We’ve all heard about the health benefits of plant-based diet and tea just fits so simply into a plant-based approach to life. In fact, green tea has been called the healthiest beverage on earth! Especially during these concerning times with COVID-19, we need to be particularly aware of our bodies and how we can best protect ourselves and boost our resistance.
Does life throw you stress curves?
Stress hormones are a key factor that can undermine our health, happiness, and day-to-day existence. Keeping stress under control needs to be a key component of our self-care routine.
Green tea is loaded (did you hear me?) LOADED with antioxidants and nutrients. What does that mean for you? These antioxidants have a powerful impact on your body and how it performs: brain function, fat loss, lower risk of cancer, reducing inflammation, and reducing stress. Simply put, it is like magic in a cup.
Did you know green tea can boost your antioxidants?
This is one of the key benefits of green tea. Polyphenol antioxidants are one of the main components of green tea which can reduce inflammation and proactively protect your cells from damage, and help your body avoid a number of chronic illnesses (as well as premature aging!)
These antioxidants also offer antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal benefits that boost your immunity – something we all need to be very focused on right now.
As an added long term bonus, the polyphenols can also help improve bone strength, reducing the risk of bone loss or fracture down the road (as discovered in a recent study of the connection between polyphenol and osteoporosis). The study concluded that phenols reduced inflammation, and prevented bone cell damage due to oxidation, and actually supported new bone growth.
What about inhibiting viruses?
Another component in green tea are catechins, another type of antioxidant. Some studies have shown that these catechins can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses such as influenza, and possibly lower your risk of infection. They can also help reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. Researchers believe these same catechins are also responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effect of green tea.
Here is some more information if you’d like to learn more: Anti-infective properties of epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a component of green tea.
Is there really caffeine in green tea?
Although many people think green tea is naturally caffeine-free, green tea does contain caffeine. However green tea also contains an amino acid, L-theanine, which is known to produce a calming effect. The combination of the L-theanine with the caffeine naturally in green tea has been shown to enhance memory, cognitive performance, and elevate your mood – something we could all use a little more of right now! With the ability to battle oxidative stress, green tea has been tied to the defense your brain has against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Want to get more scientific? Association of Tea Consumption with Risk of Alzheimer's Disease and Anti-Beta-Amyloid Effects of Tea
Is green tea the best loose leaf tea to help manage weight?
Many of us are sheltering in place right now, and wearing our comfy yoga pants and maybe snacking more than we normally would. Maybe add a little green tea into your day...research has shown that green tea can curb your appetite and boost your metabolism which in turn helps you lose weight. The growth of fat tissue relies on the growth of new blood vessels. Studies have shown that green tea can lead to a decrease in body fat, particularly in the abdomen, by inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels (a process called angiogenesis). All bodies react differently, but as the healthiest beverage on earth, it can’t hurt to try if you are struggling with weight.
More scientific stuff... Effects of catechin enriched green tea on body composition.
Can green tea reduce blood sugar levels?
With type 2 diabetes afflicting about 400 million people worldwide, this is a very important question. Some controlled studies have shown that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
What’s all the buzz about green matcha tea?
A cup of matcha is a Zen-like experience from start to finish. An opportunity to slow down and “be” in the moment. As with any type of meditation, the L-theanine in matcha helps reduce cortisol (that nasty stress hormone that drives appetite and belly fat), lower inflammation, and lower blood pressure.
Matcha tea is hand-selected leaves that are ground into green tea powder. Because you are ingesting the whole leaf, matcha provides you with a more potent source of nutrients than steeped green tea. It sends the level of antioxidants off the charts! (Yes those same polyphenols I mentioned earlier.) This also means you’re consuming 3x the caffeine than a steeped cup of green tea. Matcha provides an “alert calm” as the caffeine is balanced with the natural substance l-theanine – which induces relaxation without drowsiness.
(As a side note, have you seen all the matcha recipes that are available out there...but that’s a whole other story. Stay tuned!)
Try incorporating green tea into your daily routine. These benefits are just the beginning of feeling better and reducing your risk of chronic illness. Looking for the best loose leaf green tea out there? Try some of these delicious blends!
Stay safe and healthy my friends!