College of DuPage Nursing Student Anna Wojtowicz shared that there are many potential health benefits of drinking green tea, and if you’re reading this you may have heard of at least one of them before. Before we go into that list, let’s go over exactly what it is that makes green tea so beneficial. Tea is a flavonoid; a powerful antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits 4. There is also a high content of antioxidants in green tea that is called catechins 3. These are all important factors in why green tea is healthy for us.
So, what exactly is a flavonoid? It is a phytonutrient (plant chemical) found in fruits, vegetables, and many spices. Diets that are overall rich in flavonoids, such as green tea, are associated with increased brain function as well as better blood sugar and blood pressure regulation. Flavonoids play a major role in cardiovascular disease prevention and can also lower the risk of atherosclerosis 2. Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s could potentially be prevented through anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects of flavonoids as well 4. There are also currently studies being done to see the effects of green tea on cancer patients 3.
Furthermore, there is not enough evidence supporting that green tea indeed does offer certain health benefits. There have been limited studies done regarding the tea and its properties, for example, its effects on weight loss. These studies have shown that there is no weight loss that was observed in those who drank green tea 1. Although there is still plenty to be learned about green tea, we do know that it is safe to consume and does offer some good benefits. Now that we have a better overall understanding on green tea, here is a list of some potential benefits it can offer us:
- Lowers harmful LDL cholesterol levels
- Lowers blood pressure
- Lowers the likelihood of getting a heart attack or stroke
- Improves blood circulation
- Improves mental alertness
- Helps regulate blood sugar in diabetics
- Promotes relaxation
These are all possible thanks to the high content of catechins found in green tea. A few helpful tips for your next cup of green tea, add a little bit of lemon and brew the tea in water between 160 and 170 degrees. Not only does it taste good, but vitamin C helps your body absorb catechins more easily 3. Make sure to research any green tea products before purchasing them. The safety, as well as the effectiveness of green tea supplements and extracts, is not ensured 1. Overall, the best way to get the benefits of green tea is through brewing tea at home. It is also important to remember that any regular herbal supplementation, including tea, can interact with certain medications. Always talk to your doctor about any alternative health approaches you use to prevent any complications.
- Green Tea. (2016, November). Retrieved April 15, 2020, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/green-tea
- Harvard Health Publishing. (2018, May 21). Flavonoids: The secret to health benefits of drinking black and green tea? Retrieved April 13, 2020, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/brewing-evidence-for-teas-heart-benefits
- Scott, P. S. (2013, September 13). Green Tea Health Benefits. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/health-benefits-of-green-tea#2
- Szalay, J. (2015, October 20). What Are Flavonoids? Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/52524-flavonoids.html