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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Green Tea Benefits

I love love love green tea.

When I first started drinking tea I would load it down with sugar, then I switched to honey, and now I usually drink it plain or with fresh squeezed lemon. I've also recently started trying different flavors of green tea, like peach and lemon. They are super good and smell amazing. I drink at least 2 cups of green tea every morning when I get to work and I usually drink another cup of de-caffeinated green tea at night before I go to bed.

Green tea has a multitude of health benefits. But, to be honest, I didn't start drinking green tea because of all the health-hype that surrounds it. I actually just wanted something without a lot of calories to help me wake up in the morning so I could be more alert at work. (I'm not really a morning person.)

After drinking this magic "cure all" for so long, I started noticing that I don't get sick anymore like I used to. I used to get sick a few times a year. Now, I barely ever get a runny nose. I think a lot of that has to do with my frequent green tea drinking. I decided to do some research on the topic and wanted to share that information with you guys. Here are the benefits I found:

  • Cellular health - green tea contains catechins, which are antioxidants that promote healthy cells. Catechins help fight against and prevent cellular damage. The less tea is processed, the more catechins it contains. Since green tea is not processed as much as other teas, it is higher in catechins.
  • Healthy Brain - Since green tea promotes healthy cells, it is no surprise that it also helps your brain. The amount of antioxidants found in green tea help blood flow to your brain. Some studies suggest green tea helps prevent or slow down certain brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Dementia.
  • Weight loss - Green tea is a natural diuretic. It is has been found that green tea can speed up your metabolism and help your body burn fat faster and more regularly. Also, just by replacing other sugary beverages with green tea, you'll be reducing your calories and sugar intake immensely. Just be sure to not load your green tea with too much sugar. Try agave nectar or honey as a substitute if you can't handle the bitter taste of plain green tea. 
  • Blood pressure - The Catechins in green tea will also help stabilize your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. This can help fight the damage that a high-fat diet can cause. If you drink more green tea regularly you will greatly reduce your risk of getting diabetes.
  • Cancer - The antioxidants in green tea support existing healthy cells and keep them strong. Many studies claim that because of this green tea can help prevent cancer and the cellular damage it may cause.
  • Stress - Lastly, green tea can help reduce stress levels. Green tea contains theanine, which is an amino acid that helps calm you. Not only that, tea helps you relax when you slow down to steep a cup of tea and sip it slowly.

Sipping green tea is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health in so many different ways. Remember, green tea comes in a variety of choices including caffeinated and non-caffeinated, so you can drink it all day long and into the evening. What is your favorite type of green tea? Do you have a favorite brand or particular flavor that you drink often? Please share in the comments.