We all have our daily rituals—and one of my personal afternoon essentials is a lovely cup of earthy green tea.
While I'm still a staunch morning coffee drinker, years ago, I started swapping my afternoon java for tea. Why?
It's teeming with benefits (hello, antioxidants) and is much milder in the caffeine department.
Tack on its rich, complex flavor—and what's not to love about green tea?
Benefits of green tea
Don't take my word for it, green tea is a go-to for so many health experts—from gastroenterologists to nutritionists.
"Look at all the cultures that live the longest. They're drinking a variety of tea throughout the day," functional nutritionist Deanna Minich, Ph.D., IFMCP, shared on the mindbodygreen podcast. And green tea is certainly part of that longevity-supporting lineup.
"Green tea is harvested later than white tea and does not go through the same oxidation process that oolong and black tea go through," says Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, D.C., a functional medicine practitioner, and mbg functional nutrition training instructor. "Like white tea, this allows for some of the highest levels of catechins, specifically the ultra-beneficial compound epigallocatechin-3- gallate (EGCG)."
Studies suggest EGCG may help provide anti-inflammatory benefits, support brain function, promote healthy blood sugar levels, and reduce heart disease risks.
The anti-inflammatory properties translate to gut health, as well.
As a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology writes, catechins have been shown to effectively absorb into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and may help mitigate GI challenges.
What's more, the polyphenols in green tea have been shown to improve the Bifidobacterium to Enterobacteriacea ratio in the gut, resulting in a significant improvement in colon health.
Integrative gastroenterologist and mbg Collective member Marvin Singh, M.D., previously shared that organic jasmine green tea, in particular, is one of his favorite gut-friendly beverages.
"It's a great anti-inflammatory, gut-microbiome-friendly thing to include in your regular routine," he says.