Green Tea and Its Benefits for a Healthier You

Admit it, you always get that warm, cozy feeling when you have a hot cup of green tea in your hands. It gives you such a soothing experience as you dip that white little pouch into the water and get ready for a sip of relaxation. Known as one of the oldest and finest health drinks, green tea has become a favorite beverage to a lot of people to take any time of the day. Who wouldn’t want to get a cup when there have been claims that those who drink tea the right way live a longer life? Yup, you heard right. Don’t believe it? Well, green tea actually has a lot of essential health benefits in just one cup.

How Was Tea Discovered?

Ancient stories narrate the discovery of tea, and it’s  the perfect story of serendipity. One evening, a scholar was about to rekindle the fire he was cooking his meal in. Suddenly, some leaves from a tea plant landed perfectly inside a pot of  boiling water. After finding that the taste was refreshing, he decided to refine the process of tea making and taught others how it was done. It was as if nature purposely gifted humans with tea.

Where Did Green Tea Come From?

benefits of drinking green tea Both types of tea---black or green---originate from the same plant species, the Camellia sinensis. However, they are of different varieties. Camellia sinensis assamica is a larger leaf variety that is used in producing strong black teas. On the other hand, green and white teas are products of Camellia sinensis sinensis, the smaller leaf variety. These types of tea undergo different processes as well. For black, it goes through the process of fermentation. Through this, the leaf changes its color and flavor while it raises the level of caffeine and tannin in it. For green, the leaves may go through drying or slight steaming. This process prevents too much oxidation from occurring, keeping the green tint and freshness of your leaves.

What Are the Benefits of Drinking Green Tea?

Green tea is definitely one of the healthiest beverages on earth. From the simple bloating of your belly to the prevention of cancer, this drink is the answer.

1. Tea for Your Skin

You can actually use your tea bags as a topical treatment for your skin. Research has proven that by drinking green tea or just by placing those little pouches on your skin, 40 percent of human skin tumors disappear while an additional 30 percent shrinks. This is due to the epigallocatechin gallate (ECGC) content of your tea extract. Studies show that this is the most effective cancer-chemopreventive polyphenol present in your teas. This ECGC is also one of the most powerful compounds. It is an antioxidant in your green tea, which gives it its list of medicinal benefits.

2. Tea for Your Heart

As mentioned, there have been claims that drinking tea can give you eternal life. By eternal, it means you are able to live a longer and more bountiful life. A study from Japan has proven that by sipping this beverage, you are able to lower the risk of death-causing heart diseases. Through study, the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation has found that people who drink their green tea on a regular basis have improved heart functions in just about 30 minutes. This is because drinking green tea can treat your cells, specifically the endothelial cells. These are special cells that line blood vessels. When these cells function well, your heart has a lower risk of experiencing clogged arteries. In addition, this tea also contains antioxidants such as flavonoids, which can protect your heart.

3. Tea for Your Weight

benefits of drinking green tea One of the health concerns of people today is watching their weight. Nobody wants to size up unhealthily. There's no magic in your tea that can take away your extra pounds in an instant, but this drink is definitely one of the healthiest choices for natural weight loss. Studies show that the extract of this beverage can boost your metabolism and the burning of fats. A cup of tea can help you lose about 3-4 calories as well.

4. Tea for Your Energy

Teas are a great replacement for your morning coffees as they’re a healthier way of fueling you up for your day’s load. Japanese researchers have found that even athletes take a daily cup of this beverage 12 weeks before their games. By doing so, their performance and endurance during their different events will be enhanced from 8-24 percent. Unlike coffee, this drink balances your stamina with your nervous system so you won't feel any jitters at all. And whether you’re studying or preparing for work, which needs mental effort, tea is a better option than coffee.

5. Tea for Your Bones

benefits of drinking green tea   As you age, your bones may weaken. This is why older people are more prone to osteoporosis, a condition where bones become brittle and fragile. Your tea stimulates mineralization to generate bone formation and restricts the cells that cause damage to your bone tissues. In addition, Nutrition Research journal concludes that drinking this beverage can improve your bone mineral density, thus lowering the risks of bone fractures.

How to Drink Green Tea the Right Way?

With a list of its numerous health benefits, green teas have undoubtedly become one of today’s most popular superfoods. As mentioned above, there have been claims that these teas can stretch your lifespan when drinking it the right way. But what is really the right way? Below are just some of the unspoken rules of sipping a cup of your warm green beverage.

Drink Only about 2-3 Cups a Day

While its benefits can tempt you to get one cup after another, experts advise to limiting your drinking to only about 2-3 cups a day. Because of the high levels of antioxidants, tannin, and flavonoids present in tea, drinking too much of it may cause toxicity or, worse, damage to your liver. In some cases, there have been green teas known as diet beverages containing laxatives. Although it may make you feel lighter in an instant, most nutritionists don’t recommend these drinks. Laxatives are made to cleanse your body, but because it urges frequent bowel movement, waste removal may lead to dehydration, and it may wash out your body’s needed liquid instead.

Don’t Reuse Tea Bags

Some people may consider reusing tea bags, but there’s a risk to that. Wet pouches have greater tendencies of microbial infestations. Having said so, there’s always a rule to never reuse your tea bags for more than two times.

Never Have Green Tea on an Empty Stomach

Make sure to eat something before having a cup of green tea. Starting off the day with some caffeine may affect your stomach balance. Instead, you can try drinking a glass of warm water with some honey or lime. Fruit is another great alternative as well.

No Sipping Immediately After Meals or Late at Night

Drinking green tea right after a meal may inhibit nutrient absorption. This means that what you ate may not be properly digested as the caffeine and tannins in the tea act as obstructions. This also dilutes the gastric juices, which result in improper digestion. Drinking green tea late at night can also interfere with your sleep pattern. This also increases your stress levels.

Don’t Replace Water with Tea

Your green tea alone could give you a lot of nutrients. But that doesn’t mean that you should replace drinking water with it. Water is always and will always be the best drink on earth. It is natural, neutral, and more beneficial than any other beverage out there. While green tea is a diuretic, it is good that you double your intake of water too as it will keep you hydrated after all the frequent cleansing.

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