5 Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea was first published in June 2016 and updated in June 2019.
There are many health benefits that come from drinking green tea. I’ve been drinking it for a number of years now, although exactly how many, I can’t quite remember. It was a nurse who suggested I should try it during one of my many hospital admissions. And although my memory is pretty fuzzy of how the conversation went, I probably wouldn’t have discovered it otherwise.
When I first tried it, I remember making a face like a cat licking a chilli – it did not taste good. It’s also safe to say it took me a while to find one I actually liked. I tried loose leaf, bagged and jasmine; sencha, matcha and gunpowder. I also tested a few others that were mixed with black tea – just for good measure. I finally settled on Mao Feng green tea by Tea Pigs, and many years later it’s still my favourite.
My fall-back is this Zen tea by Tazo, which is a mix of lemongrass and spearmint. Sometimes, I find myself picking up some loose-leaf jasmine green tea when I call into our local Chinese supermarket.
5 Health Benefits of Drinking Green Tea
The health benefits of drinking green tea are pretty impressive. But, if you’re still on the fence about trying it, here are five reasons why you should give it a go.
Studies show that the properties in green tea boost the metabolic rate and increase fat burning. If you’re looking to shift a couple of extra pounds you could easily add a few cups into your diet each day.
I’m a firm believer of everything in moderation, but as an indication, weight loss is approximately 80% nutrition and 20% exercise. So, if you start drinking green tea and you’re eating the right foods, you’ll see better results.
Reducing Blood Pressure
Lifestyle choices and genetics can have an impact on your blood pressure. But, drinking green tea regularly is thought to reduce the risk of high blood pressure. It contains less caffeine than black tea and coffee, it also helps blood vessels relax, which allows blood to flow more easily.
Reducing the Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
As well as improving brain function in the short term, studies show that some properties in green tea can have protective effects on brain cells. This could reduce the risk of illness later on in life. As there’s a history of Alzheimer’s in my family, I was pleased I’d already been drinking it for a number of years when I discovered this information.
We have two types of cholesterol – HDL and LDL. HDL is good and LDL is bad. Studies suggest that antioxidants found in green tea can significantly reduce the bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol levels. This means drinking green tea can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. By drinking 5 cups a day and reducing our bad cholesterol, the risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes can be reduced by up to 26%.
Reducing Signs of Ageing
Due to the antioxidant properties found in green tea, it can help reduce wrinkles and other signs of aging on our skin. EGCG is the powerful antioxidant present in green tea that helps reduce inflammation. It also helps protect our skin from UV damage caused by the sun.
This list obviously isn’t exhaustive, it’s just a few of the more common benefits that can come from drinking green tea. A healthy diet and daily exercise are also hugely beneficial in helping to us to reduce our risk of obesity and the risk of certain illnesses as we get older.
How Many Cups Should You Drink to Get the Benefits?
It’s still debatable as to how many cups we should drink a day. Some studies show as little as 2 can help us reap the benefits, others suggest up to 5. On average, I normally drink about 3 cups a day. For someone who has an under-active thyroid and a history of Alzheimer’s in the family, I find it comforting to know that along with my other lifestyle choices, drinking green tea also benefits my health.
Where Can You Buy It?
When I first started drinking it, I found it virtually impossible to find. Nowadays, most supermarkets have a pretty decent selection to choose from. It’s also widely available in most coffee shops and restaurants such as Wagamama, also offer it for free with your meal.
Just like it did for me, it may also take a bit of trial and error before you find one that suits your palate. But, don’t give up. There’s definitely a green tea out there to suit you!
If you’d like to find out more information about the benefits of green tea, I suggest you head over to your favourite search engine and do some research.
Although I am a qualified fitness instructor, personal trainer and vegan nutritionist working in the health and fitness industry, I am not a qualified medical professional.