Six surprising health benefits of green tea
Looking for a quick and easy diet upgrade that will boost your overall health? Discover six surprising health benefits of green tea.
It won’t come as much of a surprise to hear that green tea is apparently very good for you; the health benefits have been widely publicised over the past few years.
But what has surprised us, at least, is the extent of the benefits of drinking green tea. From acne and wrinkles, to cancer and heart disease, it seems that a cup of green tea a day could well keep the doctor at bay.
Six surprising health benefits of green tea
To find out exactly how green tea could help you, and help you decide whether or not it’s worth trading in your morning flat white or espresso for a cup of green tea, we reveal six surprising benefits.
1) Green tea helps you lose weight
Sites like Facebook are full of claims that someone has found the magic pill, shake or diet plan that helps you lose weight easily and quickly (many of them dodgy MLM lies!)
But what if there was a natural product you could eat or drink that can aid weight loss? Step forward green tea. According to research, green tea helps you to burn fat 17% faster. The reason for this could be the presence of EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate), a substance that can boost metabolism, in green tea.
However, please remember that simply drinking green tea alone isn’t going to help you get into shape. We’d always recommend eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise too!
2) Green tea makes you look younger
As if helping you lose weight wasn’t enough, green tea can also reputedly make you look younger too. How? EGCG apparently helps fight wrinkles by increasing your cell turnover.
This is why you’ll see green tea making an appearance in so many beauty products and treatments, like these green tea hydrating facials.
3) Green tea helps acne
Wrinkles aren’t the only skin scourge that green tea helps combat; it’s also reputedly good for acne.
Green tea’s abundance of antimicrobial catechins allegedly helps destroy acne-causing bacteria, and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce any redness and inflammation caused by acne. It’s also a great toner that helps unclog and refine your pores, and its antioxidants also help heal scars and marks left behind by acne.
4) Green tea helps protect you from sun damage
Of all the health and beauty benefits of green tea, this seems the most random! But apparently it’s true: green tea helps protect your skin from sun damage and blemishes.
A study conducted by Manchester University found that consuming the equivalent of two cups of green tea a day “may contribute to protection against sunburn inflammation and potentially longer-term UVR-mediated damage”.
(Of course, nothing beats the best sun protection of all – and that’s staying out of the sun wherever possible, and covering up and wearing an appropriate level of sun block when you are exposed to rays.)
5) Green tea is good for your heart
There have been many studies into the health benefits of drinking green tea – especially in relation to heart health. One Japanese study into the association between green tea consumption and mortality found that: “Green tea was inversely associated with mortality from heart disease in both men and women.”
Research has also shown that green tea lowers your total cholesterol and raises HDL cholesterol (the good type). So if you want to keep your heart in great shape, it won’t hurt to swap a daily coffee or black tea for a green tea instead.
6) Green tea helps fight cancers
If you’re beginning to wonder whether green tea is some kind of super food, then this last example will leave you in no doubt. Because not only will green tea apparently help you lose weight, look younger, fight acne, protect you from the sun and prevent death from heart disease, but it also fights cancers.
An overview of the health benefits of green tea compiled by the University of Maryland Medical Center revealed that:
- Women who drank black tea and powdered green tea were less likely to develop bladder cancer.
- People with bladder cancer who drank green tea had a better 5-year survival rate than those who did not.
- One study of 472 women with various stages of breast cancer found that women who drank the most green tea had the least spread of cancer.
- Women under the age of 50 who consumed 3 or more cups of tea per day were 37% less likely to develop breast cancer compared to women who didn’t drink tea.
- Women who drank at least one cup of green tea per day lived longer with ovarian cancer than those who didn’t.
- Women who drank five or more cups of green tea per day had a lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to non-tea-drinkers.
- Green tea consumption was associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer
- Green tea may offer protection against the development of esophageal cancer, particularly among women.
- Women who drank the most green tea were half as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those who drank less.
- The risk of prostate cancer went down with increasing frequency, duration and quantity of green tea consumption.
- Scientific studies suggest that EGCG and green tea polyphenols have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties that may help prevent the development and growth of skin cancer tumours.
- People who drank tea were about half as likely to develop stomach cancer and stomach inflammation as those who did not.
Drink green tea – but in moderation
All the signs seem to point to green tea as a wonder food. But, while it certainly seems beneficial, as with all food and drink it’s important to consume it in moderation.
Between two to three cups a day seem to be recommended. But if you have any serious health conditions, or are at high risk of some cancers, it’s important to consult your doctor before welcoming green tea into your diet.
Looking for more health-boosting diet hacks?
We love making simple changes to our life that potentially deliver big health rewards – just like drinking green tea. Here are some more easy ways you can eat more healthily:
- What to eat to reduce your menopause symptoms
- Your beginner’s guide to ethical eating
- Four reasons why you should buy organic food
- How to eat your way to productivity when working at home
Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography