For centuries, people across many cultures have claimed the health benefits of drinking various types of tea. In fact, you've likely heard someone talk about the advantages of drinking green tea for both mental and physical health. Here are four benefits of drinking green tea along with the research behind these claims. You might be surprised by all of the ways green tea can support a healthy lifestyle!
4 Reasons To Drink Green Tea
While there are many claims of the health benefits of green tea, consider these top four reasons, all backed by research.
1. Increases Fat Burning
If weight loss is part of your health goals, drinking green tea may help support your efforts. Research suggests that drinking green tea regularly can increase fat burning and boost your metabolic rate. One reason green tea can help support an increase in metabolic rate is that it contains caffeine, which increases the amount of energy the body uses. Caffeine can also improve exercise performance by providing more energy. In turn, this can help bolster your fitness and weight loss results.
In addition to caffeine, green tea also contains a substance known as catechin. Catechin is an antioxidant that helps break down excess fat. Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is the most prominent type of catechin (a polyphenol) found in green tea. This study suggests the powerful correlation between EGCG and the ability to burn adipose tissue (fat tissue) in mice.
2. Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious and chronic condition that affects 1 in 10 Americans. This condition causes a person to have high blood sugar levels due to insulin resistance. Some research suggests that drinking green tea regularly can help improve insulin sensitivity and decrease blood sugar levels, helping to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
In a review of studies exploring the correlation between blood sugar levels and green tea consumption, results found that those who drank green tea had a lowered fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin a1C when compared to those who did not drink green tea. If type 2 diabetes runs in your family, drinking green tea is one easy way you can take an active role in prevention. It doesn't just help lower your risk of developing diabetes, but it's also a great drink for current diabetics since it contains no sugar.
If you enjoy your tea sweetened, consider adding natural sugar alternatives to sweeten your tea, such as Stevia or monk fruit. Tea can be enjoyed any time of the day to take advantage of the blood sugar-reducing effects.
3. Contains Antioxidants
You've probably heard the health claim that green tea contains high levels of antioxidants, but do you know what this means? Antioxidants are substances that inhibit oxidation in the body, which means they have the power to delay or prevent cell damage. Any measures you can take to reduce inflammation and oxidative damage can help decrease your risk of developing many chronic diseases, including cancer.
Green tea contains many antioxidants that can help support great health. The compounds found in green tea may help reduce the risk of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer. Many research studies have also found that antioxidants can be beneficial in preventing heart disease and other chronic diseases.
4. May Support Brain Health
Looking for a brain boost? Drinking green tea is a natural way that may help boost your mood, reduce stress, and enhance cognitive function. Green tea contains several compounds that may contribute to these symptoms. As mentioned before, green tea contains caffeine, a stimulant known for enhancing energy levels and boosting mood. The average 8-ounce cup of green tea contains between 30 and 50 milligrams of caffeine. Green tea can be a great way to start your day or pick you up mid-day at about half the amount of caffeine per cup than standard drip coffee.
Green tea also contains an amino acid known as l-theanine. L-theanine helps to boost dopamine and lower stress levels, producing feelings of relaxation. Studies show that caffeine and l-theanine work together for enhanced effects.
As mentioned above, another brain health benefit of drinking green tea comes from the substance EGCG. EGCG is a type of catechin that can help protect your brain's cells (neurons) from damage. In turn, this means that drinking green tea regularly may help you protect against neurological diseases such as dementia and Parkinson's disease. One study explored the ability of green tea to help lower the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Start Drinking Green Tea To Support Great Health
Drinking green tea regularly can help produce immediate and long-term health benefits. In the short term, drinking green tea can help regulate your mood, enhance fat burning, and boost your energy levels throughout the day. Over the long term, drinking green tea may help decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer, and neurological diseases.
Try getting some loose or bagged green tea and incorporate a cup into your daily routine to benefit from these exciting health benefits backed by research.