I have a quick quiz for you today:
Q1: What is the most consumed beverage in the world?
A: Easy one…water.
Q2: What is the second most consumed beverage in the world?
A: It’s not coffee. It’s not Coca-Cola. It’s not beer. It’s tea.
Camellia sinensis is an evergreen shrub that is native to Asia but is now grown all over the world. Interestingly, the leaves and buds from the same plant are used to produce all white, yellow, oolong, black, and green tea. (It all depends on how long the leaves are allowed to wilt and oxidize.) In the health and medical circles, green tea is the variety that has received the most attention. And with good reason. This article will expound on the benefits of green tea and give you some delicious ideas about how to get more green tea into your cup.
There is little room for debate; green tea is the healthiest beverage on planet earth. Loaded with powerful, health-promoting antioxidants, green tea is certainly a drink that you don’t want to pass up.
Benefits of green tea
Let’s explore a few of the top benefits of green tea .
Green tea can make you smarter
Green tea contains caffeine, although not as much as coffee. This caffeine has been found to not only keep you awake but also increase your brain power.
Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called Adenosine. In doing so, it increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine.
Much of the research done on caffeine has shown that its consumption leads to improvements in a variety of brain functions including improved mood, reaction time, memory and vigilance.
In addition to caffeine, green tea also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can cross the blood-brain barrier. This amino-acid enhances the activity of an inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA which reduces anxiety while increasing dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain.
When caffeine and L-theanine combine, they have a powerful impact on brain function.
Green tea revs up fat burning and increases physical performance
Many of the popular diet supplements on the market contain green tea, with good cause. In controlled human trials it has been found to increase metabolic rate. In one study, green tea increased energy expenditure in 10 healthy men by 4%. Additional research showed that fat oxidation increased by 17% which points to green tea as a catalyst for fat burning.
In two reviews, caffeine was found to increase physical performance by 11%-12% on average.
Drinking green tea may lower the risk of some types of cancer
The world’s leading cause of death, cancer, is caused by cells growing out of control. Oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer, and because of this, antioxidants offer protection.
Green tea is rich in powerful protective antioxidants, and research shows that it can have a positive impact on some types of cancer including:
- Breast cancer – In a review of numerous observational studies it was found that women who drank the most green tea had a 20%-30% reduced risk of developing breast cancer.
- Colorectal cancer – A review of 29 studies showed that people who drink green tea are 42% less likely to develop colorectal cancer.
- Prostate cancer – In one study, men who drank green tea were found to have a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer among men.
Green tea can kill bacteria, improving dental health and risk of infection
Studies show that catechins found in green tea can kill bacteria and viruses including influenza virus. This could lower your risk of infection. In addition, green tea has been found to slow the growth of harmful bacteria Streptococcus mutans. This bacteria is what causes plaque to form and is a leading cause of cavities and tooth decay. Research also supports the fact that green tea can reduce bad breath.
How to enjoy more green tea daily
With all these health benefits and more, you can see why drinking green tea daily can be a great thing. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy this healthy super drink. Always purchase the highest quality green tea available.
Chia Green Energy Blast and Face Mask in One
Not only will this delicious drink give you all day energy but you can also use it as a face mask.
- 2 cups green tea
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3 teaspoons raw honey
How to make it
- Brew 2 cups of green tea and let cool.
- Mix in the chia seeds and let sit until the drink gets thick.
- Add in honey and stir.
- Pour half the mixture out and put on your face for ten minutes before rinsing.
- Drink the rest!
Green Tea Breakfast Smoothie
Get your day started right with this delicious and nutritious green tea smoothie.
What’s in it
- 1 c coconut milk
- 1 frozen banana
- Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 1/2 bag frozen, organic blueberries
- 2 extra large handfuls of organic baby spinach
- 1 Tbsp raw honey
- 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
How to make it
- Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
Sunny Delicious Lavender Green Tea
This tea is the perfect cool off for a warm summer’s day.
What’s in it
- 16 cups cool water
- 3 sprigs fresh mint
- 6 organic green tea bags
- 1 tablespoon dried lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender
- Raw honey for sweetening
How to make it
- Pour water in a large jar with a spigot.
- Add the mint and tea bags
- Wrap lemongrass and lavender in cheesecloth and close with twine.
- Brew the tea in the sun for a day.
- Remove the tea bag and herbs.
- Store in the refrigerator
- Serve with a honey stick if desired.
-The UpWellness Team