Green tea has become somewhat synonymous with health and wellbeing, and while we simply drink our loose leaf tea because it’s delicious, there is a lot of good it can do for the body.
The Chinese have used green tea as a natural medicine for centuries, believing it can help with all kinds of health conditions, from heart disease to the common cold. This like many other natural remedies the Chinese use, such as acupuncture may help with certain conditions, however there is little scientific evidence actually proving they do.
As interesting as all of the Chinese natural remedies are, we didn’t want to look at the claims, we’re more interested in the health benefits that are 100% backed by science.
Green Tea Benefits, Backed by Science
Before we get in to some of the most prominent health benefits, we thought it was worth pointing out what makes green tea so much better than other varieties when it comes to our health. In fact, since it comes from the same plant as all the other common teas, it mostly contains the same properties, however due to it being the least oxidised of all of the teas when it comes to processing, it retains a lot more of its goodness.
Health Benefits of Green Tea
1. It strengthens the immune system.
One of the facts about green tea that cannot be debunked is that it strengthens the immune system, helping the body fight against infections and even diseases. This is due to its high antioxidant content, with it containing catechins and epigallocatechin gallate, which are known as some of the more powerful antioxidants.
It would essentially be the same as eating a large amount of fruits and vegetables every day that contain a high amount of antioxidants, which as we all know our doctors recommend.
2. It speeds up your metabolism.
You’ve probably seen green tea alongside weight loss ads before and while in most cases this is just a marketing ploy, there is some truth to it too. We’re not saying that drinking copious amounts of green tea is suddenly going to shed those extra 10lbs you’ve been trying to loose, however just like it helping to strengthen the immune system, it also aids a healthy digestive system.
As with the above, this is due to the catechins present within the drink, as well as the low amounts of caffeine, both of which increase the amount of energy the body is using, in turn forcing the body to work harder.
3. It’s generally good for your skin.
Similarly to green tea and weight loss, we’re not suggesting that it’s suddenly going to leave your skin glowing, but the science suggests that green tea properties have a number of benefits for your skin.
Specifically, it has anti inflammatory properties, which can help to reduce skin redness, swelling and any skin irritation.
You can reap these benefits by simply having a cup of tea everyday, or you can create your own organic beauty products using your used leaves. If you’re using tea bags (if you’re here, we really hope your drinking loose leaf tea instead..) you can simply place these on your eyes once cooler to reduce puffiness, or you can use loose tea leaves to create own creams and ointments to apply to the body.
Just an FYI, you can wrap your tea leaves in some tissue paper if you are using loose ones but still want to apply them to your eye lids.
The above are our top 3 health benefits that are 100% backed by science, due to the properties within green tea. There are however various other claims that although may not be completely backed by science, they do have a number of studies that suggest the claims to be true.
Some of these additional benefits include:
- It improves the health of the heart.
- It may help to reduce the risk of cancer – this is from a study looking at the amount of cancer cases around the world which found countries that drink large amount of green tea have lower rates. This could be due to a wide range of reasons though, not necessarily tea.
- It leads to lower cholesterol.
- It improves your memory.
As mentioned the above bullet points are only claims, not backed by science so if you are wanting to drink green tea for health reasons do it for your skin, the antioxidant content and simply because it tastes delicious.
Did you enjoy reading about these benefits? Then check out our post on the link between chamomile tea and sleep here.