While tea is a popular around the world (especially a “proper brew” in the UK), there are tonnes of variations. One of the most popular, both historically and today, is green tea. Whether thanks to its taste or its wide range of health benefits, you can find green tea in several forms and usually in your local supermarket.
While you might know that it’s a healthy choice, do you really know all of its potential health benefits? This article presents some of the best proven health benefits of drinking green tea.
What is Green Tea?
Most tea consumed throughout the world comes from the same plant, Camellia Sinensis. The variations of white tea, green tea, black tea, and oolong tea are all based on the degree of fermentation and processing.1
Green tea is the unfermented, or the second least processed form, and much of the world’s green tea comes from China. Only white tea undergoes less processing, but isn’t grown long enough to develop some of the powerful compounds of green tea.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea naturally contains catechins – a specific type of flavonoid (from polyphenols), or plant-based nutrient, that holds powerful antioxidants. Catechins make up most of the solid part of the green tea leaf and are the driving force behind many of the health benefits associated with green tea.2
Green tea contains four main catechins, with the most prominent being EGCG.2
1. Green tea shows strong antioxidant activity
The EGCG in green tea has been shown to play a major role in reducing cell damage and growth of potentially harmful cells that may occur from oxidation or other types of cell damage.2
While this area is still being investigated, you can think of antioxidants like preventive medicine to help protect your body from damage related to disease or aging.
2. Green tea may prevent heart disease
Long-term studies of large groups in Japan showed lower risk of cardiovascular disease in people who drank more green tea each day versus those who did not.3
While the amounts of tea consumed in several studies related to heart disease varied, the overall trend is better cardiovascular health in people who regularly drink green tea.3
3. Green tea may improve blood flow
Researchers think that green tea may improve blood flow, and in turn, prevent many heart-related diseases.2
The overall benefit to heart health and prevention is a primary reason to consume green tea.
4. Green tea may help reduce body fat
In another study that focused on heart health, it was found that green tea extract helped participants reduce their body fat by about 10%.3
A 10% reduction in body fat, especially in those who are overweight or obese, can have a significant impact on reducing risk of chronic illnesses.
5. Green tea may help with weight loss
A loss in body fat is a key for losing weight, especially when you want to preserve lean body mass. Green tea has a naturally pleasant flavour and is low in calories – if you can drink it without adding sweeteners, it’s a low calorie, natural energy boost that can support a lower calorie intake, too.
6. Green tea could help reduce inflammation
While cardiovascular disease is often associated with inflammation, there are many other conditions like joint pain and skin conditions that are impacted by inflammation.2
The strong antioxidant effect linked with anti-inflammatory properties give green tea lots of promise for those who struggle with these types of health conditions.
7. Green tea shows antimicrobial properties
Green tea has been shown to help fight bacteria and potentially prevent infection.2
It’s been linked to stopping bacteria on a cellular level as well as viruses and fungi.2 Preventing infection is a key way to stay healthy. This might also be the reason green tea can help prevent bad breath.2
Types of Green Tea
Green tea comes in many forms! Here are some ideas of ways to get green tea in your diet regularly:
Ready to drink bottles
You can purchase green tea almost anywhere. Try to avoid those with added sugars (even natural sugar, like honey) that may counteract some of the health benefits.
Loose leaf tea
If you love the process of brewing tea at home and have the right supplies, purchasing loose leaf green tea is one option for drinking up the health benefits.
Inexpensive and easy to take on the go, you can brew your own green tea from a bag with hot water – or overnight with cold water for an iced green tea.
Different from matcha, instant tea powder is a stand in for bagged tea in a pinch.
A popular form of green tea, matcha can be found at many coffee shops and you can purchase matcha powder to make your own at home.
Don’t love drinking tea or not a fan of the flavour? You can try green tea supplements and get all of the benefits of green tea without drinking multiple cups each day. Our Green Tea Extract Plus capsules are convenient and packed with powerful green tea.
Take Home Message
While people have thought for hundreds of years that green tea benefits us greatly, there is now the scientific evidence to back it up.2
With green tea, you can get the same boost of caffeine that you’re looking for from coffee or other caffeinated beverages, but you get even more peace of mind knowing you’re consuming an antioxidant packed drink that boosts your energy as well as your health.