Green tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Often referred to as a miracle beverage, this drink has been around for centuries and is one of the most healthy things you can consume. Green tea is absolutely loaded with antioxidants and a whole host of other beneficial nutrients.
Regularly drinking green tea can have an astounding effect on both your physical and mental health. Here are four great reasons schedule a tea time into your daily routine.
Green tea is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis bush and, since it is unfermented and unprocessed, the antioxidants remain in-tact and potent. Antioxidants called catechins are found in abundance in green tea and are known to protect against cancer.
In a recent study involving women with breast cancer, the women who drank the most green tea experienced the least spread of the disease. Another study involving over 35,000 women found that those who drank two or more cups of green tea per day were about 30 percent less likely to develop colon cancer that those who never consumed green tea.
Polyphenolic compounds in green tea can also help reduce the risk for cancer by improving soft tissue cellular function.
Polyphenols and flavonoids present in green tea play a huge role in heart health. According to studies, regular consumption of this beverage will help to lower blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol. One promising study found that green tea can fight the build-up of plaque in arteries.
This disease, known as atherosclerosis, is a common cause of heart attacks and stroke. According to the study, a compound abundantly found in green tea called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) breaks down plaque inside the arteries, preventing build-up.
Many people drink green tea to boost their mental health. Of all the antioxidants and compounds found in this drink, L-theanine may be the most beneficial. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a relaxing effect and has been shown to improve mental function.
It crosses the blood-brain barrier to induce a state of focused relaxation and attentiveness, helping to alleviate anxiety and depression. Also, L-theanine boosts important neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin to help improve mood and memory.
An Alternative to Coffee
Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up but don’t want the nervous jitters that often come with coffee? Try a cup of green tea. It contains just the right amount of caffeine, enough to perk you up and keep you alert, but not enough to make you jittery like coffee often does.
Look, I love me some coffee (see An Ode to Coffee). Coffee is an absolute necessity for me in the mornings, and without it I wouldn’t be able to function. However, I’ve found that my body is very sensitive to caffeine, so if I have a cup of coffee in the afternoon, I’m up all night. Gr
een tea is a wonderful and healthy alternative that helps get me through those drowsy afternoons at the office without sabotaging my sleep.
These are only a few of the many reasons to drink green tea. The list of its purported health benefits is seemingly endless. If you decide to start drinking green tea, it’s recommended to stick to unsweetened, brewed tea. Bottled green teas are often sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners and are not as healthy as brewed tea.
Whether you’re new to green tea or a devoted tea drinker, consuming a cup or two of this miraculous beverage will do your mind and your body good.