There are so many green tea benefits, side effects, warning and myths but let me take a moment and explain what is green tea.
According to nutritionists, green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet. But what exactly is it?
Green tea is a type of tea that is produced from the leaves of a shrub, the Camellia Sinensis. These leaves do not undergo the same type of oxidation process that is used to produce black tea.
Camellia Sinensis is an evergreen shrub whose leaves are used for producing tea. In fact, all teas come from the same Camellia Sinensis shrub.
The different coloring is mainly due to the different treatment the leaves and leaf buds go through during processing.
How does green tea affect weight loss?
Green tea contains powerful ingredients that help speed up metabolism.
A faster rate of metabolism means that fat is burned at a faster rate and used up as energy rather than stored in the body.This essentially helps the body lose weight and keep the weight off.
Some studies conducted about green tea indicate that regular consumption leads to a decrease in body fat.
According to the studies which were conducted on a period of 12 weeks, participants who took green tea on a regular basis had significant weight loss, a reduction in body fat percentage, loss in abdominal fat and waist circumference.
Green tea is especially popular for its ability to tackle fat in difficult areas such as the midriff, tummy and waist. The weight loss action of green tea is derived from bioactive ingredients such as EGCG and caffeine.
EGCG is a plant compound or phytochemical found in green tea. Together with other polyphenols, EGCG, they help suppress appetite and keep a person feeling full most of the time.
This reduces food consumption and helps control calories intake, thereby regulating body fat.
Weight loss due to green tea consumption is noticeable whether green tea is taken directly as a beverage or its extract.
However, it should not be taken in the form of ice-cream or shakes. Losing weight should be done in a healthy, controlled and gradual manner and green tea provides on of the fastest and healthiest ways of losing weight.
The numerous benefits of green tea
1 Green tea contains many active ingredients that improve health
Green tea is rich in polyphenols such as catechins and flavanoids. Apparently, when we consume food, it nourishes the body and provides the energy we need.
Unfortunately, a byproduct of food is something known as a free radical. Free radicals are very harmful to the body. They cause damage through oxidation and result in inflammation, diseases and premature aging.
Polyphenols in green tea help protect the body from free radicals. This protection is at cellular and molecular level. Therefore, by drinking green tea regularly, you keep your body healthy and enable it fight the onset of premature aging.
2 Green tea helps the body prevent cancer
It is said that drinking green tea regularly or consuming green tea extracts can help the body prevent cancer and even keep it at bay.
This is according to cancer.org. Green tea activates the body’s internal detoxification which leads to the release of enzymes that hinder the growth and advancement of cancerous tumors.
The website livescience.com reports of a study that shows women with breast cancer who consumed green tea showed slowed growth of the cancer cells and tumors.
Men who regularly consume green tea showed remarkably low levels of prostate antigens, linked to prostate cancer.
3 Green tea can help improve brain function and memory
Another little known fact about green tea is that it helps improve memory function. This is due to the active ingredient caffeine which does not just help keep you alert but smart as well.
Green tea does not contain too much caffeine to make you jittery or excited but just enough to help improve your memory. Other brain boosters found in green tea include L-theanine which is an amino acid capable of penetrating the brain and improving performance.
This has been documented through a study documented by University of Basel’s Department of Psychiatry. According to this particular study, green tea enhances memory.
Green tea users were observed to have increased connectivity in important parts of the brain that are related to memory.
4 Helps with relaxation and anti-anxiety
The amazing contents of green tea also help the body relax and combat anxiety.
Green tea contains amino acids such as L-theanine, polyphenols and bioflavanoids.All these ingredients not only nourish the body but also help in managing stress related conditions such as anxiety and depression.
It acts as a neurotransmitter and increases the presence of alpha waves in the brain. The presence of alpha waves is a good indicator of a relaxed brain.
Anyone who takes 50 – 200 mg of L-theanine will definitely feel relaxed without feeling drowsy at all.
5 Green tea helps burn fat and improve performance
The potent amino acids, bio-flavanoids and polyphenols contained in green tea also help the body burn fat.
The well known and documented fat burning capabilities of green tea have made it a popular ingredient in many weight loss supplements.
It is also very effective in boosting metabolism and increasing its rate, ensuring food is consumed fast and nutrients released to the body.
According to studies conducted a few years ago, it was shown that the rate of fat burning in males increased by 17% while in another study of ten men, energy levels went up by 4%.
Caffeine in green tea was shown to improve physical performance. It does this by converting fatty acids into usable glucose which is then made available to the body.
6 Protects the brain as we age
Green tea is very effective in protecting the brain over the years. It keeps the brain functioning and in good shape through the ages.
It is important to note, therefore, that green tea not only helps improve brain performance in the short term but also assists the brain functions properly in old age.
However, it is the fact that it protects the brain from age related brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
Alzheimer is a leading cause of dementia, a condition that mostly affects the elderly while Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition that is very common.
It usually occurs due to gradual demise of dopamine producing neurons in the brain. The good news is that compounds found in green tea can help protect the neurons and lower the risk of both very common yet debilitating neurodegenerative diseases.
7 Kills bacteria that cause infections and affect dental health
Green tea contains important elements and compounds such as catechins. Catechin is a flavanoid, a natural phenol and an antioxidant.
These have lots of properties, one of which is biological. Apparently, they do kill bacteria in the body and inhibit certain types of viruses such as those that cause the flu.
One of the most dangerous bacteria affecting oral health is streptococcus mutans. It is among the biggest contributors to plaque formation, tooth decay and cavities.
It has been shown that catechins can hinder the proliferation of streptococcus bacteria in the mouth, helping reduce dental problems and a healthier mouth.
8 Green tea reduces chances of getting heart diseases
Some of the major causes of death around the world include cardiovascular diseases.
These are diseases that affect the heart and related systems.
It is important to take green tea regularly because it has been proven to improve factors associated to heart attacks, strokes and cardiovascular diseases.
For instance, it improves the levels of good cholesterol, lowers those of bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
It also helps improve the levels of antioxidants in the blood which is important in the protections from heart diseases.
It is no wonder then that regular green tea consumers have a 31% lower risk of heart disease compared to others.
This is a very important among various benefits of green tea.
9 Protects against type II diabetes
One of the most endemic chronic conditions that is prevalent around the world is type II diabetes.
It is currently at epidemic levels and has been proliferating widely in the past couple of decades.
There are over 300 million sufferers all around the world.
If you are not yet afflicted by this condition then you can help improve your chances of avoiding it by consuming green tea.
Diabetes manifests by resisting the regulation of blood sugar through the body’s inability to produce insulin. This results in high blood sugar levels which can lead to serious complications and even life threatening situations.
Green tea helps reduce blood sugar levels and can improve the body’s sensitivity to insulin.
A study conducted in Japan revealed that those who took green tea had a 42% lower risk of getting diabetes compared to those who do not.
10 Green tea drinkers are healthier and generally live longer
It has been shown clearly through studies that green tea has many properties that are beneficial to the body and overall health.
People who consume green tea generally have lower risks of suffering from cardiovascular diseases, certain types of cancers and chronic illnesses such as type II diabetes.
Many studies have been conducted all around the world and they all show that green tea drinkers fare much better than other people.
11 Clean Up Acne
According to a study by the University of Miami, green tea contains antimicrobial and antioxidant compounds that help to erase pimples in people who have mild to moderate acne.
For best results, use green tea as face wash for more than two times in a day.
12 Fight Urinary Tract Infections
Some studies suggest that those who drink green tea have a 40% lower incidence of urinary tract infections compared to those who do not take green tea.
The tea contains antioxidants that help to reduce bladder inflammation.
13 Reduce Puffy Eyes
Green tea is known to soothe and refresh tired or swollen eyes.
For best results, take two or three wet green tea bags, place them on the eyes and lie down for about 20 minutes.
You will see immediate change.
14 Cut Down Stress
Researchers from the University of Tohoku graduate school of medicine suggest that green tea helps to reduce psychological stress.
Although they did not find a specific compound that is associated to this effectiveness in human, EGCC was found to contain both sedative and hypnotic effects that helped reduce stress in animals.
The good thing about green tea is that it contains less caffeine than coffee so you can take more than one cup in a day.
15 Relieve Allergies
One of the reasons why you should take green tea if struggling with allergies is the fact that it helps to fight inflammation.
Green tea is packed with plant chemicals and flavonoids that aid in fighting and reducing inflammation.
For best results, ensure that you take at least a cup of green tea every day.
16 Reduce Bad Cholesterol
Many people struggle with the presence of bad cholesterol in the blood.
Unknown to them, green tea is packed with some compounds that help to reduce the bad cholesterol in blood and increase good cholesterol.
Take at least a cup of green tea every day and enjoy the benefits.
17 Alzheimer’s And Parkinson’s
According to studies, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in human beings and the biggest contributor of dementia.
On the other hand, Parkinson’s disease is rated as the second most common neurodegenerative disease and often attributed with death of dopamine that help in production of neurons.
Taking a cup of green tea every day helps to reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
It has also been suggested through studies that the catechins compounds found in green tea help to protect neurons in both human and animals.
18 UV Protection
If going out to the beach, you may consider green tea as one of the most important components in fighting UV rays.
A 2013 study as published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the catechins in green tea make the skin more resistant to the effects of UV rays which helps to prevent premature skin aging.
They can also contribute in reduction of skin redness after being exposed to UV rays.
The other good thing about green tea is that it can help to supplement inflammations that are as a result of UV rays.
Take a cup of green tea every day and keep the doctor away.
19 Boosts Eyesight
Although the effects of green tea in boosting eye sight in humans is still subject to confirmation, some studies suggest that green tea is essential in boosting eyesight and preventing cataract-induced blindness.
This is attributed to the presence of catechins and antioxidants in green tea.
Different parts of the eye absorb these two essential compounds that help in boosting the eyesight. It is recommended that you take at least a cup of green tea every day for maximum results.
20 Works As A Skin Toner
Use of green tea in your skin care regime will leave you hydrated and free from impurities.
When used together with oils such as olive and coconut oil, it helps to reduce some skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis.
Side effects and cautions regarding green tea
Green tea is an excellent beverage to consume and when taken regularly in moderation poses little or no risks to general body health.
However, just like most other teas, it contains caffeine. When taken in excessively large amounts, it can result in certain problems. These are listed below.
1 Stomach problems
Green tea contains tannins which can cause an increase in stomach acidity when excessively consumed.
This can result in constipation, nausea and stomach pains. This is why green tea should not be taken on an empty stomach.
2 Anemia and iron deficiency
Green tea can reduce the capacity of the body to absorb iron from food. This can happen when green tea is consumed in high doses.
Green tea also reduces the bio-availability of iron found in dairy, plants and eggs. This type of iron is referred to as non-heme iron and according to a 2001 study, it was shown that green tea inhibits its absorption in the body.
3 Other problems relating to caffeine in green tea
There are other problems associated with green tea that result directly to caffeine. These include nervousness, anxiety, mild to serious headaches and even sleep problems.
Caffeine is a major risk factor for chronic headaches. It can also result in accelerated or irregular heartbeat, vomiting, heartburn, muscle tremors, diarrhea and heartburn.
How best to take green tea
Green tea is best consumed or taken when hot water is directly added to dry green tea leaves.
The interaction between the hot water and the tea leaves is essential for ensuring all essential nutrients are obtained.
It is a good idea to prepare a cup of green tea directly using the tea leaves as opposed to using tea bags.
While a good quality tea can be produced using green tea bags, using the tea leaves directly produces the best results.
The tea can be taken directly once prepared or some additives such as spices, honey and others can be used. These help to make the green tea more palatable and more potent.
Green tea warnings
Many experts are of the opinion that green tea is generally safe for use by most adults. This is when consumed in moderations.
However, it can be unsafe when taken orally for a long period of time. Care should be taken when giving it to kids, pregnant women and lactating moms.
It can also have a negative reaction with some types of medication such as amphetamines and stimulant drugs.
A doctor or other health care professional should be consulted regarding the safety and possible interaction of green tea with medications.
Green tea is therefore a great product to use on a regular basis. However, caution should be taken because of certain negative repercussions that are likely to occur.
Different Myths of Green Tea
Green tea being the most popular beverage for weight loss has been encircled by many myths and it is important that you understand what truth is and what is not.
Some of the most common myths include:
- Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight Rapidly
It is a fact that green tea is a great contributor to weight loss, but you would be lying to yourself if you believed that you will start noticing changes from the first intake of this beverage.
However, it is true to state that green tea helps to stabilize metabolism and is very essential for weight loss.
2 Green Tea Has Less Caffeine Than Black Tea
This is one of the most popular myths that most people have believed as facts.
The truth is that green tea has less caffeine than coffee but not other types of tea.
It is important to note that green tea is only green because of the processing method used and this is the main difference with black tea.
Some people have believed that green tea and black tea are extracted from different plant which is an outright lie.
3 Green Tea Causes Dehydration
The fact that caffeine is associated with dehydration has led to some people believing that intake of green tea will cause dehydration.
However, researchers affirm that you would have to take in raw caffeine for you to be dehydrated. This means that green tea does not cause dehydration and this should not prevent you from taking it if you wish to weight.
4 No Amount Of Green Tea Is Harmful
The benefits of green tea are many and often than seldom, people forget that too much of anything can be poisonous.
It is important to note that green tea is rich in caffeine which can cause tremors if taken without moderation.
It is also packed with polyphenols that causes indigestion. It is therefore, recommended that you do not exceed five glasses of green tea every day.
5 Little Nutritional Effect
You will hear some people argue that green tea has little nutritional benefits to the body.
The fact is that green tea has many nutritional effects to the body as it is anti-bacterial, neuroprotective, cholesterol lowering, anti-inflammatory and a rich source of ant-oxidants.
6 Green Tea cannot promote Cancer
The fact is that green tea helps to prevent cancer but it would be untrue to say that it does not promote the same disease.
Studies suggest that if you drink too much green tea every day, you risk suffering from throat cancer. Always remember to take the tea in moderation.
Those are the major green tea benefits that have been proven by scientist.
Most of us are not aware of the side effects of green tea if this healthy drink is not taken in moderation.
I found the myths here amazing during the research and am afraid I have believed in some of them since I started my fitness journey.
Share and comment your thoughts below.