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Green Tea: Health Benefits, Side Effects & How To Make

Green tea is touted as one of the healthiest beverages. It is one of the most consumed beverages in Japan because green tea is considered to be anti-ageing. According to a study, green tea contains the highest number of antioxidants which accounts for about 30% of the weight of dry green tea leaves [1] .

The antioxidant and healing compounds in green tea are also found in other foods like blueberries, dark chocolate and red wine.

Green tea contains flavonols and catechins (epicatechin, epigallocatechin, gallocatechin and gallate derivatives). The most potent compound in green tea is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate) which has numerous health benefits.

Other compounds found in green tea are quercetin, apigenin, linoleic acid, carbohydrates, methylxanthines, trace amounts of carotenoids and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, zinc and chromium.

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Health Benefits Of Green Tea

1. Lowers cholesterol

Green tea decreases bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol, and protects the heart from stroke and heart disease [2] . According to a study, drinking green tea can lower heart disease by 31 per cent [3] .

2. Reduces cancer risk

Green tea contains antioxidant polyphenols that have been shown to reduce the risk of various types of cancers like prostate, colon, and breast cancer [4] , [5] , [6] .

3. Helps in losing weight

Green tea has been shown to increase metabolic rate, speed up fat burning, and increase energy expenditure by 4%, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition [7] . Another study showed that, caffeine in green tea can help increase physical performance by 11 to 12% [8] .

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4. Improves brain function

Green tea can improve your brain function and make you smarter by increasing the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine [9] . Drinking green tea will improve your mood, increase alertness and memory and lower the risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

5. Lowers type 2 diabetes risk

A study showed that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels [10] . Another study found that individuals who drank green tea had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic [11] .

6. Reduces inflammatory skin diseases

A study showed that green tea can be used in the treatment for skin disorders like dandruff andpsoriasis [12] . Drinking green tea reduces skin patches, dry and flaky skin caused by inflammation in the skin.

7. Helps bring relief from arthritis

The antioxidant effects of EGCG in green tea inhibit the production of certain molecules in the body that lead to inflammation and arthritis pain. According to the Arthritis Foundation, EGCG in green tea is 100 times more effective than vitamin E and vitamin C.

8. Improves oral health

The catechins in green tea have the potent ability to kill bacteria and viruses, thereby lowering the risk of infections [13] . It also stops the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria responsible for plaque formation, which leads to tooth decay and cavities.

9. Promotes longevity

Green tea drinkers live longer according to a study [14] . The study concluded that death due to all causes were lower by 23% in women and 12% in men, death due to heart diseases were lower by 31% in women and 22% in men, and death due to stroke were lower by 42% in women and 35% in men, who consumed green tea.

10. Promotes skin health

The antioxidants in green tea have anti-ageing properties which delay the ageing process and keep your skin glowing and healthy.

Side Effects Of Green Tea

People who are sensitive to caffeine, on blood-thinner medications, and taking other stimulant drugs should avoid drinking green tea.

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How Much Green Tea Should You Drink Per Day

To reap most of the health benefits, drink 3 to 5 cups of green day per day.

When Is The Best Time To Drink Green Tea?

How To Make Green Tea

  • Take 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves and boil it in a cup of water.
  • Allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Strain and add a dash of honey.
  • Enjoy your tea.
View Article References
  1. [1] Chatterjee, A., Saluja, M., Agarwal, G., & Alam, M. (2012). Green tea: A boon for periodontal and general health.Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology,16(2), 161–167.
  2. [2] Yang, T. T. C., & Koo, M. W. L. (2000). Inhibitory effect of Chinese green tea on endothelial cell-induced LDL oxidation.Atherosclerosis,148(1), 67-73.
  3. [3] Kuriyama, S. (2008). The relation between green tea consumption and cardiovascular disease as evidenced by epidemiological studies.The Journal of nutrition,138(8), 1548S-1553S.
  4. [4] Ogunleye, A. A., Xue, F., & Michels, K. B. (2010). Green tea consumption and breast cancer risk or recurrence: a meta-analysis.Breast cancer research and treatment,119(2), 477.
  5. [5] Kurahashi, N., Sasazuki, S., Iwasaki, M., Inoue, M., & Shoichiro Tsugane for the JPHC Study Group. (2007). Green tea consumption and prostate cancer risk in Japanese men: a prospective study.American journal of epidemiology,167(1), 71-77.
  6. [6] Chen, Y., Wu, Y., Du, M., Chu, H., Zhu, L., Tong, N., … Chen, J. (). An inverse association between tea consumption and colorectal cancer risk.Oncotarget,8(23), 37367–37376.
  7. [7] Dulloo, A. G., Duret, C., Rohrer, D., Girardier, L., Mensi, N., Fathi, M., ... & Vandermander, J. (1999). Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.The American journal of clinical nutrition,70(6), 1040-1045.
  8. [8] Doherty, M., & Smith, P. M. (2005). Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta‐analysis.Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports,15(2), 69-78.
  9. [9] Nehlig, A., Daval, J. L., & Debry, G. (1992). Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects.Brain Research Reviews,17(2), 139-170.
  10. [10] Liu, K., Zhou, R., Wang, B., Chen, K., Shi, L. Y., Zhu, J. D., & Mi, M. T. (2013). Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials.The American journal of clinical nutrition,98(2), 340-348.
  11. [11] Liu, K., Zhou, R., Wang, B., Chen, K., Shi, L. Y., Zhu, J. D., & Mi, M. T. (2013). Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials.The American journal of clinical nutrition,98(2), 340-348.
  12. [12] Hsu, S., Dickinson, D., Borke, J., Walsh, D. S., Wood, J., Qin, H., ... & Bollag, W. B. (2007). Green tea polyphenol induces caspase 14 in epidermal keratinocytes via MAPK pathways and reduces psoriasiform lesions in the flaky skin mouse model.Experimental dermatology,16(8), 678-684.
  13. [13] Steinmann, J., Buer, J., Pietschmann, T., & Steinmann, E. (2013). Anti‐infective properties of epigallocatechin‐3‐gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea.British journal of pharmacology,168(5), 1059-1073.
  14. [14] Kuriyama, S., Shimazu, T., Ohmori, K., Kikuchi, N., Nakaya, N., Nishino, Y., ... & Tsuji, I. (2006). Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study.Jama,296(10), 1255-1265.

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