To Drink or Not to Drink? That is the Question
We all know we need water to survive, and quality water has benefits for our health aside from keeping us hydrated. We all know sugary sodas aren’t a part of a healthy diet. In between water and soda are an exponential amount of other beverage choices, some healthy, some not. What about green tea? It’s been a popular drink for decades, but how good is it for our bodies? Turns out, it lives up to the hype. Let’s take a look at a few benefits this drink contains.
Green Tea is Rich in Polyphenols
Polyphenols are compounds found in abundance in natural plant food sources. Polyphenols play an important role in maintaining our health. There are four types of polyphenols, flavonoids being one found largely in green tea. Flavonoids have antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. In general, polyphenols play a role in reducing inflammation in our bodies and in helping fight diseases, including cancer.
Green Tea Improves Brain Function
Green tea contains caffeine and an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine helps to enhance the brain’s performance, while caffeine improves mental performance in the areas of concentration and alertness.
Green Tea Increases Fat Burning
Green tea contains naturally occurring metabolism boosters, which help to burn fat. Additionally, a natural property of green tea is appetite suppression, so drinking a cup instead of indulging in a snack could help curb cravings that could be contributing to unwanted fat.
Green Tea Contains Antioxidants
Antioxidants are important because they have the ability to neutralize free radicals in our body. Free radicals are formed to detoxify the body and destroy bacteria, viruses, and damaged cells. However, if there are too many free radicals, cell damage will occur, which is why there must be a proper balance of antioxidants with free radicals. The body makes some antioxidants on its own, but a healthy diet is necessary to bring about the balance desired between free radicals and antioxidants. If free radicals are allowed to overrun the body, usually as a result of a poor diet, smoking, or exposure to environmental toxins, the body will begin to show signs like accelerated aging, tissue breakdown, cell mutations, cell damage, and diseases, including cancer. The balance between antioxidants and free radicals is important, and green tea is one way to get some extra antioxidants in our lives.
Green Tea May Protect Your Brain
We’ve looked at how green tea improves brain function, and along those same lines, green tea can protect the brain during old age. A compound called EGCG in green tea can lower the risk of developing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Research suggests at least 2-3 cups a day of green tea to reap the maximum benefits. Is green tea something you’re considering adding into your daily consumption if you don’t already drink it? If so, grab a box, pour a cup, and pinkies up!