Green tea. If you haven’t ever consumed it, you are missing the experience of a great tasting tea as well as some very important health benefits. In fact, green tea is so well researched that over the last 20 years thousands of studies have shown many green tea health benefits.
“It’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink. Green tea is beyond a super food. There could not be a more simple way to improve your health.”
Christopher Ochner, PhD
From healthy cells to stress management and heart health, green tea comes out a real winner. For example, green tea has been shown to improve blood flow and lower cholesterol. A 2013 review of many studies found green tea helped prevent a range of heart-related issues, from high blood pressure to congestive heart failure.
Interesting Facts about Green Tea
- In the United States approximately one-half of all Americans drink tea.
- On any given day over 127 million Americans drink tea.
- In 2007, Americans drank over 55 billion gallons of tea.
- Approximately 85 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. is iced tea.
Importance of Drinking Organic Green Tea
It is important to consume organic green tea that has been grown in a healthy environment. Organic tea is grown and processed without pesticides or artificial fertilizers and is also often Fair Trade. Fair Trade means that you can reap the organic green tea health benefits knowing that small farms are supported, workers on tea plantations are treated fairly, and that both the workers and our environment are not exposed to the harmful chemicals used in conventional tea production. Also, be mindful about lead and fluoride content in some teas. Both green and black teas are naturally high in fluoride because the plant absorbs naturally occurring fluoride from the soil thorough its root system.
Thumbs Down to Stress
Many believe high stress levels may be foundational to the beginning of many health concerns. Believe it or not but sipping green tea can help you slow down, relax and de-stress. Green tea contains the amino acid, L-theanine, which provides a calming effect. L-theanine also
Suggestions for a Healthy Cup of Green Tea
- Don’t add green tea to boiling water as it can kill helpful catechins. Instead make sure the water is between 160-170 degrees.
- Add organic lemon. Vitamin C makes the healthy compounds in green tea easier to absorb. Dairy, on the other hand, may make absorbing the catechins more difficult.
- Levels of the healthful compounds in green tea can vary greatly from tea to tea. Organic teas usually have more of the beneficial compounds.
Green Tea Health Benefits
- rich in health-promoting flavonoids
- 1 cup of green tea supplies 20-35 mg of EGCG(pepper increases EGCG availability)
- lowers risk of cancer
- protects against death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease
- rich supply of polyphenols
- calming qualities
- protects against coronary artery disease
- lowers risk of gallstones
- protects liver from harmful chemicals
- lowers risk of atherosclerosis by lowering LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lipid peroxides & fibrinogen
- thins blood & helps prevent blood clots
- lowers blood pressure
- minimizes damage to brain after stroke
- may help children with brain tumors
- promotes fat loss and weight management
- fights the flu
- protects against cognitive decline
Fruity Green Tea Smoothie Recipe
Yield: Approximately 2 servings
5 green tea ice cubes (purified water)
½ Cup organic kefir
½ Cup almond milk
½ peach, sliced
½ Cup blueberries or strawberries
The day before make a batch of green tea ice cubes (use purified water) with your favorite green tea. Brew the tea a little stronger than normal. Blend the ingredients together in blender, garnish with a few more berries and enjoy.
Resources & Research
Tea Fact Sheet
In vivo antioxidant effect of green and black tea in man. http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/8617188
L-theanine—a unique amino acid of green tea and its relaxation effect in humans. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224499000448
Obesity and thermogenesis related to the consumption of caffeine, ephedrine, capsaicin, and green tea. http://ajpregu.physiology.org/content/292/1/R77
Green tea: cancer preventive beverage and/or drug. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304383502003798
Anticaries Effects of Polyphenolic Compounds from Japanese Green Tea. http://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/261407
Combination effects of antibacterial compounds in green tea flavor against Streptococcus mutans. http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00031a017?journalCode=jafcau
The Relation between Green Tea Consumption and Cardiovascular Disease as Evidenced by Epidemiological Studies. http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/8/1548S.short
A Green Tea Extract High in Catechins Reduces Body Fat and Cardiovascular Risks in Humans. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2007.176/full
Green Tea Consumption and Mortality among Japanese Elderly People: The Prospective Shizuoka Elderly Cohort. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1047279709001653