Tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages across the world. In India, it is the second most popular drink after water. While most of us start our day with a cup of chai, off late, there has been a slight change to this morning ritual. Thanks to the health conscious nature, most people prefer drinking green tea over black tea or milk tea. And if you are one of those who swear by green tea, then here are few healthy reasons you should be aware of to enjoy this drink to the fullest!
Health Benefits Of Green Tea
Green tea is considered to have originated in China and has been known for its health benefits for centuries. China’s Yunnan province is considered to be the origin of the Camellia sinensis plant from which green tea is derived. Containing antioxidant ingredients – mainly green tea catechins (GTC), green tea and its derivatives are often used as dietary supplements and also in medicine.
Green tea is also rich in polyphenols, caffeine, minerals, and trace amounts of vitamins, amino acids, and carbohydrates. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), around 71 mg of epigallocatechin gallate is present per 100 ml of green tea. This is the reason why it was considered an effective medicine for treating different ailments in ancient Asian folk medicine
Here are some of the amazing health benefits of green tea:
1. Fights Aging
Green tea is used in many herbal products to improve the quality of the skin. The anti-aging and anti-inflammatory benefits of green tea may go a long way in delaying signs of skin aging from everyday damage such as sun damage, rashes and wrinkles. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. They prevent as well as reduce the damage caused by oxidation thereby lowering the risk of premature aging.
2. Improves Heart Health
The artery-friendly polyphenols in green tea are known to protect the heart. Research shows that drinking two to three cups of green tea is beneficial to avert the risk of having heart disease. This is because antioxidants help in flushing the harmful toxins from the body, thereby improving the blood flow and lowering the risk of heart disease.
3. Aids In Weight Loss
Green tea can boost the metabolic rate and can help in fat burning and improve your overall physical appearance. Green tea is traditionally make very weak meaning that only a pinch is required for a pot of tea.
4. Promotes Brain Health
Green tea is known to improve brain function and also protects your brain in old age. The bioactive compounds in green tea are helpful to protecting the neurons. It is also seen that older people who drank green tea less are likely to develop cognitive impairment.
5. Regulates Blood Sugar
Recent research studies have shown that green tea is helpful in improving insulin sensitivity and thereby reducing blood sugar levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the long term.
6. Prevents Infections
Green tea has the power to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of viruses thus lowering your risk of infections. The catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans which in effect improves your oral health too.
7. Lowers Cancer Risk
Green tea is known to inhibit an anti-apoptotic protein involved in some types of cancer. Also, the polyphenols act as free radical scavengers. Free radicals are compounds which can up the risk of cancer on interaction with co-carcinogens (cancer causing compounds).
8. Promotes Hair Growth
Green tea has amazing benefits for your hair too. The rich antioxidants in green tea improve hair growth, reduce hair loss and render a great shine to your hair. It also provides the essential nutrients which are required for hair growth and also prevent dry, frizzy hair.
How To Make Green Tea At Home?
A cup of warm green tea just before hitting the bed or the first thing in the morning can go a long way in improving your overall health. However, you can have this drink at any time of the day as per your convenience but make sure to not drink more than 3 cups of green tea in a day. Here is how you can make this drink at home.
Add one cup of water in a tea pan. Allow it to boil. Once it starts to boil, add one teaspoon of green tea leaves to the water. (If you are making it for two people, then add double the amount)
Let the leaves boil for around 2- 3 minutes. Turn off the gas as the leaves start to steep in the water. Allow it to rest for a minute.
Now, strain the tea with the help of a strainer and pour it into a cup. You can add a teaspoon of honey or a dash of lemon to further up its nutritive value and taste. (If you are diabetic, then better avoid honey or talk to your doctor to know if you can use honey).
If you are using the readily available green tea bags, then place a tea bag in a cup and pour hot water to it. Let it settle for 3-4 minutes before you enjoy your tea. You can also opt for various flavours of green tea such as mint and lemon available in the market.
Bottomline: Since ancient times, green tea is known to be part of traditional Chinese and Indian medicine for controlling bleeding, healing wounds, improving digestion and strengthening heart and mental health. So, go ahead and start having your daily cup of green tea and reap the countless health benefits that it has to offer. Stay Healthy, Stay Happy!
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2. Chacko SM, Thambi PT, Kuttan R, Nishigaki I. Beneficial effects of green tea: a literature review. Chin Med. 2010 Apr 6;5:13.
3. Suzuki Y, Miyoshi N, Isemura M. Health-promoting effects of green tea. Proc Jpn Acad Ser B Phys Biol Sci. 2012;88(3):88-101.