The health benefits of green tea have been widely known by people around the world, but it is only recently that Western medicine has begun to acknowledge its therapeutic benefits. Chinese medicine has relied on green tea extracts for literally thousands of years, and those same extracts are now being used (with extraordinary results) in facial creams, health supplements, and even as treatment for cancers. Here are just a few of the medically recognized benefits of green tea:
- It Promotes Healthy Weight Loss
Compared to other species, the human body metabolizes relatively slowly, meaning you won’t be able to burn off as many calories as you are eating without exercise. As a result, your body tends to accumulate fat over time. This is especially true if you eat a diet high in sugar and saturated fats. While a well-balanced diet and proper exercise are important for maintaining overall health, green tea can definitely help shed those unwanted pounds by kick-starting your metabolism and burning off those extra calories. Starting your morning with a cup of green tea is a great way to jump your metabolism.
- Its Detoxifying
Soda, processed foods, and environmental pollutants are a leading cause of hormonal and chemical imbalance in our bodies and every day our bodies work overtime just to digest all of the toxins, preservatives, and chemicals. This can lead to stress, fatigue, a dull complexion, mood swings, kidney and liver problems, and even cancer. Green tea naturally helps your body rid itself of these harmful agents. The naturally present EGCGs and antioxidants found in green tea have been proven to fight free radicals in the body. This reduces the effects of ageing, arthritis, and various kinds of inflammation such as acne. It has even been linked to cellulite reduction – you know those pesky dimples that never seem to go away even no matter how much we diet or exercise?
- It's Good for Your Heart
Recent studies have shown that consuming green tea over long periods of time can decrease the risk of a heart attack by 20%. Green tea regulates sugar and fat metabolisms, so it protects your blood vessels from becoming blocked, inflexible, hard, or ruptured. This also means that your chances of stroke or suffering an aneurysm are significantly decreased if you consume between 5-6 cups of green tea per day.
- It Relieves Stress
Green tea contains a natural chemical called theanine - an amino acid known for its relaxing and calming effects. It leaves you feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to take on the day. Of course, simply taking time out of your busy day to indulge in a green tea break will also significantly reduce stress. And the best part? Green tea only has half the caffeine as coffee!
- It keeps Alzheimer’s at Bay. By 2050, the number of people above the age of sixty-five suffering from Alzheimer’s is expected to triple—from 5 million to 16 million. Alzheimer’s occurs when little protein molecules cluster and block nerve conduction in your brain’s cells (the neurons). The naturally present catechins (natural antioxidant) found in green tea stop these proteins from clustering, meaning there is a much greater chance of avoiding Alzheimer’s for those who regularly consume green tea.
- It fights cancer Green tea has been known to decrease the production of cancer cells. Extracts are currently being used in clinical trials, and with encouraging results against lung, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
- It prevents Type II Diabetes. Green tea improves sugar metabolism and is an excellent way to counter hyperglycemia by monitoring the storage and excretion of sugars. Try substituting a can of soda with a cup of green tea a day (chilled green tea offers a lighter taste with all the same benefits). Doing this can cut your calorie intake by 50,000 calories per year.
- It’s Rich in Vitamins. Green tea contains high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A (beta carotene), and many of the B-vitamins and folic acid, which promote healthy skin, hair, nails, and eyes.