Is green tea good for you? That’s a common question searched when individuals are looking for alternatives to their not-so-healthy beverages. Another common question is “what green tea helps with,” and “what does green tea do?”
Before we dive into the answers, it is essential to know that while there are several different benefits of drinking green tea, it is important to note that it isn’t a cure-all for weight loss and other medical ailments.
So, what is green tea and how does it differ from other teas on the market?
What is Green Tea?
Before asking is green tea good for you, there are a few background details readers should know. First, did you know that green, black and oolong teas all come from the same plant? That’s right, they all come from the Camellia sinensis plant, but they differ in the way they are processed.
What makes green tea different from other non-herbal teas is the fact that it is less processed. Furthermore, because of the steam-dry methods used to process green tea, it is much richer in nutrients and antioxidants.
While drinking green tea has become increasingly popular thanks to the suggestion that it can help with a variety of different health concerns, it is a practice that has been around for quite some time.
In fact, green tea has been used for medicinal purposes in countries around the world for thousands of years, including Japan and China.
So, how does green tea help those that drink it? It’s those nutrients and antioxidants.
More importantly, recent studies suggest that the antioxidant EGCG (Epigallocatechin-3-gallate), has shown the most positive impact on some different conditions and illnesses. Some of these conditions include:
- Heart Disease
- Type 2 Diabetes
So, is green tea healthy? There is no doubt about that. However, can it deliver on the health promises that frequent users claim? Is it a magic elixir?
What Does Green Tea Do for Your Health?
The health benefits of drinking green tea seem to be plenty. However, as with many products on the market in the health and wellness industry, there is always more research to be done.
While there are benefits of drinking green tea, research states that there are no current studies that can 100 percent claim that green tea is the magical elixir many believe it is.
Now, while green tea may not be magical, it has been proven to have several positive side-effects for many individuals. Below, we have listed only five of the many health benefits of green tea, and while there are many others, these seem to be the most popularly searched amongst consumers.
1. Heart Benefits
When it comes to matters of the heart, what does green tea do?
Past research has suggested that it not only helps to prevent plaque build-up in arteries but that it also helps to lower blood pressure and prevent heart attack and even stroke – thanks to its ability to relax the blood vessels and improve blood flow.
2. Weight Loss
Sure, while heart benefits are great, many use green tea believing that it will help them shed their unwanted weight.
Yes, studies have shown that green tea is an excellent addition to a healthy diet. It has also demonstrated that EGCG has a significant effect on obesity and can help to decrease obesity overall. Studies done in previous years have shown that green tea can boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning, hence why so many fat burning supplements on the market include green tea as the main ingredient.
Again, this is a bit controversial considering many studies state that more research needs to be done to prove any of these claims.
Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo, suggests that while drinking green tea has its benefits, it won’t help someone if they aren’t working to alter their overall diet.
“Although it does have fat-burning qualities, [green tea] will not burn enough fat to make up for a bad diet.”
3. Lowers Cancer Risks
Another controversial statement is that drinking green tea can help to prevent and reduce your chances of getting cancer.
The reason that many believe that green tea can help lower the risks of getting certain types of cancer is that green tea is particularly rich in antioxidants.
A review done in 2018 cited research that showed green tea extract possibly helping to not only delay the onset but also prevent the recurrence of certain types of cancer.
While the benefits of drinking green tea seem promising, scientists firmly believe that there is more work that needs to take place before they can definitively say it lowers the risk of cancer.
4. Dental Disease
Let’s face it; not everyone considers dental hygiene as big of a health benefit as weight loss and matters of the heart and brain. However, is green tea healthy for your mouth?
The answer is yes.
Green tea’s antioxidants are known to have an antimicrobial effect. In fact, a recent study published earlier this year showed that participants with generalized gingivitis saw a positive result after they took a mix of oral lycopene and green tea extract.
In short, green tea has shown to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria in the mouth, helping to keep the user’s breath fresh and their chances of illness down.
5. Enhanced Brain Function
Remember that antioxidant we mentioned earlier? EGCG? Well, past studies have shown that EGCG appears to help decrease the production of beta-amyloid, which, according to Mercola, can over-accumulate in the brain. This can then result in nerve damage and even memory loss.
Other studies have suggested that the bioactive compounds in green tea can have a protective effect on the brain, helping to lower the risk of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Drinking Green Tea: Side-Effects Worth Noting
Overall, the health benefits of green tea are promising, and even though researchers believe there is so much more to study further, the proven effects have been promising enough to keep users drinking.
Drinking green tea does have some side-effects worth noting, especially these two mentioned here.
- Caffeine Sensitivity – Green tea does contain a certain level of caffeine, a level that will vary by brand and distributor. Those sensitive to caffeine will want to drink with caution.
- Medical Interactions – Those who take stimulants, antibiotics, blood thinners, hormones, and other medications will want to speak with their doctor to ensure that there are no known interactions between their meds and the natural ingredients in green tea.
What is Green Tea Good For?
What it comes down to is that green tea is good for a wide variety of different things, including anyone’s overall health and wellness.
While some studies support green tea as a beverage with a number of health benefits, it is vital to remember that even current studies are inconclusive as to what works and what doesn’t.
Did these health benefits of green tea convince you to make the drink a healthy part of your everyday routine?
Please share with us in the comments below!