Green tea has been around for a long time and is known as a healthy and healing type of tea. It has an incredible amount of health benefits due to its anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties that go along with its rich antioxidant content.
It wasn’t a tea that I really liked at first, but the many health benefits of green tea convinced me to add it into my regular tea drinking routine. I’ve learned to love drinking it quite a bit, and I especially love a good matcha latte (scroll down for an incredible recipe!)!
Green Tea definitely has some amazing health benefits, and is often seen as a healthier alternative to things like coffee or regular sweet tea.
So… What is Green Tea?
Green tea was developed centuries ago for the sole purpose of healing. The Chinese are the ones who first realized the benefits it holds and found a way to harness it for consumption.
Green tea became an integral part of their society and culture because it could be used for things like headache pain and depression. It was considered a highly sought after medicinal treatment because they saw it as the “wonder drug” of their time.
It is estimated that about 2.5 million tons of tea leaves are produced each year throughout the world, with 20% produced as green tea, which is mainly consumed in Asia, some parts of North Africa, the United States, and Europe.
Green tea leaves come from the Camellia sinensis plant. They have not been fermented, and contain high amounts of antioxidants. They are also sometimes consumed as black or Oolong tea (after green tea has gone through a fermentation process).
It contains some of the same anti-aging compounds as red wine and dark chocolate, and has more healing properties than many other herbs, spices, fruits, and vegetables. In fact, it is so powerful that it is considered by many to be one of the best superfoods for overall health and immunity. It does contain a small amount of caffeine, which makes it a nice alternative to coffee if you’re doing any type of cleanse.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea can be helpful for many common ailments. Some of which include cardiovascular health and cholesterol, different types of infections, rheumatoid arthritis and some types of cancer.
Green tea is most known for its ability to help your body stay strong and fight off disease, by benefitting your immune system overall with its powerful antioxidants. All of these benefits I’m about to discuss are linked to Green Tea’s strong polyphenol content (mainly flavanols and flavonols).
Watch the following video, or you can continue reading below.
#1 Effect on Cancer
Some studies have shown that green tea reduced the risk of esophageal cancer by at least 60%. That’s amazing! It has also been linked to prevention of many other types of cancer including lung, colon, mouth, stomach, small intestine, kidney, pancreas, and mammary glands. I’ll link to these studies below in the resources section (definitely worth the read!).
#2 Balancing a Healthy Weight
Dieters may also benefit from this flavorful tea. Green tea is known for its ability to help your body burn off some of the daily calories you take in. It provides you with some of the needed nutrients as well as being a healthy beverage that tastes good.
One study showed that consumption of a beverage containing green tea catechins, caffeine, and calcium increases 24-h energy expenditure by 4.6%. It was concluded from these results that green tea is sufficient to help prevent weight gain.
So whether you’re looking to lose a few pounds or just balance out your weight, you may want to give green tea a try.
#3 Dental Health
Another benefit you may not realize that it provides is that it can help prevent tooth decay. Since it has bacteria-destroying abilities, it prevents harmful bacteria from settling into your mouth and causing the rotting and decaying of your teeth.
That bacteria is also prevented from traveling any further into your body (such as your blood stream) and causing more health problems.
Green tea contains the amino acid theanine, which has been shown to help reduce stress and promote a restful sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, you may benefit from drinking green tea. However, it does contain caffeine so this may counteract the effect. You may wish to try drinking it earlier in the day. The overall stress reducing benefits can last through the rest of the day and night.
#5 Heart Health & Cholesterol
A few studies in regards to flavinols and antioxidants present in Green tea have shown to help reduce cholesterol and high blood pressure. This may be due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
#6 Arthritis & Bone Health
Since arthritis is a form of inflammation, it may also benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties of Green Tea. It has also been linked to increasing bone mineral density naturally. So instead of reaching for that glass of milk, you may want to reach instead for a cup of steaming hot Green tea or Matcha!
#7 Overall Inflammation
As stated above, the compounds in Green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that seem to benefit a variety of inflammatory issues.
The antioxidant properties of the plant, naturally make it anti-fungal.
Not only does it naturally boost immunity, but it is also known to be anti-viral. This may merit adding it into your daily routine during cold and flu season.
#10 Bug Bites
And if all of that wasn’t enough to make you want to give Green Tea a try, using Green Tea as a poultice on a minor bug bite can help relieve the itching and irritation.
And finally, there has been recent evidence to show that Green Tea may also help prevent Alzheimer’s, protect brain cells, and even help Diabetics!
Seriously…there are so many benefits, that this short post really doesn’t do it justice!
I know this was a lot of information. Green Tea is definitely a powerful plant, but there are a few things in regards to safety to keep in mind. Green tea is a natural diuretic, so those with severe illness, who are taking medications, or are pregnant/nursing should consult a physician before consuming a lot of it.
It’s also important to note that often the plant is shown to accumulate high levels of aluminum and iron, which could be harmful depending on how much is present and how much you consume.
Choose a good sourced brand whenever possible, and when in doubt – ask a health professional
By no means is this post meant to be medical advice of any kind, nor am I saying that Green Tea can or will cure any of these issues. But hopefully overall this convinces you to at least add in some green tea to your diet here and there.
So here’s a good recipe for you to try…
Matcha Latte Recipe (Iced or Hot)
Matcha is my favorite form of Green Tea, since it is the ground up form of the leaves (super concentrated so you get the most benefit!). Many coffee shops now serve it as well, so you might consider requesting it the next time you go in for a cup of joe!
- 1 tsp Matcha Powder (this organic one is a good one)
- 1 Cup Non-Dairy Milk (Coconut Milk is my favorite)
- 1 tsp maple syrup
Iced Matcha Latte Directions:
Just add all the ingredients into your blender and blend. Then pour over ice.
Hot Matcha Latte Directions:
Slowly heat up your milk on the stove just prior to boiling. Stir in the other ingredients, and allow to cool enough to drink.
If you want to make it frothy, consider purchasing an inexpensive frother or you can use a cappuccino machine (if you have one).
And I’m sure it is sinful to admit, but I have been known to order one at Starbucks. The local lady always makes it for me with coconut milk, and it is wonderful!
Do you enjoy green tea or matcha and have a favorite brand? Or perhaps you have a favorite recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!
Resources and Studies: