Is Green Tea Good for You?

Some people working toward healthier diets and lifestyles opt to drink green tea as a good health-drink choice. However, it is important to know its benefits.

Green tea comes from the plant Camellia sinensis. Green tea is not fermented, so it is less processed than other teas. The leaves are steamed, crushed, and dried, a process that helps to prevent oxidation of the active compounds, cathechins. Cathechins are polyphenols, and they are green tea’s potent antioxidants, particularly epigallocathechin gallate (EGCG). Green tea is a very good source of antioxidants.

Antioxidants commonly are found in fruits and vegetables and help to neutralize damage caused by free radicals from stress, micro-organisms, and environmental pollution. Antioxidants help protect against health problems such as cancer, premature aging, heart disease, and many other illnesses. Some studies have shown that drinking two cups of green tea for about one and a half months significantly increases the level of antioxidants in the bloodstream.

Green tea also has an enzyme that helps to promote better digestion. Additionally, the natural caffeine in green tea helps to stimulate mental alertness. The amount of caffeine in green tea makes it controversial, but the tea’s health benefits may outweigh concerns about the caffeine. The following is a list of green tea’s healthful properties.

  • Green tea contains powerful antioxidants.
  • It is been shown to be a smooth-muscle relaxer, and its vasodilating effects make it useful for asthma sufferers.
  • The polyphenols in green tea help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which contribute to the risk of coronary diseases.
  • The polyphenols also have an antimicrobial property that protects against food poisoning and prevents tooth decay and dental plaque.
  • Green tea helps to protect skin against radiation effects and damage.
  • The cathechins in green tea can decrease the risk of heart disease, such as atherosclerosis.
  • The chances of acquiring some environmentally induced cancers is reduced by regularly drinking green tea.
  • Studies have shown that green tea has reduced the risk of oral and esophageal cancers, including the risk for colon and pancreatic cancer.
  • It also helps to promote better blood sugar and insulin regulation, which is beneficial to diabetics.
  • Green tea also promotes the body’s fat-burning activity, which is essential for weight loss.
  • The EGCG appears to protect the body from cancer.

Green tea has so many benefits for good health that the concerns about the caffeine it contains may be outweighed. Drinking a cup or two of green tea on a daily basis can boost energy and protect from disease. It may even become the new substitute for coffee.