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Green Tea – Health Benefits, Side Effects and How Much To Drink

Though green tea has been used by the Chinese since centuries as traditional remedy for various ailments, it’s only recently that the rest of the world has joined the green tea craze race.

What Is Green Tea  and How Many Glasses Of Green Tea Should Your Drink In A Day ?

Health Benefits Of Green Tea
Health benefits of Green Tea

Green tea originates from the same plant as the black and oolong teas. The only difference being -Fresh leaves are steamed for green tea whereas leaves are fermented for the others. And the lesser processing and no fermentation have added more advantage to green tea. They have higher content of antioxidants.

This and the presence of lesser amount of caffeine make it one of the healthiest among all caffeinated beverages.

Green tea is from a perennial evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis. Green tea is a non-oxidized/non-fermented product that contains several polyphenolic components, also called catechins or tea polyphenols, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate (ECG), epicatechin (EC), and epigallocatechin (EGC). EGCG is an antioxidant that slows down the aging process and has cancer-fighting properties.

Green tea is also rich in vitamin C, Vitamin A, B1, B12, iron, magnesium, calcium, and 450 organic substances. They do have caffeine of 30 – 45 mg in a cup of 230 ml green tea, but this caffeine content in green tea is made harmless by polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). The amount of caffeine is also very less and making it one of the healthiest among all caffeinated beverages.

Weight watchers sure would not have missed the health benefits of green tea in weight reduction, however, green tea and its benefits do not stop at just weight loss, there is a lot more to it than what meets your eye.

Regular green tea is 99.9% water, provides 1 Calorie per 100 ml serving, contains phytochemicals, such as polyphenols and small amount of caffeine. (1)

Green Tea Lowers Cancer Risk

Health benefits Of Green Tea - From detoxifying body to inducing sleep and maintaining your skin and hair health
Health Benefits Of Green Tea

The presence of powerful antioxidants in green tea protects the cells from the oxidative damaging action of free radicals. Polyphenols in green tea bind with the free radicals in the body and neutralizing their harmful effects.

Research studies have proved that green tea has the highest cancer-fighting ability. They attack the cancer cells selectively without causing any damage to healthy cells.  Anti Cancer property of green tea is useful for treating cancer and preventing cancer cell growth. The tea particularly reduces the risk of breast cancer, colo – rectal cancer, and prostate cancer.

( Early Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer )

Will Drinking Green Tea Help As Mood Stimulant

Along with caffeine, it contains L-theanine, an amino acid that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Together they improve brain function and its activity.

The presence of L-theanine gives a sweet taste to tea and increases the serotonin level in brain cells. Green tea promotes good sleep and relaxes the brain and the body.

Green tea is a stress buster and boosts body immunity. Green tea was used by the Buddhist monks for physical refreshment, to aid in meditation and as an alcohol substitute way back in 500BC!

How Does A Tea Help In Brain health

Green Tea Helps In Maintaining Brain Health
Green Tea Helps In Maintaining Brain Health

Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s lead to dementia and cause the death of dopamine-producing neurons. Green tea prevents dementia in old age and improves brain health.

The polyphenol epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) interferes with beta-amyloid oligomers causing Alzheimer’s disease. Green tea improves the cognitive vitality and function of brain cells.

Oral Health

Green tea inhibits microbial growth, prevents bad breath, and strengthens gums. The fluoride content in it prevents teeth cavity and improves dental health.

Catechins in the tea have anti-inflammatory properties, and they avoid growth germ in teeth. They also prevent periodontal disease promoting the health of teeth and gums.

Well, having green tea is healthier than using toothpastes that are loaded with poisonous chemicals. 

Cholesterol reduction And Weightloss

Tannins present in green tea reduce the LDLs (bad cholesterol) and prevent plaque formation in arteries. Tannin in green tea prevent fat absorption in the gut and reduce the level of cholesterol.

Catechins play a role in preventing fat absorption and increasing fat oxidation in the cell. Polyphenols in green tea reduce the chances of cardiovascular disease. Green tea is a heart-friendly beverage with remarkable other nutritional attributes.

(9 Fat Burning Food You Should Know)

Stress And Depression Management

Polyphenols, The EGCG, helps in providing a steady supply of glucose to the brain. This keeps the brain active and a feeling of content. This helps in overcoming depression.

How To Prevent fatty liver?

Fat deposition in the liver is typical in alcoholics. Green tea prevents this deposition, thus keeping a healthy liver, increased metabolism, and weight management. The antioxidant attribute of green tea help in the detoxifying organ and flushing out fat deposits from liver cells.

In a research made through placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of 80 participants (20–50 years) who had fatty liver for a period of 90 days, it was observed that the participants who had green tea regularly had significant reduction in fatty liver than the one who were not taking green tea.

How Does Green Tea Prevent Osteoporosis ?

Osteoporosis is a major health problem in the elderly, especially elderly women, who are 4 times more prone to osteoporosis than men.

Green tea contains bioactive ingredients that promote bone formation. Oxidative stress is a pivotal pathogenic factor for age-related bone loss , leading to an increase in osteoblast and osteocyte apoptosis. Several studies suggest a tight association between oxidative stress and osteoporosis in humans.

Green Tea drinkers had approximately 5% higher mean BMD at various sites than non tea drinkers (Study). Green Tea Polyphenols have been found effective in age related as well as eastrogen deficiency induced bone loss.

Green Tea Polyphenols supplementation in bone loss patients resulted in bone formation and decreased seperation of bone – resulting in larger net bone volume.

( What are the most serious diseases that women are affected with)

Best Immunity Boosting Drink

The presence of Vitamin C, polyphenols, and flavonoids makes it the best immunity boosting drink one can have. The anti microbial property, anti inflammatory property and the antioxidant present in a cup of the brew makes the body resistant to infections.

Green tea increases body immunity to fight infections and the growth of cancer cells. You can take green tea as a home remedy for cold and related symptoms.

Can We Reduce Risk of Rheumatism Naturally

You can reduce risk of rheaumatis naturally by drinking green tea. Green tea blocks the production of inflammatory proteins, Chemokines, which are responsible for inflammation of joints, and reduces pain and inflammation related to rheumatic arthritis.

Prevents Platelet Aggregation

Due to the presence of flavonoids in green tea, platelet aggregation in blood vessels is reduced and thereby reducing the risk of Coronary Heart Disease.

Can Green Tea Help In Diabetes Management ?

Tea catechins, especially EGCG, appear to have antiobesity and antidiabetic effects  . It was recently studied that EGCG mimics insulin, increases tyrosine phosphorylation of the insulin receptor and the insulin receptor substrate, and reduces gene expression of the gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase. This helps in regulating the glucose level in blood.

How To Treat High Blood Pressure Naturally ?

The flavonoid components of tea have been associated in with a decrease in the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavonoids have also been shown to have antioxidant and vasodilator effects.

Regular consumption of green tea decreases the risk of high blood pressure. Polyphenols in green tea help in maintaining and preventing blood pressure.

Home Remedy To Get Shiny Hair and Healthy Skin

Antioxidants present in green tea prevent damage caused by the sun. It also helps in

  • preventing sunburns and tanning
  • as natural sunscreen
  • slows down signs of aging and promoting flawless beautiful skin
  • as ahome remedy for acne and topical application clears away the blemishes caused by pimples
  • green tea infused water can be used as a toner to close open pores in the skin

How To Use Green Tea For Hair

You can use the strained green tea liquid as a hair rinse. It promotes good hair growth, reduces hair fall and slows down graying of hair.

Anti bacterial And Anti viral properties

A regular intake 2-3 cups of green tea will surely go a long way in maintaining your health.

( How to stop hairfall and regrow fallen hair naturally )

Side Effects Of Green Tea

Although green tea has several beneficial effects on health, the effects of overconsumption may cause some unknown adverse effects. Moreover, the effects of green tea catechins may not be similar in all individuals.

A normal adult can have 2 to 3 cups of green tea in a day. Always have the drink post meals. Here are some adverse effects of green tea overdose studied in animals – mainly rats

  1. EGCG of green tea extract is cytotoxic, and higher consumption of green tea can exert acute cytotoxicity in liver cells, a major metabolic organ in the body [1].
  2. Another study found that higher intake of green tea might cause oxidative DNA damage of hamster pancreas and liver .
  3. In a study conducted with 5% of diet with green tea for 13 weeks it was found that high dose of EGCG will become a pro-oxidant rather than anti- oxidant. This was shown in the pancreatic β cells in vivo by Yun et al in rats – showing that high intake of green tea may be detrimental for animals suffering from diabetes.
  4. Thyroid enlargement was also observed due to fluorine content,in animals. However, drinking even a very high dietary amount of green tea would be unlikely to cause these adverse effects in humans.

Harmful effects of tea overconsumption are due to three main factors:

(1) its caffeine content,

(2) the presence of aluminum, and

(3) the effects of tea polyphenols on iron bioavailability.

Who Should Not Drink Green Tea

  • Green tea should not be taken by patients suffering from heart conditions or major cardiovascular problems.
  • Pregnant and breast-feeding women should drink no more than one or two cups per day, because caffeine can cause an increase in heart rhythm.
  • It is also important to control the concomitant consumption of green tea and some drugs, due to caffeine’s diuretic effects [1].
  • Patients with renal failure and neurological disease should not drink high amounts of green tea because it has the tendency to accumulate aluminium. Some studies revealed the capacity of tea plants to accumulate high levels of aluminum.
  • Likewise, people with anaemia should not drink green tea since the catechins may have an affinity for iron, and green tea infusions can cause a significant decrease of the iron bioavailability from the diet [1].
Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi
Dr Menaka Bharathi aka Simple Indian Mom is an Agricultural Microbiologist and helps moms to keep their family and kids naturally healthy both mentally and physically.


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