Green tea, the healthy drink native to China and India, was used for centuries to slow bleeding, treat injuries, balance body temperature, treat cardiovascular and mental health and ease digestion. Research in the past ten years has concretised its many benefits and uncovered even more. For example, research shows that in countries like China and India where people regularly consume green tea, cancer rates are regularly lower. Although other researchers debate that this could be a result of lifestyle practices as a whole.
Of course no one food will protect you from disease. Balancing a healthy diet, with constructive ways of managing stress, regular exercise and being cautious of what we put on or in our bodies (ie. alcohol, cigarettes, preservatives, parabens) is the best way to prevent disease. However genetics and environment also come into play.
Green tea is one of the least processed teas -white tea is the least processed and black tea is the most processed- as a result it retains an abundance of its natural nutrients, specifically antioxidants: polyphenols, catechins (may prevent cell damage) as well as vitamins A, D, E, C, B, B5, H, and K, manganese, and other beneficial minerals such as zinc, chromium, and selenium. So how do these antioxidants, vitamins and minerals contribute to the benefits of green tea?
Antiviral & Anti Bacterial
Catechins have powerful anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, making them effective in treating everything from the common cold to cancer. Green tea is widely argued to kill cancer cells in without damaging healthy tissue surrounding them. Research also shows it reduce risk of autoimmune diseases.
Mental Health, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s
Research, for example on mice shows that green tea can protect and restore brain cells by blocking the formation of plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease. This means green tea can slow deterioration caused by Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. A Swiss study revealed that MRIs in people who drank green tea had more activity in the working-memory section in their brains.
Research shows that A 2013 review of many studies found green tea helped prevent a range of heart-related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure.
Green tea reduces cholesterol in the blood and improves the ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol.
Green tea has been proven to improve and prevent the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of ageing, due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Human studies have also shown that green tea applied to skin can reduce sun damage. Cold green tea bags applied to under the eye lids can also reduce the appearance of puffy and tired eyes.
Green tea, has been proven to ease inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Mouth, Teeth and & Throat
Studies show that catechin can destroy bacteria and viruses that cause throat infections, dental caries and other dental conditions Drinking green tea also promotes healthy gums.
Research suggests that drinking at least two to five cups of green tea can reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Weight Loss & Diabetes
Green tea apparently helps balance glucose levels and slow blood sugar increase after meals, as a result can prevent insulin spikes and fat storage. It is also proven to improve digestion, increase metabolism, intensify levels of fat oxidation and the rate at which your body turns food into calories.