Top 10 Health Benefits of Green Tea

Health Benefits of Green Tea

In the past decade, green tea has become incredibly popular, being mass produced and commercialized to the point of literal saturation. Why all the fuss? Well, though nearly forgotten about in the west until recent decades, green tea has long been associated with good health and well being, and it’s a delicious drink that’s enjoyed the world over. Although named differently than other variants, green tea involves the same leaves used in other types of teas though they are processed differently to limit the amount of oxidation they endure during their production. The health benefits of green tea are thought to be numerous, although more research will still be needed in order to fully understand the potential medicinal uses of the well loved beverage.

More than 800 years ago, green tea was referred to in Chinese literature as possibly affecting five organs found in the body, and though ancient authors probably had no idea why or how, today we know that polyphenols which are considered potent antioxidants, were likely the source of these medicinal uses. Catechins, tannins and a compound known as EGCG are all also thought to have healthful attributes. Unfortunately, over manufacture and widespread commercialization means that getting all of these goodies can be a little more difficult, and it still may be a good idea to brew the leaves at home, despite the widespread availability of the beverage. Green tea recipes often include other flavors like ginger, but a teaspoon of dried green tea leaves per cup of water steeped for ten minutes or so before straining and enjoying makes a delightful tea on its own. Powdered forms of the leaves and pearls are also very popular parts of many herbal tea recipes, but sourcing fresh or recently dried leaves will likely provide the best flavor as well as the most concentrated value of the naturally occurring chemical compounds attributed to the health benefits of green tea, the best ten of which can be found below.

1. Detoxification: The true benefits of helping the body cleanse itself are still a topic of much debate, however if any naturally occurring plant can help boost this process, it’s green tea. The tannins found in the leaves are what are supposed to help the body remove toxins and pollutants by enhancing fat metabolism, though more research will be needed to validate these claims.

2. Immunity Support: It seems that citrus fruits hog the spotlight for supporting healthy immune systems because of their rich vitamin C content, but green tea actually contains more of the vitamin than a standard orange does, and far more antioxidants and other vitamins as well. The health benefits of green tea therefore may include helping ward off various illnesses.

3. Reducing Cholesterol: While there are numerous plants found in nature that have been shown in some studies to help reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, green tea may be unique in that it’s also thought to help improve the ratio of good and bad cholesterol, which can be an important factor in the long term prevention of cardiovascular conditions.

4. Weight Loss: One of the most controversial purported health benefits of green tea involves the use of the brew to prompt weight loss. Studies and trials are conflicting, an evidence is still very limited. However, there are some studies that have yielded interesting results that seem to support the herb’s use in this regard. This particular trial found a group of men included in the study enjoyed both more energy and enhanced oxidation of fat when using extracts of the leaves.

5. Mental Fatigue: It’s challenging to measure just how herbal remedies affect mental function, and studies related to green tea’s benefits in this regard reflect these challenges. However, historically this was one of the most popular uses for green tea, and many still consider it effective for mental function enhancement today.

6. Tooth Decay: Very few herbal remedies are attributed to dental health, but there is some scientific evidence to support claims that the health benefits of green tea many include warding off tooth decay. The plant’s leaves naturally contain fluoride, used today in chemical forms to promote good dental health. It’s no surprise then that green tea has enjoyed a reputation historically for preventing plaque deposits that can contribute to decay of the teeth.

7. Cancer Prevention: nearly as hotly debated as the use of green tea for weight loss, the herbal remedies role in cancer prevention is just as controversial. However, studies have found that specifically in the case of cancer of the stomach and esophagus as well as the prostate, green tea may have protective properties. Like many of the other health benefits of green tea, this relationship is attributed to the plant’s antioxidant properties.

8. Arthritis: Both in terms of preventing and treating the common condition, preliminary studies are promising for the use of green tea in persons with or at risk of developing arthritis. Some studies have found that regular consumption may not only keep the disease at bay, but reduce its severity should it manifest. Additionally, purported inflammation reducing abilities of the brew may also provide symptom relief as well.

9. Blood Clot Prevention: Likely it’s the circulatory benefits attributed to green tea that make it a well known folk remedy for preventing blood clots. More research will be needed to validate this long believed use of the beverage, but other cardiovascular benefits have been observed in studies concerning green tea.

10. Colds and Flu: The same germ fighting abilities that are present in many herbal remedies may also be found in green tea, which has long been considered an overall tonic for health. Interestingly enough, chemicals in the plant have also been associated with relieving bad breath (often caused by bacteria) and gum disease, perhaps lending some credibility to the potential bacteria killing health benefits of green tea.