Lifestyle Desk |
Green tea comes from the leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, which is a small shrub that is native to East Asia. While the drink has been enjoyed for centuries, even today, scientists continue to uncover new and exciting benefits of the beverage. Enjoying one or more cups of green tea per day could help you unlock some of these benefits.
Green Tea Is a Natural Stimulant
Green tea is a natural source of caffeine, making it a great way to perk yourself up when you’re feeling tired.
Green Tea Might Help Fight Off Cancer
Your cells naturally accumulate oxidative damage during regular cell metabolism. A class of molecules called antioxidants can prevent or even reverse that damage.
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Minimal Processing Leaves Nutrients Intact
Unlike soda, another common source of caffeine, tea is relatively unprocessed. After picking the leaves, they are allowed to soften before being rolled to wring out their juices (Tea Class, n.d.). After heat is applied to the leaves, they are dried and ready to use.
Green Tea is Associated with Lower Heart Disease Risk
Green tea may also be good for your heart. In a study of 40,530 Japanese individuals followed over seven years, drinking three to four cups of green tea per day was associated with a 31% lower risk of dying of cardiovascular disease (Kuriyama, 2006).
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It May Rev Up Your Metabolism, Helping You Lose Weight
The phytonutrients in green tea may also help you lose weight and keep it off. A 2009 meta-analysis of studies in this area found that drinking catechin-rich green tea significantly reduced body weight (Hursel et al., 2009). Furthermore, people who drank green tea were more likely to maintain a healthy weight after significant weight loss.
Green Tea Balances Your Ratio of Good and Bad Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad for you. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular risk, while high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol could actually protect you against heart disease. Although the exact mechanisms of this effect are unknown, the phytonutrients in green tea appear to be connected to balanced LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, helping to keep them in a healthy range (Maron et al., 2003).
Antioxidants in Green Tea Boost the Immune System
Drinking green tea might fend of the sniffles this winter. In a randomized controlled trial, 32% fewer participants taking green tea extract developed cold or flu symptoms compared to a placebo control group (Rowe et al., 2006).
Green Tea Keeps You Looking Youthful
Not only is green tea good for your physical health, but it could also keep you looking great! Beauty experts commonly use green tea products for their anti-inflammatory effects. For instance, a combined regimen of 10% green tea cream and green tea supplements improves the elasticity of skin, which keeps your skin looking more youthful as you age (Chiu et al., 2005).
Green Tea is Connected to Longer Life
The accumulated health benefits of green tea mean that it may help you live longer. Indeed, one large study that followed participants over 11 years found that drinking three or four cups of tea each day lowered risk of mortality by 5% for men and 18% for women (Kuriyama, 2006).