Green tea’s health benefits have been recognised since as far back as the 9th Century
When it was initially brought to Japan from China by Buddhist monks and proclaimed the ‘elixir of youth’.
There’s certainly an element of truth in that saying, with a plethora of scientific papers recognising its benefits thanks to its plant compound catechin Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). So what’s the fuss about, and how can it help?
EGCG is a powerful antioxidant, and has been shown in studies to be beneficial against obesity and type II diabetes. Recent data indicates that it helps reduce body weight (mainly body fat) by increasing thermogenesis and fat oxidation, as well as assist with preventing weight gain.
Green tea contains L-theanine, a compound that has a calming effect due to increasing GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) in the brain. A very recent study from July 2019 found it may reduce anxiety, exerting anxiolytic effects due to the activation of dopamine D1 and serotonin receptors. Green tea also improves mental focus, general brain function and better sleep quality.
Green tea has been shown in studies to reduce blood pressure levels, and promote cardiovascular health by dissolving arterial plaque through its anti-inflammatory properties. EGCG also helps to lower cholesterol thanks to its high antioxidant activity. This antioxidant helps protect cells in the body against the damaging effects of free radicals.
The catechins in green tea have been shown to have antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral effects, including positive activity against pathogenic yeasts such as Candida albicans. Research proves green tea is a natural antibacterial, and can assist with mouth hygiene while at the same time reducing bad breath. As a powerful antioxidant, it can play a strong role in fighting off infection.
Thanks to the high catechin compounds, studies indicate green tea may reduce bone mineral density loss and provide protection against osteoporosis. Studies report EGCG stimulates a key enzyme that promotes bone growth as well as increasing bone mineralisation/strength. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, EGCG may also reduce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis.
So much goodness, you can see why I so often prescribe green tea for clients.
If drinking as a hot tea, consider including 30 minutes after a meal rather than on an empty stomach.
My favourite way to get my daily dose is including Matcha tea in my morning smoothie. Have you tried my Kind Kiwi Smoothie with Matcha tea yet? It’s in the Healthy Superfood Smoothies book, which you can download from the homepage. It’s one of my favourite recipes, and your body will love you for it. Just make sure to select a quality green tea, or contact me for which brands I recommend.