Green tea can provide numerous health benefits
Green tea originated in China, but it’s now one of the most popular beverages in the world. It can be found in hot or iced varieties everywhere you go.
There are many types of green tea, so if you think you don’t like it, consider a different variety. Matcha, for example, originates from Japan and has a grassy taste and bright green color. It’s popular in smoothies and is very high in caffeine. However, other green teas are more popular for everyday hot tea consumption due to their milder flavor.
Drinking a cup of green tea is a simple way to do something healthful for your body and mind. Read on to learn more about the impressive health benefits of this ancient beverage.
Why you should drink green tea
Rich in antioxidants
According to Healthline, green tea is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet, mostly because it's rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are shown to help with maintaining a healthy weight, protecting against cancer, stroke, high cholesterol and heart disease and improving brain function.
Tea reduces inflammation throughout your body. Green tea, specifically, contains a substance called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to help reduce the signs of aging by preventing cell damage. EGCG also helps prevent some diseases, including dementia from Altzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
Low in caffeine
Green tea is caffeinated but contains less caffeine than a similarly sized cup of coffee. If you’re trying to limit caffeine but still want a lift or if you dislike coffee, green tea might be a good alternative, as it won’t make you as jittery. The caffeine in green tea makes you more alert, but the amino acids can make you feel less anxious. Together, caffeine and amino acids work together to promote brain function, making green tea a more productive cubicle mate than coffee.
Assists metabolism and blood sugar levels
Green tea is an ingredient in most fat-burning supplements because it can boost metabolism, making it easier to burn fat. This effect coupled with caffeine makes green tea a better energy boost before a workout than other caffeinated beverages.
One study about green tea showed that people who drank it regularly had a significantly lower instance of Type 2 diabetes, because green tea reduces insulin sensitivity and can help keep your blood sugar levels down. Green tea alone cannot keep you from getting diabetes, but coupled with other healthy lifestyle choices, it helps.
Promotes oral health
Green tea has oral health benefits as well. It’s been shown to reduce plaque buildup and mouth bacteria, which means healthier teeth and gums and better breath.
How to prepare green tea
To prepare a cup of tea, let your tea steep for several minutes and add honey for a warm, comforting treat on a winter day. Do a little research on your type of green tea to figure out the best way to prepare it — some teas do better steeped for longer in cooler water and become bitter if steeped too long in very hot water.
Drink loose green tea in the morning, using a tea infuser or use bagged green tea. Make a big batch in a tea kettle and serve it in your favorite tea pot, or load it into your travel mug before heading off to work. Remove the tea bag or loose tea when you arrive and enjoy strong, flavorful green tea all morning.
In the summer or when you don't want a hot drink, packaged iced green tea is a refreshing beverage, but watch out for sugar content in packaged teas. Alternatively, control all the ingredients and make your own iced green tea with a cold brew and iced tea maker. Add honey, lemon or other fruit to jazz up the flavor.
What else can you do with green tea?
Matcha green tea powder can be used to make regular tea, lattes and can be used in the blender for smoothies. People also love green tea powder in baked goods or even as an ice cream flavor.
Another use for green tea is in beauty products. You can use green tea-soaked cloths on your skin to reduce redness or on your eyes to tighten skin. When you’re done enjoying a cup of bagged green tea, let two tea bags cool and place them over your eyes. The tannins in green tea can help your skin “shrink” and give you more youthful looking eyes.
If you enjoy the scent of green tea, use a green tea lotion or facial cleanser to impart some antioxidants into your skin. The caffeine in the lotion provides anti-aging effects such as wrinkle reduction, and green tea is said to help reduce acne. Make your own facial scrub or look for one with green tea as an ingredient for a more luminous facial glow.
Some people swear by the trick of placing a cool cloth soaked in green tea on sunburns to ease the pain and promote skin healing. Soaking your feet in green tea can help reduce odor-causing bacteria and foot fungus and give you a fresh feel.
Similar to using a box of baking soda, you can make a sachet of green tea leaves and place it in your cupboard or fridge to absorb and eliminate odors, or use it in a drawer to make your clothes smell fresh. You can also leave sachets of green tea in places around your house where there’s too much humidity and it can help soak up some of the moisture in the air.
Laura Wheatman Hill is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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