10 Health Benefits of Green Tea You Didn’t Know About
Green tea is all the rage right now, and for a good reason: it has been shown to be beneficial to health in many ways. This is because green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols. If you want to know what green tea is good for, here’s a list of 10 things you didn’t know about the important health benefits of green tea.
1. Does green tea have caffeine?
Yes. How much caffeine is in green tea? Not as much as a cup of coffee, but enough to notice if you’re sensitive. However, green tea also contains L-theanine, which is another antioxidant; it combines with caffeine to help with brain function. And while this won’t help with Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, it can help reduce the risk of developing other forms of dementia and slowed brain function.
2. Does green tea help with weight loss?
Yes. Green tea boosts the metabolism, which increases fat burning. Many people swear by green tea weight loss regimens, although studies show it is more effective in the short term. Using green tea as a fat burner can help you lose weight as part of an overall regimen. There’s some indication that it is useful for burning abdominal fat. While there is no best green tea for weight loss, it can definitely help as opposed to not taking it at all.
3. Does green tea reduce cancer risks?
This is still up for debate. While the antioxidants in green tea can certainly help boost overall resistance, there’s no definite study showing that green tea specifically does this. And while it’s worth noting that green tea drinkers have generally lower cancer rates than non-drinkers, there’s no conclusive proof that it’s the tea and not their overall lifestyle at fault.
4. Does green tea help with dental health?
The antioxidants in green tea, especially the catechins, help boost immunity against bacteria. Since bacteria of the mouth lead to teeth and gum issues, green tea benefits you by reducing your risk of cavities, gum disease, and even bad breath.
5. Does green tea help with diabetes?
While green tea cannot cure or help diabetes, it can help lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes simply because it has weight loss benefits. Lower weight lowers the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes overall. It also helps reduce blood sugar levels, but not dramatically. This is more due to drinking green tea instead of sugar-laced drinks.
6. Does green tea prevent heart disease?
Green tea can lower cholesterol levels. Heart disease is a risk of high cholesterol. Therefore, anything you can do to reduce the risk of heart disease is good for you. Green tea won’t cure or treat heart disease. But if you’re at risk of developing heart disease because of your diet, switching to green tea is a good idea.
7. How can you get the most out of the benefits of green tea?
It’s best to drink green tea in several small cups throughout the day rather than one huge mug at a time. This way you can also relax yourself for a few minutes several times a day, which will help your mental health. Green tea is most beneficial when it’s drunk hot, not iced.
8. How long to steep green tea?
Generally speaking, you should steep the tea leaves (or bag) for two minutes. Although, depending on your taste, you can try experimenting by adding 30 seconds at a time, developing the flavor you like most. It’s best not to over-steep the tea or you will scald the leaves and it will develop a sour flavor.
9. How many calories are in green tea?
If you are drinking green tea you made yourself, there are no calories. Beware of sugared green tea drinks in a can, as they can have as many calories as a can of soda. Likewise, you can add green tea powder to milk for a treat, but you will have the milk calories to count (unless there is sugar added to the powder there are no green tea calories). Green tea extract benefits exist, but whether they are more or less effective than steeped tea has not been studied.
10. Are there any risks or side effects of green tea?
As with all substances, there are tradeoffs for the good benefits. Green tea is acidic like all teas in that it contains tannin. So if you’re prone to acid reflux or stomach issues, you might want to limit your intake or take an antacid with it.
Green tea is also not something to drink if you’re taking blood thinners, because it can slow blood clotting and increase blood-thinning effects. You should not drink green tea with aspirin for the same reason (both can prevent blood from clotting).
Finally, because of the minimal amount of caffeine, if you’re overly sensitive to caffeine, green tea can cause sleeplessness, anxiety, or irritability. But for many people, green tea is a beneficial drink to add to their diet.