What are the health benefits of green tea?
Green tea has been consumed in China and Japan for thousands of years, and is starting to become a popular research topic for its discovered health benefits. Green tea contains flavonoids which are substances found in plants and flowers and studies have shown that the flavonoids in green tea can help in heart health, lowering total cholesterol as well as lowering blood pressure (Penn Medicine).
Green tea also has anti-inflammatory effects, having a positive impact on breast, liver, prostate and colorectal cancers (Penn Medicine). Green tea contains caffeine, which can act as a stimulant, increasing cognitive function, mood, reaction time and memory. Caffeine can also improve physical performance, allowing for a more intense workout than if one did not have the stimulating effects of green tea. More and more people are leaning towards a more natural caffeine, versus the artificial ones found in energy drinks. Green tea also contains a compound called L-theanine which acts on the GABA receptor, decreasing anxiety.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the men that were given green tea burned 4% more calories and increased the oxidation of fat by 17%, compared to those who were taking a placebo. Even with a small increase in calorie burn, it adds up over time with long term benefits in weight loss, and increased metabolic functioning.
In 1997, another study conducted in Japan investigated the effects of drinking more than 10 cups of green tea per day on the incidence of cancer in females. They followed 8,500+ participants over nine years, and the incidence of cancer was much later than the national annual incidence rate in those who drank more than ten cups per day. It was concluded that there is a correlation between drinking green tea and delaying the onset of cancer (Preventative Medicine, Vol 26, Issue 6).
Some of the studies found on the health effects of green tea have conflicting results, opening the door for further research.
This article reviewed by Dr. Jim Liu, MD and Ms. Deb Dooley, APRN.
There’s nothing more important than our good health – that’s our principal capital asset.
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