12 Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea has always been an integral part of a healthy diet from ages and it is still used extensively all across the globe by fitness freaks and diet conscious. WHY? Because the health benefits of green tea are so impactful that it is worth every penny spent on it.
Though there are numerous physiological and mental benefits of green tea still there are some downsides which you should be aware of. Excited, let’s get started!
Brief about Green Tea
Green tea, also known as Camellia sinensis(Scientific name) is among the world’s most consumed beverages. It was discovered in China around 3,000-4,000 BC. Around 2.5 million tons of tea leaves are produced each year globally, out of which 20% is green tea.
Green tea is enormously rich in numerous bioactive compounds, minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals. It contains alkaloids which are known as methylxanthines such as caffeine, theophylline and theobromine; phenolic acids like gallic acids and amino acids; polyphenols like flavandiols, flavanols, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The main green tea polyphenol which is the most researched, powerful and utilised one are “CATECHINS”.
Green tea leaf has a lot of health beneficial properties like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antidiabetic, anticarcinogenic, antiangiogenic, antimutagenic, immunomodulatory, neuroprotective, stress-resisting and cholesterol reducing effects. That’s a lot, isn’t it?
Green Tea Benefits and Side effects
1) Benefits of Green Tea for Skin
Green tea is immensely rich in antioxidants and also it has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Green tea is one of the highest sources of catechins which includes epicatechin, epigallocatechin(EGC), epicatechin-3-gallate(ECG) and epigallocatechin-3-gallate(EGCG). Studies have explicitly proven that catechin, especially EGCG and ECG catechin improves skin health.
Moreover, research has shown that green tea leaves have anti-aging potential and can also reverse the photoaging signs and symptoms. 10 Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera
2) Benefits of Green Tea for weight loss
Scientific studies have found that green tea possesses anti-obesity property because of which it helps to reduce the bodyweight, fat percentage, waist circumference and boosts fat oxidation. In a RCT(Randomized Controlled Trial), 102 women were divided into 2 groups: high dose green tea group(865.8 mg/day) and placebo group. And the findings were that 12 weeks of high-dosed green tea resulted in significant weight loss and decreased BMI.
The anti-obesity benefits of green tea were also depicted in a meta-analysis of 24 studies. In which 5 of the 11 trials showed a reduction of 1-2 kg in the subjects and also 3 of the 13 studies showed a reduction of 1-9 kg.
Though few studies have counter-proven the same and suggest that green tea definitely results in weight loss but the reduction is very low and cannot be taken into consideration. But the studies which indicated that green tea does not result in weight loss, mostly gave a very low dosage of green tea. Top 10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Coffee
3) Benefits of Green Tea for Oral Health
Green tea has therapeutic and protective effects on oral health due to its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential. A publication in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care proved that green tea consumption is extremely beneficial for oral and dental health, moreover it showed that green tea has the ability to prevent and improve Gingivitis, periodontitis, dental caries, oral cancer and bad breath(Halitosis). 10 Scientifically-Proven Health Benefits of Amla
4) Promotes Brain Health
There are numerous detailed and explicit studies which have been held all across the globe which proved that green tea is massively beneficial for healthy brain functioning.
Research published in different journals like Molecules, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Current Neuropharmacology and many others clearly proved that green tea suppresses brain aging, improves cognition, human brain functioning and mood.
Moreover, the benefits of green tea are not only limited to proper brain functioning but also it helps to prevent multiple neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
5) Prevents Various Cancers
Cancer is one of the most common and dangerous diseases among the people at a global level. Green tea has also been strongly proven to prevent various and numerous types of cancers including, colon cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, mouth cancer, prostate cancer and esophagus cancer. Interesting, isn’t it?
Green tea has anticarcinogenic property, which means it has anticancer agents in it which helps to battle against cancer. A very renowned and prospective cohort study revealed that drinking 10 Japanese size-cups(120 ml/cup) of green tea per day delayed cancer onset 7.3 years in female patients.
6) Reduces the risk of Heart Diseases
Heart health is one of the most essential things for an individual to consider himself/herself healthy and fit. A publication in the International Journal of Cardiology, showed an association of green tea consumption with the risk of coronary heart disease in the Chinese population. The results further portrayed that the GTE(Green Tea Extract) reduced this risk in female and male patients when they were consuming 3 or more than 3 cups of green tea per day(≥3 cups/per day).
Moreover, green tea also reduces cholesterol levels and blood pressure significantly which also contributes to ensure good heart health and protect against Cardiovascular Diseases(CVDs).
7) Helps Diabetic People
Green Tea Extracts(GTEs) is also associated with diabetes due to its antidiabetic effects. It helps diabetic patients to recover faster. Many retrospective cohort studies in Japan and Taiwan suggested that green is effective against Type-2 diabetes(T2D).
A meta-analysis published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal, compared various studies and proved the same. But some studies are conflicting and do not report any benefit against diabetes. So, more research is required for this one.
8) Reduces Cholesterol Levels
Green tea has been proven to significantly reduce cholesterol levels and improve lipid profile. A meta-analysis published in the journal, Nutrition analyzed 31 trials with a total of 3321 subjects and it reported that green tea intake immensely lowered the Total Cholesterol(TC) and LDL(Low-density Lipoprotein). However, it showed no impact on HDL(High-density Lipoprotein).
9) Strengthens Immune System
Due to the presence of high bioactive compounds, especially polyphenols which possess immunomodulatory property because of which it helps to strengthen the immune system.
A research in the journal, Molecules showed that green tea strengthens immunity and helps to deal with immunological implications and immune-related diseases like autoimmune diseases.
10) Disease Fighter
Green tea is immensely rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiviral and immunomodulatory properties, it curbs the free radicals in the body and hence reduces the oxidative stress which is responsible for disease.
It helps to prevent and treat various diseases including diarrhea, influenza virus, adenovirus infection, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, etc.
11) Maintains Joint Health
Research has shown that green tea has a chondro-protective effect on the body which helps in protecting cartilage breakdown during the process of joint disorders.
A research published in the journal, Arthritis Research and Therapy reported that green tea consumption prevents and improves rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
12) Improves Bone Health
The GTPs(Green Tea Polyphenols) play a significant role in strengthening the bones. A publication in the journal, Nutritional Research showed that green tea increases BMD(Bone Mineral Density) and BMC(Bone Mineral Content). It also reduces the risk of osteoporotic fractures in elderly people and lowers the trabecular separations.
Disadvantages of Green Tea
Despite green tea having such numerous health benefits, it has some downsides as well. But these downsides are mainly observed due to extremely high consumption of green tea. The following issues are suffered through people mainly because green tea has: (i) Caffeine content, (ii) High aluminium content and (iii) Effect on iron bioavailability/absorption:
1. Acute cytotoxicity in liver cells.
2. May lead to renal failure.
3. Gastrointestinal issues.
4. Insomnia, Reduced sleep quality and irritability.
5. Iron deficiency.
How much green tea in a day should be consumed?
The green tea intake which one can safely consume varies from person to person. But in general, 3-5 cups of green tea is safe and enough to reap its benefits optimally. A bit higher dosage is also safe and healthy because the benefits of green tea are way more than its side-effects. But it may cause some problems in some individuals, so you can try and test. But you should totally avoid too high intake of green tea.
Who should not drink green tea?
Here are some conditions in which certain people should avoid the consumption of green tea:
(1) Heart patients or people suffering from major cardiovascular disorders.
(2) Pregnant and breast-feeding women.
(3) People suffering from kidney problems.
(4) People having stomach ulcers.
(5) People having bleeding disorders.
Regular consumption of green tea will ensure a healthy body not only physically but mentally as well. The health benefits of green tea are not only limited to one’s weight management but also it has a holistic approach towards improving the physicality and mental state of an individual.