12 Reasons to Drink More Green Tea (#5 Is All the Reason You Really Need)

Transparent cup of green tea with lime on wooden background

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Green tea must be the healthiest drink in the world, hands down. If you have recently decided to ditch sodas and those unhealthy energy drinks, you are not alone.

However, if you are missing your caffeine and are bored to death with water, we hear you! Green tea can solve most of your problems. Green tea has enough caffeine to be helpful, but not enough to make you jittery. Much healthier than sodas could ever be, it can even help you drop some pounds. And let’s face it: Green tea just plain tastes good! Sales of green tea are steadily on the rise in the U.S. and the great taste is just one of many reasons.

Most people have no idea just how healthy green tea is! If you haven’t heard, keep reading and discover all the things you never knew about green tea.

 

1. It Can Make You Smarter

Seriously! Green tea contains caffeine. Not as much as coffee — but that’s a good thing. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine. By blocking adenosine, it increases the amount of firing that your neurons are doing and increases the concentration of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine. Caffeine has been studied heavily, and these studies consistently show that it leads to improvement in brain function, improves your mood, and increases your concentration levels, memory, as well as lessening reaction time. Green tea also contains an important amino acid called L-theanine, which is one of the few elements able to cross the blood-brain barrier. This amino acid increases the activity of GABA, a neurotransmitter that calms feelings of anxiety. Due to the smaller dose of caffeine, but with the presence of L-theanine, green tea can give you a different type of buzz than coffee, and it’s one you are sure to love.

 

2. Lowers Your Risk of Depression

The L-theanine amino acid previously mentioned not only makes you smarter, it is also thought to provide relaxing effects and reduce the risk of developing depression. If you suffer from depression, or if you are at a high risk of developing depression, try adding three or more cups of green tea to your life. You should experience results within four to six weeks.

 

3. Contains Bioactive Compounds For Super Health

More than any other tea, green tea is loaded with polyphenols, such as catechins and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants fight free radicals that damage our DNA and cause serious health problems on a cellular level. One of the most powerful active ingredients in green tea is called EGCG, or epigallocatechin gallate. This is a powerful antioxidant which has been well-studied and is known to treat various diseases.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Helps You Lose Or Maintain Weight

Green tea increases your metabolism, which means that your body is running in a high gear, burning more calories than it ever did before. Several studies show that green tea can help you to lose more body fat, especially belly fat. One study involving 240 subjects found that the group consuming green tea had significant decreases in both body fat and waist circumference. Drink three or more cups of green tea to lose a few pounds, or to maintain a healthy weight.

 

5. Increases Your Lifespan

Wow. If nothing else on this list matters to you, this one should inspire you enough to start drinking a lot more green tea! Although everyone dies eventually, you don’t have to be one of the first to kick off. Those who drink green tea have been shown in numerous studies to have a lower risk of dying from cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. One study, which involved more than 40,000 Japanese adults, found that those who drank the most green tea (on average, five cups per day) were much less likely to die during the 11-year study period. Another study out of Japan looked at more than 14,000 adults between the ages of 65 and 84. This study found that those who drank the most green tea were 76 percent less likely to die over the six-year study period. This one is a no-brainer: Drink more green tea, live long, and prosper.

 

6. Gives You Beautiful Skin

The high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in green tea fight off the damage that free radicals cause to the skin cells. This means drinking plenty of green tea can give you younger-looking skin, making all your friends really jealous! Studies done with both humans and animals have shown that green tea can reduce the signs of premature aging as well as reduce the amount of damage the sun does to your skin.

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Lowers Your Risk Of Cancer

Cancer is defined as the uncontrolled growth of mutant cells and is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Oxidative damage and inflammation is one of the leading causes of the development of cancer. Antioxidants, such as the potent kind found in green tea, can have a protective effect. One meta-analysis found that women who drank four or more cups of green tea each day had a 22 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer. Another study found that men who drank green tea had a 48 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer. Still another study, involving more than 69,000 Chinese women, found that those who drank green tea had a 57 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Cancer is a word no one wants to hear from their doctors. Avoid it by drinking more green tea — what could be easier?

 

8. Lowers Your Risk Of Heart Disease

The biggest cause of death worldwide is heart disease. Green tea can lower your risk of developing this deadly killer. Green tea lowers your cholesterol levels while increasing the antioxidant capacity of the blood, which protects your good (LDL) cholesterol from becoming oxidized. Studies show that those who drink green tea have a 31 percent lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease, which is not surprising when you consider everything this tea has to offer.

 

9. Improve Physical Performance And More

If you read the ingredient list for any fat-burning product on the market today, chances are really good that you will find green tea on that list. Green tea increases your metabolic rate and burns fat, according to human-controlled studies. The caffeine in green tea has also been shown to improve physical performance by removing the fatty acids from stored fat and making them available to the body for immediate use as energy. Want to show off at the gym or your next sports game? Drink more green tea!

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Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

10. Lowers Your Risk Of Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a near epidemic in most parts of the world, with estimates stating that more than 300 million people around the world now have this disease. Studies show that drinking green tea can both reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. One Japanese study found that those who drank large amounts of green tea have a 42 percent lower risk of developing this terrible disease.

 

11. Anti-Viral And Antibacterial

Green tea contains both antibacterial and anti-viral compounds which can keep you healthy and free from infection. Studies show that green tea can stop the growth of harmful bacteria in the mouth called streptococcus mutans. Those who drink green tea have improved oral health and a much lower risk of developing cavities. Green tea can also kill viruses such as the common cold and influenza virus, which can lead you toward a healthier winter by avoiding the flu shot. Drink at least three cups per day for all the anti-viral and antibacterial benefits in green tea.

 

SEE ALSO: How to Choose the Right Tea for Every Health Problem

 

12. Protects The Brain From Disease

Okay, so you know that green tea can make you smarter, but this tea isn’t content to stop there. Green tea can also protect your brain as you age, protecting you from diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, not to mention the No. 1 most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. Numerous studies show that the catechins in green tea can protect the neurons in tests done with animals, which can lower your risk of developing either of these devastating brain diseases.

Please note that if you are pregnant or if you are trying to conceive, green tea might not be a good choice for you. Please speak with your doctor before consuming green tea. Also, if you are sensitive to caffeine, you might want to limit yourself to one cup per day. Again, if you are unsure, ask your doctor if green tea is right for you, and how much you can safely consume each day. For everyone else: When you consider all that green tea has to offer, it’s a wonder that we bother drinking anything else!

References:

Europepmc.org

Jstage.jst.go.jp

Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov