Since ancient times, people in China and Japan have drank green tea for its calming flavor and medicinal benefits. Research suggests that consuming green tea may improve bone health, regulate type 2 diabetes, and avoid heart disease.
While green tea is made from the same leaves as black tea, green tea leaves are not fermented, according to a 2019 Molecules study. This preserves the tea’s green color and boosts its antioxidant content, which may be why it’s so beneficial.
Here are some dietary recommendations along with an explanation of the advantages and disadvantages of green tea for health.
Green Tea Improves Mental Health
The potential relaxing effects of a hot cup of green tea have a scientific basis. Theanine is an amino acid found in tea and certain mushrooms that, according to study published in a publication in the journal 2021 Molecules, may
- Reduced tension
- Relaxation ought to be promoted.
- Caffeine reduces anxiety
A 2020 study found that giving people who were exposed to stressful events a daily dose with 200 to 400 milligrams of theanine lowered their stress and anxiety.
When compared to other types of tea including oolong, black, and white tea, green tea has the highest level of theanine, according to a 2016 study that was published in Pharmacognosy Magazine.
Another 2019 study found that people who took 200 milligrams of theanine per day for four weeks experienced greater improvements in sorrow, anxiety, and sleep compared to those who took a placebo. This study was published in Nutrients.
The amounts of theanine used were much more than what you’d get in a cup or two of green tea (around 8 milligrams per cup, according to a Food Chemistry article), even though both research highlight the theanine’s potential benefits for mental health.
Green Tea Protects Against Neurodegenerative Diseases
Numerous studies have suggested that drinking green tea may help prevent various neurological diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. This is most likely caused by the high quantity of potent antioxidants in green tea. In a 2018 study that was published in the journal European Food Research and Technology, green tea was found to be the best free radical scavenger among green, black, and earl gray teas. Antioxidants shield cells from oxidative stress, which over time could cause neurological diseases.
A 2022 study that was published in Frontiers in Nutrition tracked 1,545 older people in China with healthy brain function for a year and found that those who drank tea, including green tea, had lower rates of cognitive decline than non-tea users. This was still the case even after researchers took into account factors like education, smoking, and exercise.
Green Tea Lowers Cholesterol
About 38% of Americans, according to the CDC, have high cholesterol, which raises their risk of heart attack and stroke. The good news is what? Green tea might be advantageous.
A meta-analysis of 31 studies found a link between consuming green tea and lower levels of total and LDL (bad) cholesterol. The study was published in Nutrition Journal in 2020.
Green Tea Reduces Blood Pressure
Along with decreasing cholesterol, green tea may also help heart health by lowering blood pressure. Drinking green tea dramatically lowered blood pressure, particularly in individuals with high blood pressure and the highest risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a meta-analysis of 1,697 people that was published in Medicine in 2020.
High blood pressure is a major contributor to heart disease and stroke because it obliterates the lining of the arteries. The arteries become more prone to the formation of plaque, which narrows the arteries leading to the heart and brain, according to the CDC. Renal failure could result from untreated high blood pressure.
The same 2020 study suggests that green tea’s strong antioxidant content may be responsible for its ability to lower blood pressure.