Green tea is a type of tea made from steaming, pan-frying, and drying the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s one of the most popular beverages consumed worldwide and has been used for thousands of years.
In fact, green tea is thought to have many health benefits for those who drink it regularly. Here are five possible benefits of green tea and how to incorporate it into your diet.
Green tea improves brain health
One of the main ingredients in green tea is caffeine. Caffeine can block a chemical messenger in the brain called adenosine, which controls when you feel sleepy or awake. Blocking adenosine can prevent drowsiness, which is why so many people use caffeine to stay awake and mentally sharp.
Green tea keeps your heart healthy
Green tea has been found to play a role in heart health by reducing the risk factors that cause hearts disease.
High blood pressure is one of the most common risk factors for heart disease. Research shows that consuming green tea significantly lowers systolic and diastolic blood pressure, which are the two different numbers by which a person’s blood pressure is recorded.
Green tea helps lower cholesterol
Catechin is a major component of green tea. Catechins are natural antioxidants that have antioxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-hypertensive effects They lower cholesterol levels by decreasing the absorption of cholesterol into the body.
A 2011 analysis of 14 studies showed that drinking an average of two cups of green tea per day for 10 years resulted in significant reductions in LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol because it can cause plaque buildup in your arteries, which increases your risk of getting a heart attack or a stroke.
Green tea is beneficial for bone health
Green tea also helps to keep your bones healthy and strong. Research shows that it may help treat and prevent osteoporosis, a condition that makes your bones weaker and more prone to fractures.
“Tea leaves contain fluoride, which might slow osteoporosis, as well as beneficial compounds such as flavonoids and phytoestrogens,” Ring says. Flavonoids are and phytoestrogens are plant chemicals that can strengthen bone formation and prevent the breakdown of bone tissue.
In 2011 studies 171 postmenopausal women with weak bones and low bone mass were put into four groups. The results of the study showed that the group of women who were given compounds derived from green tea experienced a notable improvement in their bone health.
Green tea helps the skin
Drinking green tea — or using it topically — has many benefits for your skin.
Green tea contains micronutrients called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCE) that may be responsible for green tea’s skin repair properties. EGCE contains antioxidant which helps to prevent sun damage. It also boosts skin hydration, moisture retention, and prevents wrinkle formation.
Green tea comes in different forms, but to enjoy the optimal benefits of tea, it’s best to drink it plain. Some research suggests that adding milk may counteract some of the health benefits of drinking tea.
It’s important to note that green tea contains caffeine, so if you have a caffeine sensitivity, you might want to consume it in smaller amounts.