Green tea has been used for medicinal and dietary purposes since ancient times. Some historians believe that the consumption of green tea dates back as far as three thousand years ago.
It is no surprise that this drink has been around for a long time. It is considered one of the healthiest herbs to incorporate into your diet.
When this beverage is consumed regularly, there can be many health benefits of green tea.
What Is Green Tea?
Green tea is just one of the many types of tea. While there are different tea varieties, like black tea and oolong tea, they are all derived from the same plant, the camellia sinensis.
What makes each type different is the way that the plant is processed. Green tea is made from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant. Once picked off the plant, the leaves are steamed, pan-fried, and then dried.
Polyphenols are the active ingredient in tea and what makes it beneficial.
Green tea has the highest content of polyphenols compared to other teas. Along with polyphenols, green tea also contains caffeine, the amino acid L-theanine, and catechins.
Green tea does not only come in leaves. There are many different ways to prepare and consume green tea, which we will discuss in the next sections.
What Are The Benefits of Green Tea?
Because of its high polyphenol content, green tea can have many benefits on the body and help to improve overall health.
Many studies have shown that certain compounds in green tea can help increase metabolism and fat burning and keep individuals feeling full for longer periods. Green tea also naturally contains no calories.
This can help with weight management and weight loss for those who are overweight, meaning it may reduce the risk of weight-associated health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high total cholesterol.
Blood Sugar Regulation
While studies linking green tea with blood sugar levels in the body have had different results, there is evidence to support that green tea can help break down sugar in the body and keep blood sugar stabilized.
Regular use of green tea can help lower the risk of diseases caused by high blood sugar and may experience improved insulin sensitivity.
Green tea has been associated with lower cholesterol levels in regular users. Green tea can lower the risk of stroke or heart attack caused by cholesterol build-up in the body.
Green tea can also help protect the heart from swelling, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and help it keep blood healthily flowing throughout the body.
While there is not much research about how green tea works in the brain, it has been associated with lower risks of cognitive decline along with improved brain function, memory, and concentration.
Because of its stomach calming properties, green tea works to promote healthy digestion. It can ease symptoms of diarrhea as well as constipation and general gastrointestinal discomfort.
Precautions to Take
While green tea is generally safe for consumption, you should always be aware of side effects when incorporating a new herb or supplement into your routine.
An eight-ounce cup of green tea contains 28 milligrams of caffeine. While this is a small amount compared to the 85 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of coffee, it is something to keep in mind if you want to avoid caffeine.
While caffeine can have many benefits, including helping you remain alert, consuming a lot of caffeine, or more than 400 milligrams of a day, can be very harmful.
Potential Liver Injury
While green tea itself does not likely cause liver problems, products that contain green tea can potentially lead to liver energy. Such products include green tea pills or weight loss pills that contain green tea extract.
When buying any dietary supplement, it is essential to be aware of ingredients and product sources.
High doses of green tea can interact with certain medications leading to harmful side effects. Green tea can reduce blood levels in the body, which can impact the efficiency of certain beta-blockers prescribed for blood pressure and heart problems.
How To Incorporate Green Tea Into Your Diet
As aforementioned, there are many different ways green tea can be prepared and consumed, making it a very versatile herb.
Here are some of the most popular forms green tea is sold as:
- Loose leaves that you can brew at home
- Tea Bags that remove the fuss of measuring and dosing
- Matcha is a fine powder made from ground green tea leaves
While the most popular way to consume green tea is by drinking it, you can add green tea to all different types of food.
Matcha is a very flavorful form of green that is often used to make baked goods or added to oatmeal and milkshakes.
Because of its mild flavor, green tea goes well with all different types of food!
For maximum benefits, avoid consuming it with excessive sugar. To enhance its taste, try adding a squeeze of honey or a slice of lemon to your hot or cold tea.
Green tea has been consumed for thousands of years, and for a good reason. Aside from providing you with a warm glass of tea to start the day, or a cold one to refresh you in the afternoon, green tea has many evidence-based benefits.
It can help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as increase metabolism and focus. But because large doses can have harmful side effects, make sure you consume a safe amount of green tea.
As always, it is best to speak to your doctor before taking any supplement or herb.