Green tea has been touted as somewhat of a miracle drink, and for good reason. It’s impressive list of health benefits is nothing short of miraculous.
From cancer prevention to improved cognitive performance to weight loss, green tea should definitely be part of your detox plan.
Without further ado, let’s dig in to the top cleansing benefits of green tea…
1. Provides a more stable “caffeine buzz”
A standard, 8 ounce cup of coffee contains approximately 95-200 mg. of caffeine, while an 8 ounce cup of green tea might contain closer to 25-45 mg. Green tea will therefore give you the caffeine buzz you are looking for without risking the jitteriness and potential blood sugar imbalances that higher levels of caffeine often come with.
2. Improved brain function
While in a lesser dose than coffee, green tea still does contain substantial levels of caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to increase neuron activity in the brain, therefore increasing our concentration, memory and reaction time (1).
But green tea doesn’t only provide its cognitive benefits due to its caffeine content, it also is high in the amino acid L-theanine, which increases activity of the neurotransmitter, GABA, widely know for its calming effects on the brain and nervous system (and perhaps also contributing to green tea’s caffeine buzz without the jittery side effects).
In fact, one study showed that the potent combination of caffeine and L-theanine was quite powerful in increasing cognitive performance, when consumed together (2).
3. Better physical performance
Some studies show that caffeine can increase physical performance in exercise and sports by 11-12%, on average (3). It is recommended to drink a caffeinated beverage (and green tea is an excellent choice), immediately before exercise to reap the benefits.
Other studies have explained that caffeine increases sports-related performance by mobilizing the fatty acids in our fat tissues, therefore allowing the body to use them for energy (4).
4. Increased fat burning
Multiple studies have been done that prove green tea’s ability to increase the metabolic rate in humans, therefore increasing the bodies’ fat burning capacity (5).
One key antioxidant found in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), is now known to also boost metabolism, and might be one of the prime components of green tea that increases the rate in which we burn fat.
5. Packed full of cancer preventing antioxidants
We now know that cancer is largely caused by oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are unpaired molecules in the body that can be at the root of oxidative cell damage, and antioxidants have been well studied in their power to prevent cell and DNA damage from free radicals (6).
And the great news is that green tea is packed full of key antioxidants for cancer prevention.
- A 2006 study in the journal Carcinogenesis found that the female participants who drank the most green tea during the study had a 22% lesser chance of developing breast cancer (7).
- A Chinese study conducted in 2007 found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lowered chance of developing colorectal cancer (8).
- Another 2007 study found that male participants had a 48% lowered chance of developing prostate cancer upon regular green tea consumption (9).
6. Healthier teeth
The catechins in green tea are powerful antioxidants that have effective anti-bacterial properties that can help lower our risk for infections, including in the gums and teeth.
Many studies have been conducted that show green tea’s ability to fight the plaque and cavity-forming bacteria most commonly found in the mouth, streptococcus mutans. This particular bacteria can cause excessive tooth decay and cavities, and green tea is a natural and effective anti-bacterial agent (10).
7. Blood sugar balancing
Green tea has been shown to lower elevated blood sugar levels and raise insulin sensitivity, and is even thought to lower our risk for developing type II diabetes (11).
While in sensitive individuals, coffee can actually be harmful to blood sugar levels and is best avoided, green tea has the opposite effect. Opt for green tea over a coffee if you experience the symptoms of dysregulated blood sugar, such as headaches, light headedness, foggy brain, increased irritability or excessive carb and sugar cravings.
8. Longer life span
Several fascinating studies have been done that show that regular green tea drinkers over a long period of time actually have a longer life expectancy. One study of almost 41,500 Japanese men and women found that, over an 11 year period, death from heart disease was 31% less, death from stroke was between 35-42% less (in men vs. women), and overall death rates were 12% lower in men and 23% lower in women (12).
9. Slows down the aging process
Inevitably we all age, but the many minerals, antioxidants and flavonoids in green tea have been shown to protect against cell damage that is connected with aging. So instead of investing in expensive anti-aging creams that are often laden with chemicals, opt for at least one cup of green tea daily.
How does green tea fit into a cleanse?
For all of the impressive benefits listed above, it is clear why green tea can be a welcomed addition to any detox program and general, cleansing diet.
Here are a few tips to maximize the benefits of your green-tea drinking:
- Choose a high quality brand, preferably organic. This will ensure that you reap the maximum nutrient benefits available from your green tea. Low quality brands can actually contain high levels of fluoride.
- Opt for hot rather than iced, as iced teas tend to be more diluted.
- For maximum benefits, choose green tea leaves instead of bags, and pour hot water over the leaves, allowing to steep for 4 minutes. Pour the water over your tea leaves just before the water boils, but not at the point when it is boiling.
- To reap the maximum medicinal benefits green tea has to offer, shoot for drinking 3-5 cups per day (instead of coffee).
- You can even try a green tea extract if you simply aren’t in the mood for tea, or aren’t crazy about the taste.
- Try a jasmine green tea which has a slightly milder, sweeter flavor, if you prefer. And/or add just a touch of raw honey for added sweetness and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
By incorporating green tea into your daily routine, you can balance blood sugar levels, prevent your chance of developing diabetes and cancer, boost your weight loss efforts, and maximize your cognitive performance. Get brewing!