Green Tea: Health Benefits and Uses
Did you know that drinking green tea daily may turn to be a very good decision for your health?
What is green tea?
Green tea is made from the leaves of the plant called Camellia sinensis. Traditional Chinese and Indian medicine used organic green tea, the health benefits of which may vary from weight loss to liver diseases, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disorder.
Chinese green tea is also considered a powerful antioxidant remedy that may be used for bleeding control and healing wounds, boosting digestion and improving mental health. Most of these green tea benefits have been backed by multiple scientific studies.
The nutritional profile of green tea
It may be a good idea to follow a green tea diet because the unsweetened brewed tea has zero calories. Other nutritional properties of green tea are:
- Caffeine – about 20-45 milligrams per 8 oz cup;
- Polyphenols – 20% to 45% by weight;
- Catechins – 60% to 80%.
Natural green tea is often recommended as a healthier replacement to such popular drinks as black tea and coffee. Green tea has a low caffeine content (from 2% to 4%) so it can substitute coffee. It is believed that polyphenols are responsible for the majority of the benefits of green tea.
According to multiple science-backed facts, polyphenols in green tea may:
- prevent inflammation;
- protect the bones;
- protect the cells from damage;
- reduce the degeneration of the joints;
- fight the human papilloma virus (HPV).
In addition to polyphenols, scientists have identified 6 different types of catechins in green tea. The most known type of catechin is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). EGCG can increase the metabolic rate. In this way, it makes green tea for weight loss very effective. Some people say that Matcha green tea for weight loss can be especially helpful.
The forms and health benefits of green tea
Many people think that they can only benefit by drinking a green tea drink, while there are many other ways to use this natural remedy. Besides preparing a drink from green tea leaves, you may consider using the remedy in these forms:
- Green tea capsules can be taken by mouth. They may help improve mental alertness, depression, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease (like Crohn’s disease), stomach disorders, diarrhea, headaches, vomiting, and bone loss (like osteoporosis).
- Green tea tablets with a smaller dose can be good for the relief of Parkinson’s disease, heart and blood vessels diseases, low blood pressure, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), kidney stones, dental cavities, and the damage of the skin.
- Green tea bags after preparing can be applied directly to the skin in order to sooth sunburns and avoid the symptoms of skin cancer. Green tea bags can also work as a natural beauty remedy for decreasing puffy eyes or as a compress for tired red eyes.
- A green tea footbath may help ease the signs of athlete’s foot.
- A green tea gargle can be used for the prevention of flu and cold. Also, green tea extract can be applied in the form of a mouthwash for reducing toothache and bad breath.
- Some people gargle with green tea to prevent colds and flu. Green tea extract is also used in mouthwash to reduce pain after tooth removal. Green tea in candy is used for gum disease.
- A green tea ointment can be applied for the treatment of genital warts.
It is possible to buy green tea in supermarkets in 16-oz bottles sweetened with sugar, in single tea bags, in instant powder and loose leaves. There are also liquid green tea extracts for weight loss.
How to make green tea
A 2010 research study that was published by the American Chemical Society states that drinking bottled green tea is not beneficial for health because it does not have enough polyphenols. Also, the experts recommend making green tea by brewing it from loose tea leaves instead of tea bags. Such method preserves the genuine flavor and keeps more antioxidants in your cup.
Top 4 beauty benefits of green tea
Shiny and healthy skin
To improve the color and complexity of your skin, you may try mixing 100 g of green tea with half a liter of water. Let it steep for 40 minutes, strain and store in the fridge. The cold mixture can be applied to the face to cure rashes, blemishes, cuts, and sunburns. Or you can sip green tea to improve your skin.
Green tea may inhibit the release of Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) that stimulates the hair growth. Due to antiseptic properties, green tea may be also helpful in preventing dandruff and psoriasis or reduce these conditions by lessening the scalp’s inflammation. You can try to make a green tea rinse for your hair. Steep 4 bags of green tea in half a liter of water. Then apply this water for the last rinse after using a shampoo and conditioner.
Healthy gums and fresh breath
Green tea can deal with bad breath caused by halitosis due to its inhibition of bacterial growth. You may consider making a mouthwash with 1 tea bag in 1 cup of water. For healthy gums, you can make your own toothpaste with green tea leaves or liquid mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda.
Natural green tea sunscreen
Green tea may act as natural protection against the skin’s exposure to UV rays. To make your own green tea sunscreen, you may boil 2 cups of water with half a cup of leaves for 10 minutes on medium heat. Pull out the leaves and let the tea cool down. Then apply a warm solution on a cotton ball and rub the skin on a clean face.
How much green tea you can drink daily?
One cup of green tea may not be enough if you want to get the most benefits of green tea. Consider drinking at least 3-5 cups of brewed green tea throughout the day. If you overdose and drink more than 5 cups of green tea daily, you may experience insomnia, diarrhea, nausea, and restlessness. Pregnant women may consider drinking no more than 2 cups of green tea per day.
Generally, green tea won’t cause severe side effects and it is safe to drink. Still, too much of anything, even if it is as good for you as green tea, isn’t a good thing.