green tea benefits

8 Green Tea Benefits For Your Body

Did you know that green tea has been around for ages? Yes, way back to 2737 BC in China! It's said that Emperor Shennong stumbled upon it by accident when he sipped water that had been boiled with a tea leaf. 

People back then found its taste so refreshing that it became a symbol of high status. Can you imagine that? Green tea was like the drink of the elite! Over time, a whole formal tea ceremony developed around it. It became integral to cultural practices as well as a healthy lifestyle.             

japanese green tea

Green tea is a fascinating drink, with its unique flavour. You can find it everywhere, from Asia to Europe to America – it's like a universal favourite! Hold on? What exactly makes it a global favourite? Its benefits. And what are those? Let’s find out! 

#1 Antioxidant Power of Green Tea

Green tea isn't just your average tea– it's packed with powerful antioxidants called catechins. But why are these catechins so crucial? Well, they guard your cells by neutralising harmful molecules known as free radicals. 

What's even great is that green tea is loaded with catechins more than many other antioxidant-rich foods out there, such as black tea or Oolong. Plus, the catechins also work wonders for your complexion. Think fewer fine lines and wrinkles – who wouldn't want that? Moreover, they've got your back against the sun's harmful UV rays, keeping your skin protected and vibrant.

#2 Heart Health and Cardiovascular Benefits

Can you believe something as simple as enjoying a cup of green tea could be so beneficial for your heart? Well, studies say so! An analysis of 14 trials with over a thousand people proved that sipping green tea can lower total cholesterol by 7.20 mg/dL and LDL-cholesterol by 2.19 mg/dL. 

Moreover, the polyphenols in green tea make blood vessels work better and help keep your blood pressure in check. So, if you're looking to dodge hypertension, drinking green tea as a part of your daily routine is a smart move.

#3 Weight Management and Metabolic Boost

Studies reveal men who sip on green tea before hitting the gym burn 17% more fat than those who don't. Yes, picking green tea for weight loss is a good decision as it can enhance fat burning during physical activity and positively impact metabolic rate. 

There’s more that can make you think twice before reaching for that soda — eight-week research revealed that tea catechins, including a plant compound called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), increased fat burning during exercise and even when you were chilling. 

But how does it work? EGCG helps your body burn fat better by speeding up your metabolism. Scientifically speaking, this compound promotes thermogenesis, making your body create heat, burn calories, and use more fat.

#4 Diabetes Prevention and Blood Sugar Regulation

Insulin sensitivity plays a big role in preventing diabetes. Simply put, insulin sensitivity refers to how well your body’s cells respond to insulin. Now, what’s insulin? It is the hormone responsible for regulating your blood sugar levels. 

When your cells are sensitive to insulin, they are better at absorbing glucose from your bloodstream. And when they do this, your body’s sugar levels are in check. Turns out green tea can make it better because the catechins in it improves your insulin sensitivity. 

#5 Brain Health and Cognitive Function

Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine that work together to boost your alertness. The best part? It won’t make you feel all jittery like coffee sometimes does. This way, it can help you stay sharp day-to-day.

Plus, green tea goes beyond just giving you an immediate mental boost. It can lower the risk of age-related neurodegenerative issues like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. How? Well, green tea has neuroprotective properties because of polyphenols, scavenging free radicals. This way, polyphenols guard your brain from stress, cellular damage, and inflammation.

#6 Cancer Prevention

Green tea has anti-cancer properties. Surprising, isn’t it? It stops cancer cells from growing and even protects you from certain types of cancer. Studies prove that green tea seems to lower the chances of getting certain cancers like endometrial, lung, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, oral, and ovarian cancers. The risk could be reduced by 19% to 42%

#7 Oral Health Benefits

Making green tea a regular part of your day can really do wonders for your oral hygiene. With all-natural compounds and health-boosting properties, it benefits your mouth every time you sip on it. 

Its antibacterial powers, thanks to polyphenols, fight off bacteria and keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties that soothe your gums and help keep inflammation at bay. That means less risk of periodontal diseases (gum diseases)! 

#8 Digestive Health and Anti-Inflammatory Properties

You know when your stomach just feels off, like it's all inflamed and uncomfortable? Well, guess what? Green tea could help with that! Turns out, when you sip on some green tea, polyphenols, especially catechins like EGCG, work to calm down inflammation in your gut lining. 

Furthermore, if you've ever experienced irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), know that green tea's impact extends to gastrointestinal benefits. The polyphenols step in to keep your gut bacteria in check, creating a balance. 

Choosing and Brewing Green Tea

How to Get the Best Green Tea Leaves?

If you're into green tea and want to make the most out of it – not just for the refreshing kick but also for the health perks – here's the lowdown on getting the best leaves:

  • Keep an eye out for vibrant, intact leaves. Skip the broken bits because they won't give you the full flavour experience.
  • Explore different varieties not only for unique flavours but also for some extra health benefits; for example, the following variations retain more nutrients compared to regular green tea:
    • Gyokuro and Sencha are shade-grown, which increases chlorophyll and amino acid content. Chlorophyll provides antioxidant benefits, while L-theanine has calming effects.
    • Roasted brown rice in Genmaicha could be the best green tea for weight loss as it has fibre, vitamins, and minerals. The rice enhances fullness, supporting digestive health.  
    • Dragonwell and Chun Mee are made from tender, young tea leaves, which have higher concentrations of antioxidants and polyphenols than older leaves.
    • Moroccan mint green tea, with mint in it, can help soothe your stomach and make you feel better if you have indigestion.  

How to Brew Them Perfectly?

It's not a done deal just because you've got the best tea leaves. Brewing green tea demands some attention to detail. Here’s how to do it right:

  • Use fresh, filtered water heated to around 175°F (80°C) to keep the delicate flavours intact. 
  • Steep the leaves for 2-3 minutes to avoid bitterness.
  • You can play around with steeping times to figure out your preferred taste. 
  • You can reuse green tea leaves for some extra flavour in subsequent infusions. 

Experimenting With Green Tea Recipes 

Get creative with how you bring green tea into your diet! How about tossing it into your morning smoothie for a refreshing twist? Here’s how you can get a pleasing, healthy glass of nutrients:

  1. Brew a cup of green tea and let it cool.
  2. Blend cooled green tea, grapes, fresh spinach, peeled and diced avocado, and honey until you achieve a smooth and creamy consistency. 
  3. If you prefer a colder smoothie, you can add a few ice cubes.
  4. Pour the smoothie into a glass.

That’s it, and you’ll get the refreshing and nutrient-packed goodness.

You can also use it as a base for soups to add a unique flavour. Here’s how:

  1. Cook 2 cups of short-grain rice until tender. 
  2. Oil the fish on both sides and broil it for 5 minutes. 
  3. Boil 8 cups of water, and steep tea bags for 5 minutes. 
  4. Place 1 cup rice in each bowl, and top with ½ fish fillet. 
  5. Pour 2 cups of hot tea over each bowl. 
  6. Get creative with toppings like green onions, black sesame seeds, cilantro, hot sauce, or nut oils to add extra flavour. 

You’ll get an easy and flexible recipe for a delicious weeknight meal!

Benefits of Green Tea For A Healthy Lifestyle

Green tea is packed with antioxidants. It works wonders for your heart and keeps you on the right track for weight management. Plus, it helps with diabetes prevention. What’s best? Its caffeine and L-theanine balance keeps you alert without the jitters. Sustainable energy all day long!  

Green Tea

So, why not make it a habit? After all, it can work like an all-in-one potion for your well-being. 

👉 Try Matcha and other green teas with our Ocha Bento

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