Green tea is packed with antioxidants, including polyphenols and catechins. These natural compounds work hard to protect cells and molecules from free radicals that may cause damage and disease. People looking to lose weight healthily or lower their cholesterol levels can also benefit from green tea.
Green tea could help protect the brain against two of the most common neurodegenerative disorders: Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Bioactive compounds in the drink may protect neurons and improve the part of the brain responsible for memory, according to a Swiss study. Drinking one or two cups of green tea every day may help keep the brain functioning properly.
People with diabetes should discuss the potential benefits of green tea with their doctors. The polyphenol- and polysaccharide-rich tea leaves could help lower and stabilize blood sugar levels. These compounds may benefit both types of diabetes. They can reduce insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity to help manage blood sugar spikes.
Green tea compounds can block cholesterol absorption in the digestive tract and aid in excretion, effectively lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels without affecting the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. In other words, this ancient drink can help rid the body of bad cholesterol while maintaining the amount of good cholesterol.
Drinking green tea can lower the chance of cavities and other dental problems. Catechins and polyphenols are considered natural fluorides, an anion that kills bacteria in the mouth that causes to bad breath, cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease. The European Journal of Nutrition claims drinking one or more cups of green tea every day will reduce the risk of losing teeth. Keep in mind, however, that adding sweeteners will detract from this benefit.
Drinking several cups of green tea every day could help facilitate weight loss by slightly reducing body fat percentage and waist circumference. Polyphenols in green tea increase the rate at which the body transforms food into calories. Catechins also help promote weight loss. Besides potentially breaking down fat and burning calories, green tea could help boost metabolism when combined with caffeine.
In addition to their many other benefits, polyphenols and catechins block DHT, a hormone that is a driving force behind hair loss. Another component found green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), stimulates hair cell production and growth. In addition to drinking tea, some people find washing their hair with freshly brewed, cooled green tea can reduce dandruff and dry scalp, though it is important to always rinse well afterward.
The polyphenols in green tea work as powerful antioxidants that may shield skin from harmful free radicals. The drink not only fights signs of aging but also treats skin ailments and promotes longevity. Green tea also contains numerous oligomeric proanthocyanidins, which are used to treat common symptoms of aging like poor circulation, nerve damage, and even macular degeneration. When applied topically, green tea may even help counteract sun damage.
Green tea helps repress angiotensin, one cause of high blood pressure. The Archives of Internal Medicine conducted a study that revealed those who drank green tea, specifically one-half to two and a half cups a day for an entire year, reduced their chance of high blood pressure significantly when compared to people who did not drink green tea.
The natural fluoride in green tea does more than aid in dental health -- it also contributes to bone density. Consuming green tea regularly is linked to a lowered risk of osteoporosis and related fractures. The antioxidants in the beverage may help prevent the loss of bone density and improve bone-building cells.
Antioxidants in green tea are so powerful that they may help lower the chance of cancer. Drinking four cups or more a day could help prevent prostate, pancreatic, bladder, and stomach cancers from taking hold. According to some studies, the drink is even effective against the progression of breast and lung cancer.
According to a Japanese study with 40,530 adult subjects, people who consumed five or more cups of green tea per day were less likely to die within the 11-year testing period. Their risk of stroke and heart disease, specifically, was lowered. This longevity benefit is linked to green tea's ability to prevent plaque buildup. Too much plaque clogs arteries, leading to a greater risk of heart attack or stroke.
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