Lifestyle Patient Awareness

8 Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green Tea Health Benefits
Written by Dr Prachi Garg
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With the monsoon finally making its presence felt, the humble tea is one essential beverage that is on the lips of one and all. This rainy season, rather than opting for the unhealthy sugar-laden tea, why not choose, the healthier green tea for a change?

Loaded with antioxidants and many essential nutrients, green tea is a powerful beverage that you should befriend this monsoon. Green tea is made from unoxidized dried leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. When green tea is brewed, it is mild greenish-yellow in colour and gives a sweet smell.

8 Health Benefits of Green Tea Are:

  • Relaxation & Improves Brain Function:

Green tea is a source of a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This catechin has a relaxing effect on us and calms us.

Green tea also contains caffeine. It acts as a stimulant on our Central Nervous System. Caffeine makes us alert and is known to improve memory, learning, performance and co-ordination. [1]It also improves our mood and reaction time. Green tea also contains L-theanine which increases dopamine levels and reduces anxiety.[2]

Caffeine and L-theanine together improve the overall function of the brain. [3]

Read More: 7 Different Types of Relaxation Techniques to Fight Stress

  • Anti-carcinogenic Effects:

Polyphenols present in green tea reduce inflammation and help our body to fight cancer. [4]

Catechins are powerful antioxidants which protect our body from oxidative destruction and thus protect us from different types of cancers. [5]

Drinking green tea was found to be effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer.  [6] Green tea also reduced the occurrence of prostate cancer in men. [7]

  • Helps in Weight Loss:

Green tea is a smart and intelligent replacement for sugary drinks. It gives a boost to our metabolism and thus helps in weight loss. [8]

However, just sipping on green tea is not sufficient, one needs to also adhere to an active lifestyle to bring out significant improvements in body weight.

  • Reduces the Risk of Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Disease:

Drinking green tea regularly shows neuroprotective effects and thus reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. [9]

  • Improves Oral Health:

Catechins present in green tea have anti-bacterial effects and protect our body from a variety of infections.

Catechins have proved to be effective in inhibiting the growth of Streptococcus mutans in our mouth.[10] Streptococcus is responsible for the formation of cavities and thus drinking green tea protects us from the same.

Consumption of green tea also reduces halitosis (bad breath). [11]

  • Lowers risk of Diabetes Mellitus:

Green tea improves insulin sensitivity and reduces our blood glucose levels. [12]

Drinking green tea regularly decreases the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. [13]

Read More: 10 Best Foods for Diabetics

  • Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases:

Drinking green tea reduces total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in our body. It also reduces blood pressure.

This collectively helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases. [14]

Read More: 6 Simple & Natural Ways to Reduce Cholesterol

  • Improved Eye Health:

Studies also suggest that regular consumption of green tea helps in treating eye ailments effectively. Catechins help to protect the eye from oxidative damage and prevent vision loss too. [15]

Read More: 10 Foods Good for Eye Health

How much green tea should you drink?

Daily dose of green tea should not exceed more than 3 cups a day.

How to make an effective cup of green tea?

  • Heat water to 160 – 170 degrees (Dont boil water as it will reduce the effectiveness of catechins in green tea) and pour in a cup.
  • Now add green tea leaves to the cup (Add around 1 teaspoon of leaves to 1 cup water) and let them steep for around 2 to 3 minutes (For a stronger taste, steep the leaves for a longer time).
  • Now strain the tea and it is ready to drink.
  • You can add a few drops of lemon to it, to enhance the taste and increase the absorption of catechins.

Side Effects of Drinking Too Much Green Tea:

Drinking too much green tea can lead to increased caffeine intake and may cause side effects like

  • Headache
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Irritability
  • Heartburn
  • Anxiety
  • Increased Heart Rate etc.

Green Tea Should Not Be Consumed:

  • First thing in the morning
  • Just before going to bed
  • Along with meals
  • In case of iron deficiency

Types of Green Tea:

  • Sencha
  • Tencha
  • Matcha
  • Konacha
  • Shincha
  • Funmatsucha
  • Fukamushicha
  • Gyokuro
  • Kukicha
  • Bancha

 

Also Read: Different Types of Tea & their Health Benefits

About the author

Dr Prachi Garg

A Gold Medallist Physiotherapist from the Maharashtra University
of Health Sciences (MUHS), and also a qualified Dietician who later
went on to establish the “Mera Health Genie Wellness, India” in 2009
with a vision to offer the best remedies possible through the medium
of alternative medicines.
Effectively used Physiotherapy, Diet and Nutrition, Yoga, and
Acupressure to help numerous people recover from an injury or
manage a long term problem, achieving fitness goals, managing
weight and well being.

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