5 Proven Health Benefits of Green Tea
It seems that Kermit the Frog was right when he said, “it’s good to be green.”
Green tea contains an army of hardworking nutrients and antioxidants that provide incredible health benefits – from relieving anxiety and improving brain health to anti-aging and promoting a healthy immune system. The reason? Green tea is rich in polyphenols and catechins, which are natural micronutrients that can act as antioxidants. Green tea’s health-boosting powers are mostly due to two specific compounds: L-Theanine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Read on to discover five reasons why your next drink should be green!
1. Supports Healthy Cell Growth:In a nutshell, a healthy body is characterized by cell death and regrowth. Specialized cells, called stem cells, produce new cells to replace those that die. However, when this balance is off kilter, dysfunctional cells are produced. Scientists have discovered that the antioxidants in green tea extract, notably ECGC, can regulate healthy cell growth and survival. One study followed patients at risk of developing prostate issues. Researchers found that the patients consuming green tea had only a 3% likelihood of unhealthy cell growth compared to 30% for the control.2 Other studies have shown that green tea also supports healthy cell growth in the breast and colon, too.
2. Promotes Brain Health:Together the EGCG and L-theanine in green tea work to improve both brain function and health. A natural stress-buster, L-theanine has anti-anxiety effects and acts as a gentle tranquilizer without causing drowsiness. Meanwhile, EGCG can reduce fatigue, relaxing and refreshing your frazzled mind. What’s more, the antioxidants in green tea protect brain cells from oxidative stress that can lead to brain and memory problems. Importantly, a University of Michigan study3 revealed that the ECGG may prevent the buildup of plagues that lead to age-related cognitive decline.
3. Immunity Booster:A clinical trial with human volunteers revealed that a green tea helps improve immunity and prevents cold and flu symptoms.4 That stands to reason as the antioxidants in green tea are beneficial in generally bolstering the entire immune system. By defending against damage from free radicals in the body, green tea keeps the immune system strong. Healthy immune systems are better at handling infections from bacteria, parasites and viruses. Additionally, green tea protects against oxidative stress that can damage cells and cause disease.
4. Heart Helper:Could simply sipping a cup of green tea benefit your ticker and more? Studies say yes, as it can improve some of the top risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Research shows that green tea can help lower total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides5. Additionally, it’s been shown to protect the LDL particles from damaging oxidation. Given these factors, green tea drinkers may have up to 31% lower risk of cardiovascular problems, according to Healthline.com.
5. Links to Longevity:Not surprisingly, when you add up reasons #1 through #4, the result is decidedly positive. Extensive studies show that green tea drinkers live longer than their non-tea drinking peers. In a Japanese study6 of 40,530 adults, those who sipped the most tea (5 or more cups daily) were notably less likely to die during an 11-year period.
References 1: Khan N, Afaq F, Saleem M, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H. Targeting multiple signaling pathways by green tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate. Cancer Res. 2006Mar 2: Bettuzzi S, Brausi M, Rizzi F, Castagnetti G, Peracchia G, Corti A.Chemoprevention of human prostate cancer by oral administration of green teacatechins: Cancer Res. 2006 Jan15 3. Hyung SJ, DeToma AS, Brender JR, Lee S, Vivekanandan S, Kochi A, Choi JS,Ramamoorthy A, Ruotolo BT, Lim MH. Insights into antiamyloidogenic properties of the green tea extract Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Mar 5 4, Rowe CA, Nantz MP, Bukowski JF, Percival SS. Specific formulation of Camellia sinensis prevents cold and flu symptoms and enhances gamma,delta T cell function: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Am Coll Nutr. 2007 Oct;26(5):445-52. 5: Hartley L, Flowers N, Holmes J, Clarke A, Stranges S, Hooper L, Rees K. Green and black tea for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane database Syst Rev. 2013 Jun 18;Kuriyama S, Shimazu T, Ohmori K, Kikuchi N, Nakaya N, 6. Nishino Y, Tsubono Y,Tsuji I. Green tea consumption and mortality due to cardiovascular disease,cancer, and all causes in Japan: the Ohsaki study. JAMA. 2006 Sep