true that green string bean juice speeds healing of diabetic foot ulcers? Do you have have other remedies for this problem also? Thank You.

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    Is it true that green string bean juice speeds healing of diabetic foot ulcers? Do you have other remedies for this problem also? Thank You. RESPONSE: It is true! Brussel sprouts juiced is also great. A natural insulin effect on the pancreas! For Dherbs products on Diabetes and Ulcers see links below.

    First perform the Full Body Detox, followed by the Pancreas Cleanse and Regimen, lastly perform the 10 Day Electric Greens Cell Food Cleanse. These cleanses should be performed every 4-6 months. After cleanses, if needed consider Pancreas Formula, Pancreas Auxiliary Formula, Sugar Buster, Pancreas Tea , and Circul-Aid Formula as a daily maintenance formulas. For ulcers after cleanses consider the Ulcer Buster, and the Electric Greens Cell Food Formula.

    Please take time to read the following articles:
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    Product Links:
    Pancreas Cleanse and Regimen
    Full Body Detox
    Pancreas Formula
    Pancreas Auxiliary Formula
    Sugar Buster Extract
    Pancreas Tea
    10-Day Electric Greens Cell Food Cleanse
    Sugar Buster

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    Performing the Pancreas kit and regimen as much and as often as you can and you'll get your desired results.

    Great maintenance formulas include CIRCUL-AID, PANCREAS FORMULA, SUGAR BUSTER, and BIO-INSULIN.

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    Q: I started my full body detox program yesterday and this morning I stopped into Jamba Juice to get a wheatgrass shot. I also got a pomegranate juice, strawberry, peach and mango drink with a mega green tea boost...I drank maybe about 4 oz of the drink and trashed it. I had the worst headache I've ever experienced in my life! Was it from the sugar in the juice? They claim to be all-natural or was it from the fasting? Would you recommend this establishment for those seeking to get their body clean?

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    It's best to stay on raw fruit and vegetable juices during your detox. Or, try some of the recipes for smoothies, vegetable juice, and delicious herbal teas mentioned and listed in the Full Body Detox Companion ($20)

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    Q: I just receive my order yesterday (9/15/08) I started today which is 9/16/08. I know I can drink green tea but can I put splenda in it or do I have to drink it plain? I know I can eat fruit in the morning for breakfast can it be like 2 oranges and that's all?

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    Splenda is not to be consumed while on the cleanses. It's an artificial sugar that isn't good for the body. The only sweeteners that you can consume are stevia. maple syrup grade b and agave nectar. You can eat as much fruit as you want when you want.

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    Q: I just got your Pancreas Kit and ready to start 3 weeks Regimen. I have couple questions about diet: 1. Fruits - can I eat only those you've listed, or any other allowed? I am a Type 2 diabetic, and any melons or bananas raise my blood sugar. What about green apples, strawberries and raspberries?

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    DHERBS: Eat your favorite fruit while monitoring your blood sugar level. It may take some time before your blood sugar levels are regulated and you can return to eating fruit. But try eating what fruits you like while monitoring your BS levels. Be intelligent and use common sense and trust your intuition here.

    2. Can I have whole wheat bread?

    DHERBS: NO!

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    DHERBS: NO! Eggs come from animal!

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    Q: I had surgery to drain a cyst on my right ovary, while in surgery the doctor hit my bowels, and they had to call in a surgeon to repair my bowels. I am on this low fiber diet now, and not able to eat raw foods. This means nothing in the green family like lettuce, or greens since they are hard to digest. This list includes no nuts, or fresh fruits with skin. How can I can complete a cleanse, if I am not able to eat the raw vegetables and nuts?

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    Simply perform your cleanse of choice and just eat as best you can, okay?