Energy drinks, fat burners, green tea capsules, why not just go to the source? It's convenient and cheaper! Green tea offers a ton of health benefits including disease-fighting antioxidants, assists in burning fat, and even protects your pearly whites, keeping you energized and looking your best.
The next time you're in line at Starbucks you may want to think about ordering tea instead of your usual coffee. With only 1/3 the amount of caffeine it may not be enough to perk up the avid coffee drinker, but tea offers numerous health benefits that will keep you going in the long run.
Tea has been popular for thousands of years all over the world. It is the second most consumed beverage behind water. Teas such as black, green, white, and oolong are made from the leaves of the evergreen tree camellia sinensis, which contains polyphenol antioxidants.
Antioxidants are important in a person's diet, because they rid the body of molecules called free radicals, which are a byproduct of cellular activity, pollution, and the natural aging process.
Free radicals are destructive within the body, because they harm DNA molecules and pave the way for illness and disease. High amounts of antioxidants can be found in fruits and vegetables and other plant based foods such as the dried leaves used to make brewed tea.
Green Tea Benefits
More Tea, Please
One of the most studied teas for its amazing health benefits is green tea. Green tea is rich in catechin polyphenols, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG is an antioxidant with cancer fighting powers.
Studies have shown it can aid in protection against various forms of cancer including esophageal, gastric, skin, ovarian, lung, and colon cancer. Studies have also shown that drinking 2-3 cups per day can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and decrease the risk of heart attack.
Not only does green tea contain immune boosting antioxidants, but it can also protect your teeth. Tea has bacteria killing properties to fight plaque, gum disease, and bad breath. Tea contains fluoride, which can protect against cavities.
Green tea has gotten a couple of knocks for it's fluoride content, despite the positive attributes, since too much fluoride can be bad for you. It is recommended that a person receive no more than 10/mg of fluoride per day. Loose leaf green tea only contains about 0.3 mg of fluoride, so unless you're drinking about 30 cups per day, don't worry.
Studies suggest that the polyphenols in green tea can help reduce and prevent rheumatoid arthritis. One study found that regular tea drinkers reported to have stronger bones and were less likely to develop arthritis. Those who drank tea regularly for 10 years or more had higher bone mineral density in their spines than non-tea drinkers.
Green tea is currently gaining more popularity due to studies that suggest it aids in weight loss. The combination of EGCG and caffeine in green tea work together to stimulate thermogenesis, heat production in the body. It increases fat oxidation and increases energy expenditure.
Although EGCG is capable of giving metabolism a boost, drinking a cup or two of green tea is not a weight loss remedy. A Japanese study shows that 5 cups of green tea per day only burns about 70 calories through thermogenesis. Drink your tea for all the health benefits, but keep in mind that you must always exercise and eat a well balanced diet for weight management.
There are tons of teas to choose from, but high quality loose leaf teas are the best. Brew your tea for 3-5 minutes to bring out the antioxidants. Add honey, milk, lemon or sugar to sweeten. Relax, sip, and enjoy. It's not milk, but this beverage does a body good.