Often touted as “one of the healthiest drinks in the world,” green tea has been gaining popularity for its slew of health benefits. And its no wonder – from its purported benefits to its more proven effects, green tea keeps proving its worth as a quality beverage.
Here are more reasons to keep – or start – drinking green tea.
Helps with Weight Loss
One of the more appealing aspects of green tea for many people is the potential it can help you to lose fat. Research and studies have shown that caffeine and antioxidants found in it can assist with weight loss.
Caffeine and Fat Mobilization
Caffeine is a commonly used (the most widely used in the entire world, in fact) stimulant that can be found in many teas, including green tea. Scientists have found that drinking caffeine may aid in the process of fat burning through increased energy expenditure and a process called lipolysis.
Lipolysis is the process where stored fats and lipids in the human body are broken down to be used for energy. Studies have shown that caffeine stimulates the mobilization of stored fat and could lead to some weight loss.
One caveat, though: the study showed that caffeine alone might not be sufficient to cause fat to break down completely. Fortunately, green tea has other fat-burning compounds that can help as well.
EGCG and Fat Mobilization
The other main compounds of green tea that are effective for weight loss are antioxidants called “catechins.” Catechins are potent substances that can significantly help reduce overall body fat.
The most influential of these substances, in regards to weight loss, is EGCG or epigallocatechin gallate. EGCG is a polyphenol and antioxidant that can further break down stored body fat. Through a complicated process, EGCG causes an increase in fat-burning hormones in the body, leading to more fat being used as energy.
It provides both caffeine and antioxidants, which work together to help burn body fat.
Protective Against Osteoporosis
As people age, the risk of osteoporosis – weaker, brittle bones – becomes greater and greater. Green tea has been shown to prevent age-related bone loss.
Micronutrients called polyphenols (like EGCG, above) are abundantly found in this tea, and these micronutrients can increase bone density and reduce bone loss. A 2017 study concluded that drinking green tea, which is high in levels of polyphenols, can reduce the overall risk of osteoporosis.
Protective Against Neurodegenerative Diseases
Going back to the previously mentioned catechins, green tea can protect against some forms of neurodegenerative disease.
One report stated that several studies demonstrated the effectiveness of catechins, specifically (again) EGCG, in preventing neurological impairment such as memory loss and cognitive dysfunction. EGCG and other catechins can prevent the accumulation of fibrous proteins in the brain, which is one of the main causes of cell death.
In short – drinking it helps protect against several neurodegenerative diseases.
Helps Elevate Your Mood
Besides all of the science behind green tea and its effects on physical health, it can also help to elevate your mood.
The main hormone in the human brain that is responsible for feelings of positivity and motivation is dopamine. A study by the University of San Francisco showed that the polyphenols in green tea – the same ones that prevent osteoporosis – can boost the availability of dopamine in the brain.
Drinking this tea will provide a lot of polyphenols, which can help increase your feelings of reward and positivity.
Lower Risk of Heart Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. Luckily, green tea can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to one study of 40,530 adults, participants who drank five to ten cups daily had up to a 26 percent lower risk of a stroke or heart attack than those who drank less than one cup.
The Verdict: Drink the Tea and Make it Green
Growing evidence continues to show the beneficial effects of green tea and how it can be a healthy staple to add to any diet.
While green tea contains many benefits, the same can’t be said for all teas. Black tea, for example, has been shown not to affect the risk of heart disease at all. (Although black tea does likely claim many of the other benefits).
The antioxidants and various compounds in green tea offer an extensive amount of potential health benefits. However – as with anything – it should be taken in moderation. Don’t drink more than 3-5 cups a day – that should be plenty for you to gain the benefits above.
Enjoy your cup – I’ll be raising one with you!
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This article is intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or are considering any recommendations, please consult your health practitioner.