With St. Patrick’s Day coming up at the end of the week it’s the perfect time to “go green.” But instead of grabbing a green beer, try reaching for a steaming hot mug of green tea.
Experts say this soothing and delicious beverage can do everything from helping you slim down faster to lowering your risk of cancer.
Following are four research proven ways green tea could improve your health.
Burn more fat:
Researchers say sipping on green tea can help raise your metabolic rate, boosting the amount of energy you expend and spurring faster fat burning.1,2,3 In other words, a regular green tea habit could help you effortlessly shed that stubborn spare tire.
In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fat burning in a group of volunteers taking a green tea extract shot up an incredible 17 percent.4 The researchers reported that both fat oxidation and energy expenditure skyrocketed.
Translation? Regularly sipping on some green tea could lead to a slimmer trimmer you.
Lower cancer risk:
Green tea is a powerful antioxidant, which means it naturally helps fight off the kind of oxidative damage that can trigger cancer. Researchers say guys who regularly drink green tea (5 or more cups a day) have an incredible 48 percent lower chance of developing prostate cancer.5
And ladies, developing a taste for green tea could slash your risk of breast cancer up to 22 percent, according to research published in the journal Carcinogenesis.6 Plus colon and rectal cancer risk could be reduced by a jaw dropping 57 percent, simply by making green tea a part of your regular routine.7
Boost brain power:
Green tea contains the perfect combination of caffeine and the amino acid l-theanine to help boost your brain function. Experts say caffeine can enhance your attention span, reaction time and memory.8,9
Meanwhile, l-theanine pumps up the GABA and dopamine levels in your brain. This naturally lowers your anxiety levels and boosts brain waves at the same time. The result is a better environment for you to learn and retain information.10,11
In the real world that means that making green tea a part of your regular routine could help you remember to pick up the milk on your way home from work, or assure that never lose your car in the mall parking lot again.
Plus green tea also appears to protect our brains as we age. The tea is naturally rich in catechins and polyphenols, disease fighting flavonoids and antioxidants which have been shown in animal studies to protect the neurons in the brain. Which means, of course, green tea could lower our risk for developing devastating neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.12,13,14
Slash diabetes risk:
Whether you’re pre-diabetic and already experiencing some blood sugar issues, or simply hoping to avoid them, green tea should be your go to beverage. Research has revealed this powerful tea can improve insulin sensitivity, lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing diabetes.15
A meta-study that crunched the numbers from 17 different trials on green tea found that the beverage significantly lowered fasting blood sugar levels as well as hemoglobin A1c, a measurement of your blood sugar levels over time.16 In fact, researchers say that folks who drink the most green tea have an impressive 42 percent lower risk of ever developing type 2 diabetes.17
1. “Effects of encapsulated green tea and Guarana extracts containing a mixture of epigallocatechin-3-gallate and caffeine on 24 h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in men,” Br J Nutr. 2005 Sep;94(3):432-6
2. “Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea,” Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85
3. “Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans,” Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Dec;70(6):1040-5
4. “Green tea extract ingestion, fat oxidation, and glucose tolerance in healthy humans,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Mar;87(3):778-84
5. “Green tea consumption and prostate cancer risk in Japanese men: a prospective study,” Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Jan 1;167(1):71-7
6. “Green tea, black tea and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies,””Carcinogenesis. 2006 Jul;27(7):1310-5
7. “Prospective cohort study of green tea consumption and colorectal cancer risk in women,” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2007 Jun;16(6):1219-23
8. “The impact of caffeine on mood, cognitive function, performance and hydration: a review of benefits and risks,” Volume 33, Issue 1, March 2008, Pages 15–25
9. “Adenosine, Adenosine Receptors and the Actions of Caffeine,” Volume 76, Issue 2, February 1995, Pages 93–101
10. “The neuropharmacology of L-theanine(N-ethyl-L-glutamine): a possible neuroprotective and cognitive enhancing agent,” J Herb Pharmacother. 2006;6(2):21-30
11. “L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state,” Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2008;17 Suppl 1:167-8
12.”Neurological mechanisms of green tea polyphenols in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases,” J Nutr Biochem. 2004 Sep;15(9):506-16
13. “Simultaneous manipulation of multiple brain targets by green tea catechins: a potential neuroprotective strategy for Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases,” CNS Neurosci Ther. 2008 Winter;14(4):352-65
14. “Potential Therapeutic Properties of Green Tea Polyphenols in Parkinson’s Disease,” August 2003, Volume 20, Issue 10, pp 711–721
15. “Coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption in relation to incident type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review with meta-analysis,” Arch Intern Med. 2009 Dec 14;169(22):2053-63
16. “Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials,” Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Aug;98(2):340-8
17. “The relationship between green tea and total caffeine intake and risk for self-reported type 2 diabetes among Japanese adults,” Ann Intern Med. 2006 Apr 18;144(8):554-62
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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