Doctors and nutritionists have been touting a beverage that may not immediately come to mind as ‘the healthiest drink around.’ And the good news is, this beverage is much cheaper than juice or soda!
Green tea is a staple in almost every Asian household, from China and Japan, to Korea and Vietnam. People in these countries have much lower rates of heart disease and cancer than Americans do — and some experts say it’s in large part due to their diet and habit of drinking green tea.
There are tons of nutrients available in green tea, such as catechins, (antioxidants that fight cell damage), polyphenols, (also powerful antioxidants), B vitamins, folate, manganese, potassium and magnesium. Antioxidants are agents that bind to free radicals, (byproducts of the body that can cause damage to cells and tissues), deactivating them before they can cause harm to the body.
According to WebMD, there is so much nutrition in a cup of green tea, that some doctors think it’s even healthier than water!
‘There is a big argument that green tea is more healthful to drink than water because not only does it hydrate, but it also imparts all these healthy nutrients,’ writes Keri Glassman, a registered dietician.
And Christopher Ochner, PhD. says, ‘It’s the healthiest thing I can think of to drink.’
Check out these 5 amazing health benefits of drinking green tea!
5 health benefits of green tea
1. Green tea has been linked to lower risk of dementia.
As it turns out, developing a habit of drinking green tea may help lower the risk of dementia and help older people with their thinking and memory, according to a Japanese study.
About 723 participants over age 60 were studied and grouped by how often they drank green tea. A follow-up survey was conducted with 490 study participants,and the results showed that drinking green tea 1 to 6 days per week or every day was linked to less mental decline.
Researchers believe this could have been the result of an antioxidant known as resveratrol found in green tea, which also found in red wine.
2. It helps combat aging.
Our body ages better or worse depending on many different factors, such as diet, stress level, frequency of exercise, smoking and sun exposure.
But due to its rich supply of polyphenols, green tea may be very helpful in calming inflammation and slowing down oxidative stress, which can age the body more quickly.
Green tea is rich in an antioxidant known as EGCG, which helps fight wrinkles and rejuvenate skin cells, according to a study done by the Medical College of Georgia.
3. Green tea reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and overall mortality.
The American Medical Association published a study in 2006 monitoring over 40,000 Japanese adults age 40 to 79 and following them for 11 years.
Researchers discovered that as green tea consumption went up, cardiovascular disease went down. In fact, those who drank 5 or more cups of green tea per day had a 26% lower risk of death from heart attack or stroke and a 16% lower risk of death from all causes than people who drank less than one cup of green tea a day.
Additionally, a 2013 analysis of several studies found that green tea also helped to alleviate high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, among other heart-related issues.
4. It can boost your memory.
Not only can green tea help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, it can also help to improve memory too!
In a 2014 Swiss study, researchers found that people who drank green tea had greater activity in the working-memory area of their brains.
Additionally, green tea has also been shown to help block the formation of plaques that are linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Green tea may help stave off some cancers. But research is still in the early stages.
According to the American Institute for cancer research, in laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells, and in other studies, similar protective benefits have been found. It has been thought that the flavonoids in green tea are cancer fighters.
Also, a 2011 study published in the the journal ‘Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications,’ found that EGCG, or Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, the major polyphenolic component of green tea inhibits melanoma cell growth.
Furthermore, a 2012 study led by researchers from Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular green tea consumption, defined as tea consumption at least three times a week for more than six months, was associated with a 17% reduced risk of all digestive cancers combined. Researchers surveyed approximately 75,000 middle-aged and older Chinese women that were a part of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.
But, though laboratory studies suggest that green tea may protect against some types of cancer, clinical trials designed to study whether green tea is useful in preventing or treating cancer are in the early stages, and green tea definitely shouldn’t be considered as a replacement for traditional medical care.
Bonus: Green tea is cheap!
Green tea is not only extremely healthy — it’s cheap too!
One serving of green tea will cost you about $.09 — perhaps a little more if you sweeten yours with honey or Stevia.
For summer, drink iced green tea for a refreshing jolt of energy and antioxidants. Though water is cheaper, green tea makes a very healthy, inexpensive alternative.