What is green tea?
Green tea is made from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) as used for black tea. The difference between the two is that the leaves for green tea have not been overly processed. This way, they retain their powerful green colour and all the beneficial health properties are mostly unharmed by the oxidation processes which is used to produce black tea. Black tea contains the same antioxidants, nutrients and phytochemicals as green tea, but the overall properties are significantly lower compared to those of green tea. If you are looking for an alternative to coffee, green tea is a great substitute, it will give you energy plus help you keep your stress under control. Green tea is also considered among the 5 most favoured beverages in the world. 1. Research Shows that Green Tea Can Relieve Stress Green tea contains an important amino acid, naturally found in tea leaves, L-theanine. It has been proven that L-theanine promotes a state of tranquillity in the brain by promoting alpha waves. These waves (8-13 Hz) appear in our brain when we are in a state of calmness and relaxation.
Several studies performed in Japan, Canada and Israel, discovered that L-theanine reduces stress, anxiety levels, blood pressure and improves sleep quality in subjects that were part of these trials.
It is believed that L-theanine also reduces the levels of anxiety in people, as it has a direct impact on the GABA neurotransmitters. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that is found predominately in the neurons of the cortex. Among it’s many contributions to the correct function of the brain, GABA neurotransmitters play a key role in regulating anxiety.
2. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight Naturally
Due to its caffeine content, that has been known to aid the process of fat burning, green tea can be a great combination together with physical exercises for an improved overall health.
Green tea has a good quantity of antioxidants, with an ORAC value of 1253. It has a high content of a certain category of antioxidants called catechins. One of the most important catechins is EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate or epigallocatechin-3-gallate). EGCG, found in great quantities in tea, is a polyphenol that can boost metabolism and help with weight loss naturally.
3. Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter
The caffeine content of green tea aids the brain function by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called, Adenosine. When Adenosine is being blocked in the brain, scientists have noticed an increase in the communication speed between neurons and also noticed a higher level of dopamine and norepinephrine.
As discussed above, green tea contains high levels of L-theanine. This has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier that “provides a defence against disease-causing pathogens and toxins that may be present in our blood.”
Studies discovered that together, L-theanine and caffeine can improve the speed and accuracy of brain performance when the subject is asked to switch tasks and it can also reduce susceptibility to distracting information.
4. Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection
The high catechins content found in green tea can also have an effect on bacteria, including the ones found in your mouth.
The EGCG or epigallocatechin-3-gallate is considered the key component in the green tea’s anticancer and antioxidant effects.
Green tea promotes oral health by reducing inflammation, preventing bone retraction and limiting the growth of certain bacteria associated with periodontal diseases.
Studies have also proven that green tea can reduce bad breath.