It’s easy to make drinking a few cups of green tea a comforting daily ritual, in which each step is relaxing, from steeping the tea to taking that fresh first sip. The benefits of drinking green tea, however, are far greater than a warm drink and a pleasing routine.
Green tea is one of the oldest drinks in the world, and studies show that it may also be one of the healthiest drinks in the world, too. Today we’ll explore some of the most well-established benefits of drinking green tea.
What is Green Tea?
Green tea is one of the world’s oldest drinks, originating centuries ago in China. It’s made by steeping fresh leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. Green tea has a fresh, mild flavour and its incredible healing properties have earned it a loyal following around the world.
In addition to boosting your hydration levels, green tea has been linked by rigorous scientific studies to the following benefits:
- Contains substances that reduce free radicals, including “polyphenols that have effects like reducing inflammation and helping to fight cancer…Green tea is about 30 percent polyphenols by weight, including large amounts of a catechin called EGCG. Catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other benefits.”
- Has similar fat-burning and mental performance boosting properties of coffee, with less chance of jitters and sleep disturbance due to excess caffeine load.
- Reduces cancer risk. Studies show that regularly drinking green tea reduces the risk of breast cancer in women (by about 20-30%), prostate cancer in men (by about 48%), and colorectal cancer (by 42%).
- Improves brain health. Healthline says “…green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain. Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. The combination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function”
- Improves dental health by killing harmful mouth bacteria and reduces bad breath.
- May help you lose weight, especially around the abdominal area.
- Lengthens your life. A study of Japanese green tea drinkers showed that those that drank the most green tea were less likely to die in the next eleven years.
- Improves heart health. Reader’s Digest explains “Green tea contains significant amounts of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect against heart disease by slowing the breakdown of LDL cholesterol, preventing blood clots, and improving blood vessel function. The benefits of green tea also include associations with lower cholesterol and lower rates of artery blockages. People who drink a cup or two a day have a 46 percent lower risk of developing narrowed arteries. Upping that to three cups a day lowers the risk of having a heart attack by 43 percent and of dying from a heart attack by 70 percent.”
As these health benefits show, drinking two cups of green tea each day provides far more than just a different alternative to coffee or water. Drinking green tea can help boost your health, lengthen your lifespan, and strengthen your body.
To get the most out of this new habit, invest in a good-quality green tea, steep it for 1-3 minutes (depending on your preferred strength and taste), and drink at least two cups each day. Next, we’ll be discussing specifics about how to brew the perfect cup, and whether the time of day you drink green tea makes a difference.
Until then, happy sipping!