Come winter, we all strive for a warm beverage to soothe our freezing nerves as the waning sunsets on the horizon. One of the more healthy tea options is a cup of green tea. Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, green tea has a host of benefits for the human body.
A perfect answer to all the spicy and rich food people consume during the winters, green tea not only removes excess heat from the human body but also acts as a catalyst in healing stomach ulcers. It has beneficial effects that result in the improvement of brain function, fat loss, and a lower risk of cancer, among others.
Here’s how green tea benefits you from head to toe.
1. Green tea compounds can bring with them alertness
Green tea contains caffeine that blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine, which in turn, increases firing of neurons as well as dopamine and norepinephrine. These lead to improved brain function, better mood, and memory, according to a 2008 study sponsored by the Tea Council of UK.
Also, green tea contains L-theanine, which has anti-anxiety effects as it increases dopamine and alpha wave production in the brain. A study conducted by the Unilever Food and Health Research Institute found that L-theanine in tea has a significant effect on the general state of mental alertness or arousal.
2. Green tea has compounds that may also help fight TB
A new study, conducted by researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore, discovered that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), can inhibit the growth of a tuberculosis-causing bacteria strain.
According to study authors, it does so by binding itself to an enzyme that provides biological energy for cellular activity, which, in turn, causes a dip in the amount of energy the bacteria has for cellular processes which are vital for its growth.
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3. Green tea helps in weight loss
Green tea is known to boost the metabolic rate as shown by a study conducted by the Department of Human Biology, Maastricht University. According to the study, green tea has anti-angiogenic properties that may prevent the development of overweight and obesity.
Another study by the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, found that green tea has thermogenic properties that promote fat oxidation and thus help in controlling obesity.
4. Antioxidants in green tea may lower risk of cancer
According to a review published in the journal PMC, green tea consumption has been linked to the prevention of many types of cancer, including lung, colon, esophagus, mouth, stomach, small intestine, kidney, pancreas, and mammary glands.
A study conducted by the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong found that green tea activated intracellular antioxidants, suppress angiogenesis, and cancer cell proliferation thus lowering the risk of cancer.
Also, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health found that increased consumption of green tea (more than three cups a day) may decrease the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
5. Green tea lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
A number of tests have time and again shown that green tea contains catechin compounds that have protective effects on neurons, thus, lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
A University of Malta study pointed out that green tea, which is a rich source of polyphenols, mainly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and theaflavins, lowers the risk of Parkinson’s.
A study by Eve Topf and USA National Parkinson Foundation Centers of Excellence for Neurodegenerative Diseases Research and Department of Pharmacology found that green tea polyphenols alter brain aging processes and serve as a possible neuroprotective agent in neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
6. Green tea lowers the risk of diabetes
A Japanese study found that those who drank the greenest tea had 42% less risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Public Health, Department of Social and Environmental Health at Osaka University that saw participants from 25 communities across Japan during a 5-year period found that consumption of green tea, as well as coffee, was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.