Wellbeing & Fitness
What are the health benefits of green tea?
Written by Gurminder for Doctify
Health benefits of green tea
Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide range of health conditions including cardiovascular and mental health diseases. As tea is the most consumed drink worldwide behind water, Doctify has listed 5 of the main health benefits of green tea.
1..Rich in antioxidants that could lower the risk of cancer
As green tea is made from un-oxidised leaves unlike black tea, this means that is contains a wide range of beneficial antioxidants. These include catchins, which have been linked to a range of health benefits. Antioxidants like catechins are believed to reduce the risk of cancer as they prevent oxidative damage to our cells. Cancer rates also tend to be lower in countries where green tea consumption is higher, but it is impossible to know whether this is caused by green tea alone.
2. Aid weight loss:
This is one of the controversial benefits of green tea, as there have been studies that have concluded both for and against this statement. The theory is that green tea can increase your metabolic rate so you burn fat quicker. If you swap a can of fizzy drink a day for 1 or 2 cups of green tea you can also save up to 50,000 calories a year. However, this is dependent on the fact that you don’t overload your tea with honey or sugar.
3. Improve cognitive function
Green tea can also improve cognitive function particularly in the elderly. In 2014 a small-scale study was conducted into 12 patients with a mean age of 88. The scientists found that after 3 months of consuming the green tea every day the patients’ cognitive function, in particular their working memory had significantly improved. What’s more they also found that it reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction liked to diseases like Alzheimers disease. They believed that it was a substance called thanine in the green tea, as well as the antioxidant catechin that was having this effect.
4. Prevent infections
Green tea is also an effective antibacterial and has been found to reduce the risk of infection especially in the mouth. A study conducted in 2014 found that green tea was equally effective as mouthwash at preventing tooth decay. This is because the catechins within the green tea kill the bacteria that cause plaque and also help against bad breath. Some also claim that it can reduce the risk of food poisoning if it is consumed at the same time as a meal. The theory is that the catechins will kill any harmful bacteria such as E.Coli that are in the contaminated food.
5. Lower cholesterol & decrease risk of cardiovascular disease
There has been conflicting evidence that green tea catechins can help lower cholesterol. However, a study conducted in 2011 conducted a systematic review of 10 trials into the effects of green tea on cholesterol. They found that drinking green tea was associated with a reduction in both total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the more commonly known ‘bad cholesterol’. In high levels it can build up inside blood vessels and cause atherosclerosis. Over time this leads to cardiovascular disease. Therefore by lowering bad cholesterol green tea is also reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
It is important to note that before these benefits of green tea are proved definitive, more evidence is required. Here are some helpful tips on how to get the most out of your green tea:
- Add green tea to hot rather than boiling water as this will ensure that the good substances like catechins are not destroyed
- Adding lemon to green tea can make the catechins easier to absorb into your body