A friend of mines’ mother just celebrated her 102 birthday and one of her favorite hobbies was to hand out green tea to everyone she would meet. She was definitely onto something. Green tea has been touted for its’ many health benefits and you would be surprised at the amount of research regarding it’s benefits!    READ ON to learn 7 health benefits from drinking green tea regularly and which one is the best….

hint.. even one cup of tea a day has heart health benefits concerning plaque, weight loss, brain health

Head over the Urban Teahouse in OKC for some amazing choices of green tea, it’s one of my favorites!

Green tea’s most biologically active ingredient is catechins.  Catechins include epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate (ECG) and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  The latter one is the one you typically see in supplements and research.  These derivatives are known for neutralizing the reactive oxidative species so are therefore known as anti-oxidants.  Anti-oxidants work by sopping up free radicals that can cause cellular damage.

I could be writing about the health benefits of green tea for days but to keep this brief here are 7 reasons you should sip on green tea….

    • 1. Reduce heart plaque: studies showing drinking green tea daily reduced the incidence of cardiovascular events and had decreased progression of coronary artery calcium buildup.  This study followed participants for 11 years!
    • 2. Cancer prevention: numerous studies have implicated the benefits of green tea regarding cancer.  Green tea catechins are widely implicated in the prevention of lung cancer, breast cancer, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer and prostate cancer.  There are different mechanisms of action including alteration of metabolism, redox environment, growth factor signaling.  In addition, it has been implicated in other studies to slow progression of cancer (this should only be used in addition to other modalities as drinking tea will NOT treat your cancer by itself).
    • 3. Reduce inflammation: ECGC has been shown to reduce the expression of inflammatory related enzymes and cytokines.
    • 4. Decreased anxiety: green tea contains the amino acid theanine and arginine. These amino acids together can be very calming and can help decrease anxiety and reduce stress.
    • 5. Improved focus/attention and memory: green tea does have caffeine which has been shown to improve attention.  However, the improved function cannot be isolated to the caffeine alone as the other ingredients in green tea seem to work synergistically together so don’t think just increasing caffeine of any type will achieve this).
    • 6. Decreased risk of dementia: EGCG and to a lesser extent EGC have been shown to positively affect the brain in a process called neuronal differentiation.  These derivatives actually cross the blood brain barrier to achieve this effect.  In addition, when ECGC is ingested the gut microbiome breaks it down and the byproducts help the nerve cells.
    • 7. Weight loss/cholesterol: green tea has been shown to increase thermogenesis and reduce adipocyte differentiation which means it promotes fat burning!  It also improves metabolism and can help decrease fat mass.   This translates into changes in the lipid metabolism decreasing bad cholesterol.
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In the green tea family there are many choices and differences.  Matcha is considered one of the healthiest because the entire leaf is consumed.  You may also want to choose loose leaf tea or tea sachets for the following reasons:

      • *Bags typically contain the “dust and fannings” from broken tea leaves
      • *Bagged tea releases more tannins when steeped resulting in a more bitter taste
      • *Tea leaves need room to expand to release their full flavor (paper bags collapse onto the leaves preventing this)

To your health,