The Benefits Of Green Tea Just Keep Coming: How A Five Thousand-Year-Old Beverage Can Help Heal Your Body
Green tea is on the rise, still. The plant that originated in China and was first used as a beverage thousands of years ago continues to make inroads in the west, infiltrating grocery store tea and coffee aisles as well as the sweetened beverage aisle.
Surely we’ve all had that one friend who touts green tea. Perhaps not as annoying as a Crossfit enthusiast, but still.
They might even do so with a touch of pomposity: “Oh, no coffee for me, thanks. I only drink green tea.”
Misplaced disdain for coffee aside, your snooty friend may well have a point.
Green tea has some amazing health benefits, and the more we learn about it, the better it looks as a source of ensuring we keep our good health. Here are just a few:
• Bioactive compounds – Green tea contains bioactive compounds that can make a huge difference to your health. Polyphenols, flavonoids and catachins are all powerful antioxidants that remain in the beverage even after the tea has been steeped. These compounds reduce the occurrence of free radicals in the body, and help to protect cells from damage. Another compound found in green tea that is only now being more closely looked at is epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG, which has been used to treat various diseases.
• Green tea improves brain function – Of course green tea contains caffeine, the same psychoactive compound found in coffee and other beverages, and which has been found to improve brain function, mood, reaction time and memory. However it has two distinct advantages over coffee: one, it doesn’t contain as much caffeine, and so is less likely to give you that jittery feeling. Second, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theatine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, and which is thought to work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function even more.
• Increased fat-burning and physical performance – Green tea has been shown to boost the metabolic rate and increases the fat-burning potential of humans in clinical trials, that’s why it is almost always an ingredient on fat-burning pills and other concoctions. One study showed green tea increased energy expenditure by 4 percent, while another showed that in people who drank green tea fat oxidation was increased by 17 percent. And caffeine has been shown to mobilize fatty acids from fat tissues and make them available for use as energy, so you get a double benefit.
All in all, green tea is the right choice for energy and mental capability as well!